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Hiccups in Dogs: Why Do They Happen and How Can You Help?



Hiccups in Dogs

Hiccups are common in dogs, but they aren’t fun to experience or watch when your canine friend gets them! They can happen on their own, but more often than not, the cause of hiccups in dogs is because of something he has eaten that didn’t agree with him. In this article, we will cover some common causes of hiccups in dogs and provide some tips on how to help your dog get rid of them.

What are hiccups

In humans, a hiccup is the involuntary contraction of a diaphragm muscle. When we take a deep breath and our lungs expand, the air reaches down to our stomach, which pushes up against our larynx and causes it to spasm. But why do dogs get hiccups? That answer can be complicated because there are many potential triggers a dog to start shaking their head. To learn more about dogs’ hiccups, we spoke with Dr. Chantal Cook from Healthy Paws Pet Insurance.

What causes hiccups

It is not completely clear what causes the hiccup reflex, but there are a few theories on what may be happening. The diaphragm muscle typically contracts and releases quickly, which pushes air out of the lungs. When the diaphragm does this suddenly, it can create an exhalation of air, combined with a vibration of the vocal cords to produce a hic. Some experts believe these convulsions happen when water from the stomach spills into the windpipe, irritating. Others believe that sudden laughter or fright will cause these muscle spasms due to nerves along the phrenic nerve that activates during stressful times such as these.

Natural treatment

1. Feed your pup a liquid diet for a day or two to help get rid of the hiccups. 

2. Gently rub their throat so they will swallow some water, which will release the hiccup pressure from inside their neck. 

3. Ask your vet to prescribe an anti-spasmodic medicine if these treatments don’t work within 48 hours. 4. If you have trouble getting your dog to take any of these medications, put them on food that contains rice because it absorbs fluids quickly. 5. Some breeds are more prone to hiccups than others: Pugs, Shih Tzus, bulldogs, and dachshunds are common culprits. 6.

Home remedies

1. Try to give your pup a drink of water. This may also happen if the dog eats too fast or swallows too much air while eating or drinking. Sometimes, the liquid intake can bring the hiccup right out. 2. If this doesn’t work, try lifting them upside down and holding them that way for a few seconds, then put them back down slowly so they can get their heads back on straight (or at least their organs). 3. A sudden fright might cause their diaphragm to spasm, which could be the culprit here, so be sure to reassure your pup as much as possible- rubbing on the belly is also helpful! 4.

In case of emergency

Sometimes hiccups can be a sign of more significant problems, so if your dog has had them for more than a few hours, has other symptoms along with the hiccups, or has any breathing issues or other health problems, it is always best to take them to the vet. If your dog has no additional symptoms, you should treat hiccups as usual. In most cases, though, your pup will get rid of its hiccups by itself after some time. 

The only way to tell if they are improving is by noticing if the frequency has decreased or if the duration of the bout(s) has been shorter. Hiccups happen when an accumulation of air gets into your throat and starts making those spasms.

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