Any deviation in the behavior of the animal causes concern to its owner. Hiccups are one of the most common reflexes that can have various causes and consequences, which are discussed in the article.
Causes of hiccups in dogs
Hiccups of an animal can be short-term or long-term in duration. As a rule, a short hiccup does not pose a danger to the pet.
It can be caused by several main reasons:
- Overeating. Rapid, hasty absorption of food after intense exercise or a long active walk leads to air entering the body, causes a contraction of the diaphragm, which is the cause of hiccups.
- Hypothermia. If the cold climate is poorly tolerated or there is no active exercise, the animal may freeze on walks or in a street booth without sufficient insulation.
- Mobile, high-speed games with four-legged friends or with the owner. Usually hiccups are typical for young dogs after rough walking competitions. Such a failure in breathing (jerky contractions of the diaphragm) is attributed to the body’s work to strengthen the muscles of the lungs and stomach.
- Fright or stress. Depending on the nature of the pet, its age and environment, the body’s response to various situations may be different, including the appearance of hiccups. So, in a crowded place or in an unusual natural phenomenon, such as a thunderstorm, the pet may start to hiccup. In such cases, a gentle word and slow stroking of the animal will quickly calm it down and stop hiccups.
In addition to a short period of hiccups, the dog may suffer from long-term hiccups, manifested by seizures. The duration of this uncomfortable period can last from three hours to several days. The reasons for this reaction of the body may be different and often indicate the following deviations in the pet’s body:
- Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. In case of pathological abnormalities, hiccups in the pet are accompanied by belching and vomiting.
- Presence of a foreign body in the stomach.
- Long-term stay of parasites in the dog’s body.
- Heart attack.
- A disease or disorder of the Central nervous system (for example, a consequence of a stroke).
- Mechanical injury.
Assistance with pet hiccups
If your pet has hiccups, we recommend:
- When overeating, give the dog warm water or a piece of refined sugar, Pat the stomach.
- In case of hypothermia, you should check that the resting place is not in a draft or cold floor, you can put a bottle of hot water under the bed or put a pet accustomed to clothing in a warm jumpsuit.
- Distract the dog from hiccups, for example, take the two front paws, as if dancing with it, walk for a short time together, which will allow the air to come out in the form of a belch and possibly stop the hiccups.
- Tummy massage for puppies helps to get rid of hiccups. Massage should be light and soft, not allowing strong pressure on the tummy.
In case of incessant hiccups (three or more hours), you should immediately show your pet to a doctor. It’s important to understand that long-term hiccups can be a symptom of a heart attack or stroke.
If a foreign body is suspected in the stomach, the pet should be x-rayed.
Based on the results of the examination and the exclusion of serious diseases, the doctor, if necessary, will recommend medications that will help prevent hiccups in the animal.
To prevent attacks of hiccups in the pet, it is necessary to apply preventive measures. These include:
- anthelmintic treatment of the dog with a frequency of once every three months;
- food temperature control: food should not be hot or too cold;
- compliance with the feeding norm: do not overfeed the dog, the amount of food should correspond to the age of the pet;
- mandatory availability of water in free access for the dog and its timely replacement with fresh water.
At first glance, hiccups are common. But this is not always the case: only an attentive owner will help the pet overcome an unpleasant reflex and try to follow the necessary preventive measures to prevent it in the future.