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Have you ever seen your puppy hiccuping? You might wonder why your dog hiccups at times. We're here to help you explain this interesting phenomenon, its common causes, as well as how you can help your dog from feeling uncomfortable.
Ever wonder why your pup gets the hiccups? Those little jumps and squeaks are involuntary spasms of the diaphragm, the muscle under the lungs.
When your puppy eats or drinks too quickly, swallows air, or gets overexcited, it can cause their diaphragm to spasm. The spasms make their chest jerk and create the “hic” sound. It is usually harmless, so you don’t have to worry about it.
To help speed up recovery, you can try gently massaging your puppy's throat or scratching them behind the ears. You can also offer a small treat or toy to help distract them. Giving them a little water may help as well.
While puppy hiccups are typically not a cause for concern and will disappear quickly, if hiccups last more than a few hours, seem painful, or your pup has trouble breathing, contact your vet.
Puppies get hiccups for the same reasons humans do—an involuntary spasm of the diaphragm muscle. The diaphragm is responsible for breathing, and when it contracts out of sync, it results in the familiar “hic” sound. Some possible triggers for puppy hiccups include:
The good news is puppy hiccups are usually not a cause for concern and will go away on their own in a few minutes. Some remedies you can try to speed relief include:
If hiccups are frequent or persistent, mention them to your vet to rule out any underlying conditions. But in most cases, puppy hiccups are just a temporary annoyance and will disappear as your puppy matures.
Gently massaging your puppy's throat or belly can help relax them and relieve hiccups. Rub small circles on their throat for a few seconds.
You can also try gently massaging their belly, which may help relax the diaphragm. Be very gentle and stop if your puppy seems uncomfortable.
Having your puppy drink a little water can help reset their breathing and swallowing pattern, relieving the spasms causing the hiccups. Tilt your puppy's head back slightly and offer a few tablespoons of water with a syringe, dropper, or your fingers.
Make sure they swallow slowly. The water will stimulate the vagus nerve, which can help stop the hiccups.
Puppies often pick up on their owner's emotions. Remaining calm and soothing your puppy with gentle petting, soft words, and belly rubs can help relax them so their hiccups subside.
Softly pet your puppy, speak in a gentle, comforting tone, and give them affection until the hiccups pass. Your calm, reassuring presence will help your puppy feel more at ease.
If your puppy just ate or drank before the hiccups started, they may have swallowed the air that's causing the spasms. Gently burp or massage your puppy to release any trapped gas, which can provide relief from hiccups.
Hold your puppy facing away from you, supporting its chest with one hand and gently patting or massaging its back and belly with the other hand until they burp.
If your puppy's hiccups seem to go on for more than a few minutes, it’s time to take action. As a general rule of thumb, hiccups lasting longer than 15-20 minutes warrant a call to your vet.
Prolonged hiccups can sometimes signal an underlying issue like:
While hiccups are usually harmless and short-lived, frequent or prolonged hiccuping can lead to exhaustion, weight loss, and other issues in puppies.
Don’t hesitate to call your vet immediately if hiccups disrupt your puppy’s eating, sleeping, or normal activities.
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You can wait it out, as many of them just pass after a while. If they remain hiccuping for too long, you can try waking them from their slumber and doing the steps above.
It is mostly normal. However, if the hiccups continue for more than one hour, consider taking your pet to the vet to know if your pup has any medical issues.
It is usually normal, although it may also be a sign of something dangerous if it lasts for too long or if it’s accompanied by other symptoms.