Hiccups occur when the diaphragm muscle, which separates the chest and abdomen, contracts and makes a sound. Puppies in their growth stage, whose diaphragm nerves have not fully developed yet, or adult dogs can hiccup in response to certain stimuli.
Puppies in their growth stage can naturally have hiccups
Like human babies, puppies also hiccup in the womb. Therefore, hiccups in puppies under one year of age are not a cause for concern. This is because the diaphragm and nerves are not yet fully developed, leading to natural hiccups. Also, since they are still growing, they can be sensitive to even small stimuli.
As the puppy grows, this problem goes away. In most cases, it is known that they almost stop hiccupping after four months. Of course, there may be puppies that hiccup after four months due to individual differences.
If a growing puppy continues to hiccup for a long time or appears uncomfortable, gently rocking them back and forth while they are upside down may be helpful.
For adult dogs: sudden occurrence of hiccups requires investigation
Adult dogs rarely hiccup because the growth of the nerves associated with the diaphragm has stopped. If an adult dog suddenly starts hiccupping frequently, it is recommended to take them to a veterinary hospital to check for any health problems. Providing the following information can help with diagnosis and treatment:
- When did the hiccupping start?
- How long has it been going on?
- Is there any suspected underlying illness (cause)?
To accurately determine the cause, the animal hospital may need to take abdominal or chest X-rays. In some cases, hiccupping may be caused by irritation of the diaphragm, which can be detected through X-rays. If there are no significant health problems found during the examination, it is recommended to monitor the symptoms for a few days. Recording the dog's behavior can be helpful because what we may think is hiccupping could be another symptom such as partial seizures, sneezing, or swallowing reflux.
How to stop puppies hiccups?
There are few chronic cases of dog hiccups, and since adult dogs do not hiccup very often, there are not many widely known methods to stop it at home.
This is known to be somewhat effective in stopping a puppy's hiccups.
- Rolling a puppy gently from side to side while lying on its back.
- Put a spoonful of sugar on the back of the tongue.
Read also: How To Get a Puppy To Sleep Through The Night
However, to address the root cause, it is necessary to identify the cause through an examination and resolve it.