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Dr. Norman Bayne
Dr. Norman Bayne, Veterinarian
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My dog suddenly seems like he has the hick ups but they won

Resolved Question:

My dog suddenly seems like he has the hick ups but they won't stop. What is it? He is very uncomfortable but isn't choking or gasping for air.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Norman Bayne replied 7 years ago.

Dog hiccups, like human hiccups, are a spasm of the diaphragm. In both dogs and humans, hiccups are harmless, but they can be annoying. Puppies are particularly prone to hiccups, because their insides are growing rapidly. Hiccups will eventually go away on their own after a few minutes. You may try the following suggestions to rid your dog of hiccups but doing nothing works, too. If your dog hiccups for longer than 30 minutes or seems to also be coughing, gagging or otherwise seems off in some way, contact the veterinarian.

Easy Instructions

Things You'll Need:
  1. Step 1

    Know that your dog will be fine whether the hiccups go away immediately or not. You may choose to simply ignore them, or you can continue to try to get rid of them. Whether any or all of these methods work completely depends on the individual dog. Because the hiccups will go on their own and they are not harmful in any way, you may simply be doing these activities for your own entertainment. At any rate, distracting the dog by interacting with him will allow him to forget about the hiccups long enough for them to no longer annoy him while waiting for them to go away.

  2. Step 2

    Feed the dog a meal, snack or treat. Eating will cause him to change his breathing patterns temporarily, and it may be just enough to send the hiccups packing.

  3. Step 3

    Offer water. Like humans, sometimes a drink of water does wonders.

  4. Step 4

    Try startling the dog. Startling can work with humans and dogs alike. Scaring your dog repeatedly can cause him to mistrust you, so do not do this often. Once is enough to assess whether this method works for your individual animal.

  5. Step 5

    Go for a walk, a run or another type of vigorous play session. You know what your dog most likes to do. If you can get him breathing differently through exercise, it may get rid of the hiccups. If not, he'll be so happy playing with you that the hiccups will cease to bother him.

  6. Step 6

    Give him a bath. For most dogs, a bath is enough of a disruption in their daily routine that the attempts to avoid it will cause enough of a change in breathing that the hiccups may go away.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
It is almost a throwing up sensation but every few minutes his whole body jerks like the hiccups. They came on suddenly after dinner and are making him uncomfortable. Does this sound like the hiccups to you? I don't think it warrants the emergency vet, what do you think?
Expert:  Dr. Norman Bayne replied 7 years ago.
This is suspicious...hiccups are normally only a mild hic as in humans; mild muscle twitch versus a whole body jerk/spasm. He may have a foreign body lodged in his esophagus; if so he should be seen on an emergency basis by a veterinarian. He may also have a foreign body in his stomach itself. This may or may not be able to be vomited out. It probably is best to have your veterinarian perform this procedure giving the size of your dog. He can give hydrogen peroxide orally or a drug called apomorphine in various ways to induce vomiting if he/she diagnoses a foreign body.
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