Hiccups are characteristic not only for people, but also for animals. Dogs are no exception. Speaking from a medical point of view, this phenomenon occurs as a result of spontaneous contraction of the diaphragm with an unexpected and sharp breath. In most cases, hiccups do not pose a health hazard and go away on their own, although they deliver tangible temporary discomfort, preferably after eating.
Puppies are more vulnerable in this regard compared to adults. This is primarily due to the undeveloped system of the digestive tract, weak internal ligaments, increased mobility and nervous excitability.
Causes of Natural Hiccups in Dogs
The following factors can provoke a natural hiccup in animals:
- Binge eating. Especially in cases where the dog eats mainly dry food and does not consume enough water. A sharp filling of the stomach above normal leads to the expansion of its walls, squeezing of the diaphragm, stimulation of nerve endings and, as a result, hiccups.
Important: to prevent the occurrence of hiccups after eating, it is recommended to soak dry food in warm water.
- Fast ingestion of food. With hasty and greedy absorption of food, many air bubbles enter the stomach, which inflate its walls, and then the body begins to behave according to a similar scenario with overeating. Most often, such situations arise when several pets live in the house at once. When feeding, each of them will try to eat more, snatching food in front of the "nose" of their competitors and swallowing it without chewing.
Important: the food should be cut into small enough pieces, and the feeding bowls should be placed on special supports in accordance with the growth of the dog.
- Increased activity. After jogging and stormy games, the mucous membrane of the nasopharynx can dry up in dogs, which often provokes involuntary hiccups. A similar picture is observed when the animal after waking up in the morning or afternoon sleep abruptly jumps and runs, barely recovering. This is especially true for breeds with a choleric character warehouse.
- Hypothermia. Short-haired, smooth-haired and small decorative dogs are most sensitive to cold. With insufficient heating of the room or the presence of drafts of such pets, it is necessary to "warm" even at home.
- Fright. From surprise and fear, the animal takes a sharp deep breath in which the diaphragm contracts and causes contraction of the intercostal muscles. As soon as breathing returns to normal, hiccups disappear.
Causes of Unhealthy Hiccups
If the dog hiccups not only after eating, active physical exertion or hypothermia, it makes sense to contact a veterinarian to determine the causes of the pathology that has arisen. Perhaps the problem is this:
- Disruption of the digestive system. These include various indigestion (diarrhea, constipation, flatulence), indigestion, worms, etc.
- Damage to the nervous system. In case of enteritis, meningitis, or distemper, the animal, along with hiccups, may experience partial loss of coordination, muscle trembling, lack of focus, and other symptoms.
- Destabilization of the respiratory system. In this case, the dog will be characterized by the presence of shortness of breath, cough, snoring, as well as excessive irritation of the mucous membranes.
- Penetration of foreign bodies into the stomach. It can be small toys, threads and ropes, parts of dishes and other household items. Severe intoxication can be expressed in the following symptoms: vomiting, increased salivation, muscle weakness, cyanosis of the mucous membranes, tremor.
How to get rid of hiccups
You can help the animal at home in the following ways:
- Make a massage of the abdomen after eating. Especially shown to puppies recently weaned from their mother. Since the digestive organs are not yet fully formed, with rapid ingestion of food, intestinal motility is impaired. Massage is performed by light stroking movements in the abdomen.
- Drink plenty. To relieve an attack of hiccups, you need to drink the dog warm water, and also feed her a piece of sugar. Sweetness will help relax nerve receptors and return to normal breathing patterns.
- Distract attention with games. By switching the animal to another wave, it will help relieve tension from the nerve endings and help stop an attack of hiccups.
- Walk on your hind legs. In other words, make the dog "dance" by grabbing its front paws and putting it in this way in an upright position. The air accumulated inside will rise to the throat and will come out in the form of a burp.
Medical methods of struggle
If the above manipulations did not lead to the desired result, you can save the dog from hiccups by injection. Drug Options:
- Tserukal. Blocks receptors that cause cramping and subsequent hiccups.
- Seduxen, tazepam. They belong to the category of tranquilizers, limiting the sensitivity of nerve endings.
- Aminazine. An antipsychotic that acts on the central nervous system in order to achieve the effect of inhibition. It should be remembered that after an injection, the animal may fall into a drowsy state, which is a normal reaction of the body.
A long hiccup can also indicate an impending stroke or heart attack, therefore, at the slightest suspicion of such diagnoses, it is urgent to take the dog to a veterinary clinic.
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