Puppy Hiccups: Does your pup do it?Published April 28, 2009
Your puppy is hiccupping frequently and you are getting worried. Of course as a puppy "mom" repeated hiccups can be alarming. This being said however, it is generally normal behavior in a puppy. Hiccups can begin right after eating a meal, but can occur anytime and can persist for a few minutes.
Hiccups are caused by an involuntary contraction of the diaphragm which causes an intake of air which is stopped suddenly when the glottis closes. The diaphragm is a muscle which separates the abdomen from the chest, and enables the lungs to breathe in air. When the diaphragm contracts, air is drawn in quickly but the glottis, a part of the "voice box" cuts the air off.
Of course if a puppy or even an adult dog hiccups and regurgitates their food on a regular basis, this is a red flag signal to make an appointment with your vet as soon as possible. For a puppy, hiccups without regurgitation are generally not a sign for alarm. However, regurgitation, which is the act of suddenly upchucking undigested food or water with hardly any effort by the dog.
Vomiting on the other hand requires heaving, wrenching and abdominal activity and it generally takes more time and effort on the part of the dog. Frequent Regurgitation after eating in puppies can be caused by abnormalities of the esophagus which may be the result of a birth defect that may require surgical intervention.
An interesting theory about hiccups postulates that they are "an evolutionary remnant of earlier amphibian respiration". If the theory is correct, hiccups may be associated to neurological pathways in immature animals, but it is assumed that as these pathways are replaced in adulthood and hiccups should decrease as the animals mature.
What amazes me is that there are some folks who think that hiccupping puppies are so cute that they have actually gone out of their way to capture these antics on video. Watch this video of an adorable gently hiccupping Rottweiler puppy uploaded to YouTube by Louiouise.
RELATED: LEARN MORE ABOUT PUPPY HICCUPS >>
Did you ever see a puppy or dog hiccupping? Leave a comment and let us know.