Let’s Start with the Obvious: What Are Hiccups?
If you have to ask, I’m not convinced you are human. Hiccups are the worst, non-painful experience you can have other than a sneezing attack where you can’t breathe because you’re sneezing too much. They are a horrible, highly contagious condition that afflicts humans and many animals.
Some crazies believe hiccups come from the lungs. Their stupidity makes me chuckle. If that was the case, then how do babies in the womb get them? Riddle me that! The REAL cause is an annoying muscle located under the lungs that can have terrible spasms for no apparent reason, or for many reasons. Those spasms are hiccups.
The muscle is called the diaphragm (be sure and sing from it, you might not get hiccups) and it moves up and down as you breathe out or in. Experts- air quotes- insist this muscle is important to breathing, but I’m not so sure. If it is, it must be the Hercules of muscles because I’ve never had a muscle cramp that can knock me out of chair like a solid hiccup can.
Anyway, this article is not about me, even though I tend to be more interesting than my lazy dogs.
What Causes This Horrible Affliction?
There are supposedly a lot of reasons your dog can come down with hiccups. If your pooch drinks too fast, or runs too much, gets too excited, eats too fast, or plays too hard it might get cursed. Your dog might be taking in too much air by “protecting” the house too much.
Barking at cars, birds, cats, wind, and imaginary things they make up so they can bark more can cause the dog to take in too much air and get the curse.
Some say puppies tend to get it more than adult dogs, probably because they are crazy- when they’re awake. Cleary puppies are adorable so that we don’t recognize them for what they really are- the spawn of Satan. I mean, they pee, they poo, they whine, they chew and destroy… You do the math.
Is There ANYTHING That Can Be Done?
I assure you that sneaking up on your dog from behind and yelling “boo!” is not recommended, but it is a lot of fun. Once, I tried this on one of my dogs when he was sleeping. He practically jumped out of his skin and then ran out of the room. It was hilarious.
Other, more boring things you can try, include calming your dog if it’s excited, getting your dog to drink water, and slowing your Hoover down at dinner time. You can also try doing the opposite of these: get your dog more active and get Fido to slow down when drinking.
Some people want to know if hiccups are preventable. If I only knew! Hiccups are horrible things that are so contagious, you can get them from just looking at someone who has them.
You can try the things mentioned above as a way to keep hiccups from cursing you- er, your dog, but there isn’t any fool proof way to keep them from coming. Damn smarty scientists can’t even figure out why hiccups happen. I mean, let’s think about it, if I swallow too much air, why does a muscle under my lungs start freaking out? Doesn’t make sense.
Are Hiccups Something to Worry About?
I just knew there would worry warts out there who can turn something as harmlessly annoying as hiccups into something to stress out about. From what I gather, the short answer is no, nada, zip, zilch. 99.5% of the time hiccups are fine, even if they are incredibly frustrating. Yes, I did just make up that number but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true.
However, there is a rumor going around that hiccups are connected to worms in puppies (yuck), but there are other, more telling indicators if that is the case, like the poo, a huge belly, actually seeing worms. Just sayin.
I guess in really rare instances hiccups can be a sign of something serious. Again, there are usually other signs so don’t go into a panic until you’ve assessed your dog’s situation.
Dr Internet says the other issues a dog can have are gastrointestinal and respiratory. I’ll repeat here that there are other signs if your dogs has one of these issues, like puking, pooing blood, trouble breathing, lack of energy, ya know, stuff like that. Stuff that lets you know your dog is sick and needs to go to the vet. Not just hiccups, even if they last a while, so calm down. You can rely on Dr Internet.
I’m getting tired of writing this, so I’ll just summarize that hiccups suck whether it’s me or my dog having them. But they are pretty much harmless, so move on.