Hiccups or some other problem?

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

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Whose bed?? Why- would YOU think- that?
Barked: Mon Apr 28, '08 7:34pm PST 
Sounds like human acid reflux to me. Sasha's vet recommended Pepcid 10mg (she weighed 35 pounds) for a stomach problem caused by steroids, so it must be OK for dogs. I only gave half the dosage and it worked. I hate over medicating and you can always increase it. Is he free fed? I feed Lily 2 times aday, 12 hours apart so her digestive can deal with one meal before another comes along. She doesn't have treats, either, except for training. Sasha was a big grass eater, too.

Dog About- Rosedale

Barked: Tue Apr 29, '08 4:38pm PST 
Hi Indy...I have to say that I agree with the poster who said it may be a seizure of some kind. Cracker gets hiccups all the time and never ever has any of the strange behaviour you have described. Of course, it could be acid reflux...but the anxiety, pacing and obsessive grass eating sound more neurological to me. (Not an expert here, it is just an instinct). Does he have any odd yet subtler behaviours before or after the episode?

ETA info on partial seizures (description from http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/CanineEpil.html )

A complex partial seizure will originate in the area of the brain that controls behavior and is sometimes called a psychomotor seizure. During this type of seizure, a dog’s consciousness is altered and he may exhibit bizarre behavior such as unprovoked aggression or extreme irrational fear. He may run uncontrollably, engage in senseless, repetitive behavior or have fly-snapping episodes where he appears to be biting at imaginary flies around his head.

Edited by author Tue Apr 29, '08 4:46pm PST


Squirrel Girl
Barked: Wed Oct 14, '09 4:16pm PST 
My dog Maggie, a 9-year-old Australian Shepherd occasionally does exactly what you are describing with Indy. She wants to go outside during the episode and she will literally rip clumps of grass from the ground. There is no vomiting involved. I know it is not something caught in her throat. She has some weather-related fears, and last night when it was very windy, she had another episode. I have not asked the vet, but it was good to hear that another dog has exhibited the same thing. Please let me know if anyone has information about this.


I also answer to- 'Pretty Girl'
Barked: Wed Oct 14, '09 4:31pm PST 
Wow. I am so glad to read everyone's responses as I thought I was alone in dealing with this. Sophie has incidents like this too, where she gets what I assume are hiccups and licks the carpet, blankets, chews rugs, whatever. She gets very freaked out and anxious and won't settle down until they are over. Then of course she throws up the carpet or rug or whatever. I called the vet the first time it happened, and they just said that hiccups are normal. I don't know, I've never had another dog act that way before.

I noticed it happened to her when she gulped down a piece of food very quickly (the first two times, we were outside and she picked up something off the ground and gulped it down before I could get it away from her). The third time happened after she ate also.

I give her a Pepcid, but I think what helps is very small bites of food. I give her tiny bits of chicken baby food on a spoon over and over and that seems to make them go away. I've also used Frosty Paws since she has to lick and lick to eat that.

I must keep- everything under- control.
Barked: Thu Apr 15, '10 2:03pm PST 
has anyone ever come up with a for sure diagnosis on this? Marta also has these attacks where she will chew the carpet or part of the couch fabric and does this accentuated swallowing. She gets very stressed about it and all I can do is let her outside to rip up clumps of grass to eat. It always seems to happen in the evening and can last for hours. We still can't figure out if it's acid reflux or seizures or something else. We are trying Phenebarbital and have also had her on Cisapride or Omeprazole. Is there a dog food that anyone can suggest that is low protien and low fat but still has enough calories for an active German Shepherd and is high quality?

Barked: Wed Jul 14, '10 6:20pm PST 
I searched for this problem and was shocked to see that so many people had similar issues. I was even more surprised to see that there were a couple of Australian Shepherds with the problem. I rushed our dog to the hospital the other night with the same issue. We were afraid she couldn't breathe. They gave her a shot of pepsid and benedryl. They think it is an allergy thing and her throat is really irritated. However, she has had several episodes since. I have found that if I give her ice, she frantically chews it down and it is alleviated some and the spasms seem to stop. We will be talking to the vet tomorrow. I am thinking there is a good chance it is acid reflux because she does burp when she eats! My fingers are crossed, because I hate watching my baby suffer.

Born to play
Barked: Sat Aug 28, '10 6:39pm PST 
My dog recently experienced the exact same thing. I bought him a portion pacer and gave him a 10mg Pepcid tablet and he was fine afterwards.

The Boss
Barked: Sun Aug 29, '10 8:38am PST 
Is it a reverse sneeze? My dogs do this. They make this wretching noise and it normally happens after they've been drinking too fast or if they get extremely excited. Look up videos of dogs reverse sneezing and see if it looks the same to you.

Momma is the- center of the- universe...
Barked: Sun Aug 29, '10 8:55am PST 
Having been through enough morning sickness (why do they call it that when it lasts all day?)....

It seems to me it's nausea.

Eating grass is a common thing for dogs when they are trying to calm an upset stomach or vomit something. I don't know if the grass coats the offending item or helps trigger the gag reflex.

If he is fighting the feeling he needs or wants to vomit it would cause the behaviors you mention. Including burping repeatedly which my look like hiccups, spasms of the stomach and throat, anxiety and discomfort because no one likes to throw up.

Has this behavior occured after eating his food? If it's old, spoiled that might make him feel queasy.

Since he is eating a prepared raw diet, make sure it's stored & thawed properly and consumed right away.

Member Since
Barked: Fri Oct 21, '11 9:32am PST 
Hi, my dog has the same problem. He starts licking the ground voraciously and when I let him outside, he eats grass for 10 minutes. Do you know how long these "episodes" last? Is it normal for him to be doing this off and on for 3 days? And what did you do to help your dog? Tums and pedialyte popsicles?
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