Why Is My Dog Twitching Like Hiccups?

correct answerThe Short Answer is:

It is believed that hiccups in dogs are caused by them swallowing too much air. A dog may experience this when he eats or drinks quickly experiences stress engages in heavy play becomes excited or breathes something irritating or caustic.

In this research you will know the answer to the query “Why Is My Dog Twitching Like Hiccups?“.

You may have seen your dog jerking like hiccups when they’re dreaming if you have ever watched him sleep. There might be a squirrel chasing them through your yard or they might even be dreaming about you! Is your dog still awake if it twitches while its awake? How do you know? 

See if you can figure out why your dog is twitching and what it might mean. 

Why do dogs twitch when they are awake?

When dogs are awake they may twitch for several reasons. These include hiccups. In the same way as humans dogs can develop hiccups when they eat or drink too quickly.

As per the American Kennel Club dog hiccups are caused by a spasm of the diaphragm the muscle under the lungs which causes the opening in the vocal cords (called the glottis) to contract suddenly.

During a spasm a “hic” sound is made which gives rise to the name “hiccup.”. Although hiccups are not dangerous they can be annoying.

It is possible to ease these symptoms by rubbing your dogs belly or getting him to eat a small meal.

In addition to twitching while hes awake your dog might also suffer from tick paralysis. Your dog might enjoy playing outside in a rural area where ticks can easily latch onto its skin.

There are some female ticks that carry a disease which can be transmitted to your dog by a bite. Paralysis can be caused by the diseases harmful toxins which usually start with twitching when your dog is awake.

In case your furry friend is twitching due to a tick get him to a veterinarian as soon as possible. 

Seizures are another important cause of twitching. Twitching during a seizure is different from normal twitching such as when your dog is dreaming.

Your dogs limbs will be stiff if he is having a seizure and his movements can be wild and unnatural. Loss of control of your dogs body may result in him vomiting defecating or peeing himself.

If you notice your dog acting strangely or twitching record his actions and time how long the seizure lasts; this information can be helpful in identifying what is causing the seizure crucial when communicating with your dogs veterinarian to determine the cause and treatment.

Keep reading to learn about epilepsy in dogs if you’re worried that your dog might have seizures. 

What causes parts of a dogs body to spasm?

Apart from twitching what are the main symptoms of epilepsy in dogs?

Dogs suffering from epilepsy might experience a variety of symptoms especially before and after seizures. The following symptoms might be present: 

  • A collapse or a fall to one side
  • A tendency to drool excessively or to foam at the mouth
  • Wailing whining or moaning in a frenzied manner
  • Shaking head
  • Incontinence
  • Changes in behavior or mentality
  • Bewilderment or panic signs
  • Symptoms of confusion
  • Staring into the distance
  • Temporary blindness
  • Vomiting
  • Weaknesses
  • After anesthesia dogs shake 

There are many other symptoms your dog might have if he has epilepsy so these are only a few signs. Write down everything that happens every time your dog has a seizure.

This can be very helpful for your dogs veterinarian. Donot wait any longer to consult your veterinarian if you think your dog has epilepsy and hasnot yet. Without proper management seizures can be life-threatening. 

You may find it difficult to determine the cause of epilepsy in your dog if you suspect it. Continue reading to learn some of the most common causes of epilepsy in dogs. 

What are the main causes of epilepsy in dogs?

Dogs who have epilepsy suffer seizures as a result of a brain disorder. Why does epilepsy occur? 

There are two main causes of epilepsy. Dogs with epilepsy have a genetic component meaning that they are predisposed to have seizures by a gene inherited from their parents or breed.

A genetic predisposition to the disease is more common in large breed dogs. There is also the possibility that epilepsy is idiopathic which means vets do not know what causes it.

Brain scans can diagnose idiopathic epilepsy by looking for structural changes in the brain. We do not understand why but male dogs are more likely to suffer from idiopathic epilepsy. 

Whats good news? Even though epileptic attacks can be frightening most dogs can live happy healthy lives on medication. Pet owners can manage epilepsy on their pets even though the disease isnot curable. 

Read on to find out why your dog might be twitching when they’re awake. 

Why do dogs get hiccups? Why Is My Dog Twitching Like Hiccups?

Any number of reasons can cause a hiccup. In puppies hiccups are usually more likely to occur. If your dog likes to eat or drink quickly he might experience hiccups.

Getting a slow feeder bowl can help you teach your dog to eat his food slowly if he tends to get hiccups after eating quickly. You might also try feeding smaller portions more frequently. 

Is this twitching behavior more likely to be seen in older dogs?

Hiccups cause more twitching in puppies than in older dogs. This is because puppies tend to get excited easily and to have bursts of energy that affect their breathing.

It is almost inevitable for young dogs to eat faster which can cause hiccups. 

You should consult a veterinarian if your older pet exhibits twitching behavior that does not follow a burst of energy or scarfing down his food. 

How can I stop hiccups (once they have started)?

Getting rid of hiccups can be difficult once they start. I doubt you will be able to convince your dog to try some of these ridiculous methods like holding their noses or eating sugar.

You can also rub his belly gently or encourage him to eat or drink something small and slowly. If these approaches do not work theres nothing to worry about.

The hiccups usually do not last long and they usually go away on their own after a few minutes. 

How can I calm my dog during an epileptic fit?

Keeping your dog calm can help them get through an epileptic fit even though you can not stop a seizure. Its scary for everyone when your dog has a seizure especially since hes likely to be confused by whats happening.

It is crucial that you remain calm and speak softly to your dog. You can let him know that everything will be fine in a few minutes.

When your dog begins thrashing around remove anything that can hurt him like tables with sharp edges or hard dog toys.

Donot use any tone of voice that may scare your dog further or yell at it. In the end its not his fault and it can be very confusing as your dog experiences an epileptic fit. 

There is a possibility that dogs can become disoriented during and after a seizure. Some dogs will even become aggressive if they do not recognize you or are scared of you.

If you’re not sure how your dog will act proceed with caution when touching or getting too close to him. 

How is epilepsy managed in dogs?

Although epilepsy cannot be prevented there are several treatments that can be used to manage seizures in dogs with the disease.

Symptoms can usually be controlled through medication and a special diet prescribed by your veterinarian. In addition to MCT oil (medium-chain triglycerides) supplements like these are also helpful in treating epilepsy.

Do not try to manage seizures on your own-always consult a veterinarian if your dog is experiencing seizures.  

How are body twitches and hiccups different?

Unlike hiccups epilepsy causes twitching. He may have hiccups if hes making “hic” noises and twitching all at once every few seconds.

While your dog has hiccups he will remain conscious and his limbs will function normally. As opposed to hiccups your dogs body will twitch unnaturally during a seizure and his limbs will usually be very stiff.

Additionally your dog may make unusual barking or whining noises-these symptoms are usually unpredictable and your dog is likely to be confused or scared. 


A twitching dog might worry you enough to raise an alarm-but there is not always a reason to panic.

Your dog twitches during episodes of hiccups and he makes a hiccupping sound as he does so. Typically hiccups result from overexcitement. 

If your dog twitches unnaturally or presents strange symptoms you need to be concerned about epilepsy. 

Your veterinarian can provide you with a professional opinion if you have concerns about your dogs health and you’re not sure why hes twitching while awake.

If you want to read more about dog health tips read here: Dog Health Tips and Tricks.

Why Is My Dog Twitching Like Hiccups? (Watch Video)

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