No Treatment Necessary

Question:

I never thought I’d be writing to you (sounds like Dear Abby). I have a 5-month-old Basset Hound named Homer who has a terrible problem with hiccups. He seems to get them daily and I can’t imagine using any human remedies on him. He’s a little high strung so I’m afraid that scaring him would kill him! Just joking. Any ideas?

 

Dr. Nichol:

Abby and I are old pals, having shared this page for a while. Lately our readers have been confusing our identities. I’m concerned that, having spent so much time together, we may be starting to look alike.

 

Homer’s hiccups occur because his nervous system is immature. His phrenic nerve, which delivers messages to his diaphragm (the muscle behind his lungs that helps him breathe), suddenly starts to spasm. It’s a confused young nerve and it just gets mixed up. When Homer relaxes, so will his nerves. Now quit drawing those Dear Abby hairdos on my picture willya?