• Hi everyone,

    I have been a Basenji owner for the past 4.5 years. As of 2-3 months ago I noticed from time to time that my Basenji will be “half hiccuping”, if you may, while whining and being restless. When I take him outside he stops whining but begins to gorge on grass. Sometimes he will vomit and other times he will not. Does anyone know what could be bothering the little guy? He will not settle down when this happens and regardless of how long we are outside, once we get home he’ll want to go back out again in a few minutes time.

  • Sounds like his stomach is bothering him. Is there a pattern in terms of when this occurs, i.e. after he eats or if he has been empty for too long? How often do you feed him? Ingesting grass is often done to induce vomiting if the dog is uncomfortable. I've seen that "half hiccup" in relation to this type of behaviour, but never very often. If it's happening a lot I would check with your vet.

  • This only ever happens in the evening. I feed him once a day around 8PM but this always occurs before his dinner time. He’s not much of an eater hence why I only feed him once a day. Otherwise, he gets a denta stick in the morning, a kong with peanut butter midday, and a few beef tender sticks (100% Canadian beef) a couple hours before his dinner. As we speak I am outside with him again for a 3rd time over the past 2.5 hours. First two times we’ve been out for 30 mins. He hasn’t vomited yet but hopefully all this grass will induce the vomiting. I’ll see if he and I get any rest tonight and contact my vet in the morning. Thank you for taking the time to reply to me!

  • How are his stools? He could have a partial blockage somewhere. I had that with one of my Basenjis, and was fortunate in that she managed to dislodge and pass the offending piece of rawhide. I never fed rawhide chews after that! In her case the x-ray showed it was caught where the stomach discharges into the intestine, and surgery would have been the other option if it hadn't moved. I can't remember if her symptoms were similar, but I had another dog that would act like that when he had been without food for too long. I do prefer to feed two meals a day.

  • His behavior would indicate a possible blockage especially with the gorging on grass.... Vet visit is for sure in order.

  • Some dogs can go eating only 1 meal a day. I feed mine twice a day, morning and evening. They both only get around a half cup of kibble, sometime, I mix in cottage cheese, or yogurt, sometimes they get veggies (frozen, but then microwaved). Not much on treats unless I want them to do something I know they don't want to do; or if they did something totally unexpected. Mine very rarely eat grass and if they do, its only a tiny bit. I would make sure your pup gets in to see a vet.

  • Of course, take him to the vet, but I think what you are calling a 'half hiccup' is his way of showing he's going to throw up.

    My dogs eat grass, throw it up, maybe once or twice a month. If their bellies are empty, they will sometimes throw up bile, which I was told years ago, is normal. I just don't let them go so long between eating something now.

  • Basenjis will eat grass if there is something in their stomach they need to dislodge, an itch which needs scratching -

    Definitely a trip to the vet because there could very easily be something lodged somewhere even if it is not large enough to cause a total blockage or affect the stool.

    I don't like those denta sticks - won't give them to my pack. It does sound as though you are piling in the food even if he is only getting one official meal a day - and that quite late in the day, so not that much time for running around or digesting it all before sleeping.

    Why not feed him in the mornings and cut out the noon-time snacks ? You might find his digestive system copes better.

    Mine get two identical meals - at 8 am and about 6 pm. Feeding twice a day makes it much easier to control their weight and obviates any need for snacks.

  • All very insightful comments and I appreciate each and everyone of you getting back to me. After I took him out for the 3rd time that night he settled down and slept the entire night. He’s been behaving normal since then with no other incidents. That being said, we are going to the vet tomorrow to have him checked out just to be 100% sure.

    Thank you everyone!

  • Glad to hear things have improved. If it was a partial blockage perhaps it has resolved, but I agree that a vet check would be a very good idea just to be safe.

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