Dog has hernia – The 5 types of hernias found in dogs

Dog Has Hernia – Types of hernias and Getting Treatment For Your Dog

Hernias are common in dogs especially with puppies, they are mostly born with them, the severity can depend, on what type of hernia it is, there are 5 different types of dog hernias, they are even categorised from congenital (born with it) to being developed due to traumas such as being hit by a car.  Here we will look at the different types of hernias dogs can get, treatment and symptoms for your dogs.

Types of hernias

  • Umbilical – These are most common of hernias found in puppies, you will see they are over the puppy’s belly button by a protrusion. These hernias can either heal up on their own or may require surgery to remove them. if left they can lead to serious complications
  • Inguinal- These hernias are in the groin area, the inner wall of the rear leg where it meets the body, they can range in size, they are most commonly found in middle-aged female dogs, especially when pregnant. If large enough parts of the bladder, intestines or uterus can move into the hernia which can be life-threatening if left untreated. Surgery will be required immediately to avoid complications.
  • Diaphragmatic- This is where a hole in the diaphragm lets internal organs such as the liver or stomach to enter the chest cavity, this can make it difficult for dogs to breathe, dogs are usually born with these but can also be the result of a dramatic trauma such as being hit by a car.
  • Perineal- This type of hernia is mainly seen in dogs over the age of 5 that haven’t been neutered. Its when the pelvic muscle tears and allows abdominal contents to enter the area near the anus. Certain breeds can be more prone to these types of hernias such as collies, boxers and Boston terriers.
  • Hiatal- This is when a part of the stomach pushed into the diaphragm where the stomach and esophagus meet. This tends to be in dogs that have suffered a trauma but can still be congenital, again there are some breeds that are prone to these types of hernias such as brachycephalic breeds such as bulldogs, this happens when pressure created by crushed airways can suck the stomach through the opening.


Dog hernia symptoms

Most hernias are noticeable in dogs as they appear a protruding soft mass shaped like a bubble, however, some dogs experience no symptoms and show no sign of discomfort or illness. Here are some other symptoms you may see if your dog has a hernia:

  • Coughing
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Numbness in the legs
  • Shortness of breath
  • Excessive drooling
  • Lethargic

If you think your dog has a hernia or starting to show signs of a hernia be sure to see a veterinarian immediately, depending on the type of hernia depends on what the next action needs to be done and this can be crucial in your dog’s health.

Dog hernia Treatment

If you think your dog has a hernia get them checked immediately by your veterinarian, depending on the type of hernia your dog has depends on what your veterinarian will decide, however in most cases the hernia is visible and surgery will be needed to remove it as well as medications/ treatment to deal with the surgery. If the hernia is internal your veterinarian may recommend an x-ray to assess your dogs’ condition and to find exactly where it is or abdominal ultrasound to find out what parts are caught, they will also look for hard bulges, abdominal disorder and respiratory. Usually, the earlier a hernia is discovered the better chance it can be treated.  The surgery is fairly simple as well they correct the hole to replace the stomach contents back in to the abdomen.

Dogs that are not neutered or spayed veterinarians highly recommend that this process is done as it can prevent hernias in dogs. Also, as they are usually heredity its advised stop breeding with the breed as this will stop puppies having the same problem.


Dog hernia after surgery

After surgery, your dog will be given pain relief medication and advised to keep them calm and as still as possible for 10 days… that means no running, jumping or rough playing, this is so the skin incision can heal and reduce the risk of dehiscence (The sutures coming away). One of the most common risks after surgery is bleeding, infections and the sutures coming apart so it’s vital you keep your dog as calm as possible to prevent this from happening, make sure you monitor your dog regularly to ensure the healing process is a smooth one and there is no discharge, swelling, heat and infections. Your dog will also receive an Elizabethan collar to help prevent them from licking or chewing the incision it must be kept clean at all times. After your routine check-up appointment to have sutures removed (although they have dissolving ones now) and an overall check-up to make sure the dog is okay there normally isn’t another check-up after this appointment.