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We love our dogs. They bring us so much joy when we see how much they enjoy the life we give them that includes exercise and the best dog food. Just like humans, dogs can experience hernias. 90 percent of hernias in dogs are congenital, but they can also be a result of injury. They are relatively common in dogs, especially in puppies. The severity of the hernia depends on the location where it developed. They are usually easily treatable although in many cases they can require surgery. You may notice your dog is acting funny or in discomfort.
Keep reading to learn about what a hernia is, what the most common types are, what the possible symptoms are, and what the best methods for treating them are.
YA hernia occurs when the insides of your dog’s abdomen push through a weak area in the muscle wall. The hole it creates can allow tissue to pass through and reach other body parts. In dogs, hernias are usually found in the groin area near the rear legs or in the chest area. They are usually congenital, meaning the dog had the condition at birth. However, in some cases they can be caused by a traumatic injury or can happen to female dogs during pregnancy. Don’t worry; your dog can still live a happy life, even with a few health hiccups.
The most common signs of a hernia in your dog are:
If your dog is exhibiting any of these symptoms, call your vet right away. This condition should be treated as soon as possible to avoid it getting worse. In the worst-case scenarios, the tissues in your dog’s body will break down and allow bacterial toxins to enter, which could result in death. This can happen as quickly as 24 to 48 hours without treatment, so it is very important to seek help immediately.
There are five common types of hernias your dog can experience. These types range from not very concerning to life threatening.
The first type is an umbilical hernia. This is the most common type of hernia in puppies. It usually looks like a squishy protrusion near your puppy’s belly button. While this kind of hernia can sometimes go away on its own, it will need to be surgically fixed before neutering your dog. If you notice an umbilical hernia on your puppy, speak with your vet to decide how best to proceed.
The next kind of hernia is the inguinal hernia. This kind occurs near the groin right where your dog’s hind leg attaches to their body. An inguinal hernia is common in pregnant dogs but can also be caused by trauma. If this hernia is very large, it can trap the bladder or uterus and create a life-threatening situation. If you notice this kind of hernia on your dog, take him or her to the vet immediately.
A diaphragmatic hernia is the third type, which is caused by a hole in the diaphragm (the muscle that separates the chest and abdomen). This hole lets internal organs enter your dog’s chest cavity which can inhibit their ability to breathe. This type of hernia is usually congenital.
The fourth type of hernia is the perineal hernia. Your pup can develop a perineal hernia if there is a tear in his or her pelvic muscles. This type is most commonly found in male dogs over the age of 5 that haven’t been neutered. Welsh Corgis, Boston Terriers, Boxers, and Collies are more predisposed to this kind of hernia.
The last type of hernia dogs experience is the hiatal hernia. This type generally develops because of injury or trauma but can also be congenital. If the opening in the diaphragm is large, the stomach can enter the chest cavity. The stomach can pass through this hole and slide back and forth between the chest and abdomen.
Fortunately, hernias in dogs are completely treatable if discovered in a timely manner. If your dog has an umbilical hernia, surgery may not be required if the hole in the body wall is small enough. With other hernias, your vet may be able to push the protruding tissues back into their correct place, but usually a surgery will be required to resolve the issue and prevent the hernia from reoccurring. During a hernia surgery, your veterinarian will correct the hole and place any tissue back into its correct location.
If your dog isn’t spayed or neutered, your vet will likely recommend this treatment as it can prevent hernias in dogs. If the hernia is congenital, neutering the dog helps to prevent them from breeding and causing similar issues in their puppies.
If your dog has a hernia, it’s important that he or she receives medical treatment as soon as possible, because they can’t outgrow hernias and they don’t heal over time. If left untreated, a hernia can cause a lot of pain for your dog and can lead to serious medical complications.
Sometimes dogs do things we don’t understand. They may lick their paws or bark incessantly. Unfortunately, prevention of hernias isn’t the easiest. There is no way to prevent a congenital hernia since your dog is born with it. The only hernia prevention you can do is to help keep your dog safe so that they don’t experience any traumatic injuries that could lead to hernias. Make sure to dog-proof the inside and outside of your home to lessen the chance your dog could get hurt. Check that your dog is fully fenced in so that they can’t escape from your yard. Lastly, make sure your dog is healthy. Make sure they have plenty of exercise, feed them a nutritious diet, and give them lots of love and attention.
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