What is a Hernia?
Dogs like humans can suffer from a hernia. This condition can differ in severity dependent on the patient and the circumstances. Some cases can be minor and more of an inconvenience such as a birth defect; but others can be more life-threatening or as a result of an injury.
A hernia is when one part of the body protrudes through an opening or gap into another part, this can create a lump or swelling under the surface of the skin which can differ in size dependent on the severity of the condition, the way your dog is positioned and how much your dog has eaten.
The four main types of Hernia your dog could suffer from, a Congenital Umbilical Hernia, Inguinal Hernia, Perineal Hernia or a Diaphragmatic Hernia. A Pericardial-peritoneal Hernia and Scrotal Hernia are considered quite rare in dogs but are worth being aware of too.
What causes a Hernia?
There a number of ways a Hernia could present itself, depending on the type/location. Hernias are either present at birth or occur afterwards. Pregnancy, trauma and obesity could all be a factor in their development.
How is a Hernia diagnosed?
A hernia can usually be identified if you find a lump in either the groin or abdomen, on one or both sides of their body. Other symptoms include:
- Swelling in the affected area
- Bloody urine
- Difficulty passing urine
Disinterest in food
Depression and lethargy
How is it treated?
If your vet confirms that your dog does, indeed, have a hernia, then it will need surgery to correct. The procedure will involve a general anaesthetic, and the opening in the tissue which is damaged will need to be closed up. You vet will be able to advise you on the recovery process, but your dog will definitely need plenty of rest and cuddles!