HERNIAS and Puppies
There are TWO types we have mainly to deal with in puppies.
This are the umbilical hernia – located at navel
And the inguinal hernia – located at groin.
Hernias have a hereditary basis, because there is a genetic predisposition for
delayed closure of the abdominal ring (and this is what CAUSES a hernia due to genetic reasons).
Occasionally, a navel hernia may develop when the umbilical cord (which keeps
puppy connected to mothers placenta) is cut too close to the abdominal wall – or if the bitch LICKS and chews excessively
the puppies belly.
INGUINAL HERNIAS are more common in female dogs.
A bulge in the groin may not be seen until after the bitch has been bred or becomes
very old, in which case a pregnant or diseased uterus may be incarcerated in the hernia.
These hernias should be reapired. Small inguinal hernias in male uppies can be
watches closely, as many will close spontaneously. If they do not, ask to have them repaired.
UMBILICAL HERNIAS occur frequently in puppies at about
two weeks of age.
They usually get smaller and disappear by six months of age. In females, repair
of an umbilical hernia can often be delayed until the time of spaying.
Most umbilical hernias are small and only trap fat in the umbilical ring and cause
no problems. These are called “closed” hernias and generally do not require treatment other than making sure they
do not worsen (get larger). If the hernia is large, or if the fat can be pushed in and out of the hernia and into the abdomen
(“open” hernias), then these hernias can be more troublesome. The concern is that abdominal contents such as bowel
loops (intestines) can drop into the hernia and get twisted. This could cause the blood supply to be compromised (bowel strangulation)
and lead to severe damage to the loop of intestine, even causing leakage of gut contents into the abdomen (this is very bad.)
These larger hernias require immediate repair. This type can be found in older dogs.
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