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Inguinal hernia in dogs: causes, symptoms and treatment

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Inguinal hernia in dogs: causes, symptoms and treatment
Inguinal hernia in dogs: causes, symptoms and treatment

Inguinal hernia in dogs is a fairly common pathology. It comes in different forms, there are two types. The danger of this disease lies in the development of peritonitis or necrosis, which can lead to the death of the animal. There is only one effective method of treatment - surgery.

Hernia - what is it?

If an animal has a convex formation in the abdomen, it may be an inguinal hernia. It occurs as a result of damage to the tissues of the abdominal cavity, or rather their rupture. Because of this, the internal organs cannot be held inside and protrude through the resulting hole, called the hernial ring. The bag can be filled with the bladder, intestines, mesentery, uterus. An inguinal hernia is formed in a dog on both sides or only on one side. Depending on the origin, it is divided into types: acquired and congenital.

inguinal hernia in a dog after surgery

Congenital hernia

The cause of a congenital hernia is a violation of the development of the fetus in the womb. The puppy will already havepathology. Veterinarians are sure that hereditary predisposition plays a big role.

Acquired hernia

Acquired inguinal hernia in dogs of small and large breeds is formed as a result of trauma. The latter include hitting a car or other vehicle, strong blows, mechanical damage received in skirmishes with other animals. A hole in the abdominal cavity occurs due to a sharp increase in pressure in this area. Diseases such as frequent constipation, problems of the cardiovascular system and kidneys can provoke it. An inguinal hernia can also appear after a difficult birth.

dog inguinal hernia removal

Due to surgery

Inguinal hernia in dogs after surgery is rare. It can be caused by improper conditions for keeping a pet after surgery. At risk are those animals that have undergone sterilization (only females), operations on the intestines, removal of formations in the urinary canal. It is possible that a complication in the form of a hernia may also occur after other surgical interventions.

Inguinal hernia in dogs: causes

Let's highlight the main reasons that can lead to the formation of an inguinal hernia. If it is congenital, then everything is very clear here. And a large number of factors can provoke the occurrence of an acquired one. This pathology develops due to the relaxation of the inguinal ring, as well as due to insufficient strength of the walls of the pelvic region.

inguinal hernia in small breed dogs

Each owner should know, after which an inguinal hernia may appear in dogs of small breeds and large ones. These factors include:

  • Pregnancy.
  • Pathology of fusion of peritoneal tissues.
  • Too much exercise.
  • Bladder full.
  • Reduction of adipose tissue in the inguinal canal.
  • Accumulation of fluid in the abdomen.
  • Obesity.
  • Weakened muscle tone.


Inguinal hernia in dogs can be of three forms. They are classified according to the condition of the bag:

Injured. The peculiarity of this form is that the organs have already fallen into the hernial sac, but the muscle tissues of the abdominal cavity remain dense. Accordingly, this leads to their compression. The danger lies in the obstruction of normal blood circulation. The animal feels severe pain, swelling may appear. After some time, the organs lose the ability to function properly, which can lead to death. With this form, treatment is prescribed immediately

at the vet
  • Reducible. Has an asymptomatic course. There are no painful spasms. The tissues of the abdominal cavity are stretched while remaining elastic. The contents of the hernial sac moves freely. Easily repositioned with pressure or during movement of the animal. To determine the density of the bag size and shape, a special medical diagnostic method called auscultation is used.
  • Irreducible.This form has a characteristic feature - adhesive processes. The organs with which the bag is filled have already united with its tissues. When you click on the formation, it does not work. Fabrics lose their elasticity. An inflammatory process may develop, which subsequently develops into fibrosis.


Inguinal hernia in dogs has a vivid clinical picture. It is localized in the abdomen, in its lower part. Has a tendency to increase. Symptoms will depend on the form in which the disease occurs. With a reducible hernia, the animal does not feel pain spasms. At the initial stage, there is not even any discomfort. It will appear as the hernial sac increases. The body temperature rises to 42 degrees. Sometimes it is even higher. Also, the animal has an increase in breathing and heartbeat. Due to squeezing of the bladder, the amount of its contents is reduced. The dog constantly feels a false urge to empty the intestines. With an increase in hernia, she may refuse to eat and behave restlessly. It is important to know that with an irreducible form, all these symptoms are aggravated. The animal feels constant pain, does not allow touching a convex place, and may even bite the owner.


It is not difficult to visually identify a hernia. If it is large, it will be visible in any position of the dog. Things are more difficult with little ones. The owner, playing with the dog, turns it on its back, while examining the stomach. If there is a tubercle on it, then you must immediately make an appointment with a doctor. At an early stage, fightdisease is much easier.

inguinal hernia in a dog on both sides

The diagnosis is made as follows:

  • Record to a specialist. At the reception, the doctor examines the animal. Performs palpation of the inguinal and abdominal cavity. The fact that a hernia has arisen will be indicated by swelling. They can be round or elongated. The doctor determines the form of the disease, hernial ring. It is also possible to establish by palpation whether there is an infringement, whether the contents are reduced.
  • Examination. The animal is assigned ultrasound diagnostics and radiography. In the first case, you can set the contents of the bag. But X-ray allows you to determine whether there has been a displacement of other organs of the abdominal cavity.

With such a disease, one should not rely on one's strength. The danger lies in the fact that in case of infringement, it is necessary to urgently carry out an operation. Even a slight delay can lead to undesirable consequences. Only a qualified doctor with an inguinal hernia in a dog will recognize pyometra. This disease is dangerous for the animal, as pus accumulates in the uterus. The bulge on the female's belly will constantly increase. Without treatment will lead to sepsis. And this is a direct threat to life.

Treatment of inguinal hernia in a dog

Hernia is not treated with medication. Also, you can not rely on the means of traditional medicine, no matter how they were assured of the opposite. In order to save your pet, you will have to agree to the operation. This is the only way.

How is an inguinal hernia removed in a dog? The surgeon makes an incisionto gain access to the abdominal cavity. Through it, it releases the contents of the bag, setting the organs inward. After it is removed, and the tissues of the abdominal cavity are sutured. The last stage is the application of external seams. The operation is simple, but it must be performed under sterile conditions. They can only be provided in a veterinary clinic. Complications can also occur during the operation, so everything you need should be at hand.

inguinal hernia in small dogs

Some clinics offer home hernia removal. However, this procedure comes with a high risk of complications. The fact is that the room must be treated with a quartz lamp. Also, only sterile instruments and material are used during the operation. It is quite difficult to create such conditions at home. Moreover, we should not forget that surgical intervention is carried out under general anesthesia, which can also cause complications. Not all dogs tolerate it well.

The owner does not have to leave his pet for a long time in the clinic. After the operation, as soon as the effect of anesthesia wears off, the dog can be taken home. Be sure to follow all the doctor's instructions and come for an examination in 8-12 days to remove the stitches.

Post-operative period

If an inguinal hernia was operated on in a dog, then it is necessary to provide her with proper care. It will depend on this how quickly the animal will recover. The first step is to equip him with a bed. The pet should be comfortable there. The owner will need to keep the bedding clean. If ait is wet, then change it to dry in time. It is also important to keep your dog at a comfortable temperature. It should not be too high or too low. It is not allowed to equip a bed in a draft.

After removing the hernia, the animal should not be loaded with physical activity. He needs rest. The more the dog sleeps, the faster it will get stronger. The first few days the pet cannot be taken outside, so you will have to equip a toilet at home. Of course, it will be difficult to accustom an adult dog to it, but you will have to be patient.

In order to prevent licking of the seams, it is necessary to wear a special collar around the neck. This will minimize the risk of wound infection. The owner should regularly process postoperative sutures. To do this, use antiseptics prescribed by a veterinarian.

inguinal hernia in a dog

It is also worth reviewing the dog's diet. After the operation, you must follow a diet. It is compiled depending on the anesthesia and the complexity of the surgical intervention. For dogs that have been fed dry food, it is recommended to choose a special brand. It must be soaked before use. Pets on natural feeding are introduced into the diet of fermented milk products. Give meat only in the form of minced meat, mixing it with cereals. You can also drink low-fat broths. A bowl of water is placed next to the bed so that the animal has constant access to it.

Important: after the operation, the dog should not be fed for several hours. It is also not allowed to give her water. If the pet's oral cavity is stronglydry, then it is allowed to lubricate the lips a little with a damp swab.


It is impossible to delay treatment if an inguinal hernia is found in a dog. The danger lies in the fact that it affects not only the quality of life, but can also lead to death. The most severe is the restrained form. With it, the organs are not saturated with blood, which prevents them from fully functioning. Also, if left untreated, a hernia can lead to intestinal obstruction or purulent peritonitis.

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