Hernias in Dogs: Types, Causes and Symptoms

Every dog owner would like to ensure that the pet’s health is maintained throughout its life. Unfortunately, such wishes are not always implemented. Animals can develop a variety of pathologies. The category of common diseases includes hernia. Many dog owners consider this anomaly insignificant, do not pay special attention to it. Meanwhile, under certain circumstances, a hernia can cause serious complications, blood poisoning, and even death.

The reasons for the formation of the pathology

A hernia is a protrusion of a part of an internal organ, which is observed when congenital, acquired holes appear. In most cases, this formation appears in the abdominal area, may occur on the side or neck. As a result of the hole formation, the organ tissues are distributed beyond its borders, thus creating a bag. The main danger occurs when infringement, leading to necrosis, sepsis.

In dogs, organs that are at risk include the uterus, intestines, bladder, and stomach. Deformities that lead to a hernia may appear during the formation of the fetus in the womb. It is formed when there is damage in the inguinal canals. Holes that allow parts of the organ to protrude may appear as a result:

  • peritoneal injuries sustained during falls or fights;
  • complications after surgery;
  • diseases accompanied by high pressure in the peritoneal organs – intestinal obstruction, regular constipation, pancreatic pathology, etc.;
  • complex genera;
  • increased physical activity.

A predisposition to hernia formation can be inherited. In addition, there are breeds whose representatives are most often diagnosed with these pathologies. These include dachshunds, German shepherds, Cocker spaniels, bull Terriers, and poodles. The risk group for this disease includes all elderly dogs. As a result of natural changes in the body, muscle tone is weakened, degenerative processes begin in the cartilage, which leads to the appearance of holes, the formation of hernias. Special attention should be paid to obese age-related Pets.

Types of pathologies

The location of the hernia depends on the nature of the formation of the hole, the zone of its location. On this basis, pathologies are classified into:

  • umbilical,
  • inguinal,
  • diaphragmatic,
  • perineal,
  • intervertebral discs.

The main reason for the appearance of an umbilical hernia is an anomaly in which the hole does not overgrow, part of the intestine bulges out through it. Pathology is observed in puppies in the form of a rounded swelling in the place of the navel. The baby does not feel discomfort, the hernia does not prevent it from actively developing, provided that there is no infringement. In most cases, specialist assistance is not required. Gradually, the bowel retracts, takes the correct position, the hole is overgrown.

The main provoking factor of inguinal hernias is complicated labor or pregnancy. This creates a gap in the form of a ring in the groin area. It can fall out of the bladder or uterus, part of the intestine. You can detect pathology by probing the groin or examining this area. The hernia has a spherical shape.

Diaphragmatic pathologies are congenital, formed in the womb during fetal development. But more often they are acquired, appear as a result of injuries to the sternum or peritoneum. Since when the diaphragm is damaged, the organs move to the chest area, difficulties with breathing are created. This can lead to edema in the lungs, heart disorders. This is one of the most insidious pathologies, since symptoms of a diaphragmatic hernia can appear several years after injury.

Perineal pathologies appear at an advanced age. Most often, this type of hernia is diagnosed in Pets after 7-9 years. A spherical shape is formed in the area of the anus. This can be the tissues of the bladder, part of the intestine or prostate, omentum.

In the elderly period, dogs may develop intervertebral abnormalities. In this case, the gaps in the channels of the spinal column are filled with cartilage tissues, and flexibility and mobility are impaired. This causes severe pain not only when moving, but also when at rest. They are observed in different parts of the back or in the cervical zone. Intervertebral hernias in dogs are very rare.

Main signs of the disease and its treatment

Most types of pathologies can be detected by careful examination and palpation. Thick, long hair can complicate the diagnosis. But not all hernias can be detected in this way. For example, diaphragmatic formation or intervertebral abnormalities are not detected visually or tactilely. In representatives of small breeds in the presence of a hernia, the gait may change.

Severe symptoms of pathology are manifested in infringement. These include:

  • General deterioration of health, decreased appetite;
  • pain syndromes that cause aggression when touching the peritoneum;
  • elevated temperature;
  • rapid heart rate, tachycardia;
  • nausea and vomiting.

When a herniated bladder is pinched, there is no urination, if there is an intervertebral pathology, movement slows down, coordination is disrupted. There are specific signs of a diaphragmatic anomaly: the dog has shortness of breath, it quickly gets tired, there is a cough.

Since the symptoms of a hernia are similar to those of other diseases, you should not engage in self-diagnosis. The appearance of a picture of malaise should be a reason for a visit to a specialist. This will reveal the fact of infringement of the hernia, prevent serious complications.

In most cases, when the formation is detected, a surgical operation is prescribed. The exception is small umbilical pathologies that can be cured by conservative methods. During the operation, the doctor sets the fallen organ tissue in place and sews the existing hole. If there are necrotic changes, the damaged parts are removed. After the operation, courses of anti-inflammatory drugs and immunomodulators are prescribed.

A big mistake is the attempt of the dog’s owner to set the hernia on his own, to use various folk methods in the treatment. Such assistance is ineffective and can cause a number of serious complications.

Preventive measures

Prevent the appearance of a hernia and the development of pathology allow preventive measures:

  • annual checkups at the vet;
  • regular self-examinations, pet groping;
  • a mandatory visit to the doctor after receiving injuries of the peritoneum;
  • reasonable physical activity that corresponds to the size and age of the dog;
  • careful care after surgery;
  • inclusion of chondroprotectors in the diet of elderly dogs.

Special attention should be paid to dogs over the age of 7-10 years, as well as bitches during pregnancy and childbirth. In case of symptoms characteristic of hernia infringement, contact the veterinary clinic immediately.