Signs Your Dog Has an Umbilical Hernia
If your dog has an umbilical hernia, when your dog lies on his back, you can feel a small opening at the umbilicus site. If it is the size of the end of your pinkie finger at 8 weeks of age, it is usually not a problem. Many of these small hernias will close up on their own by 6 months of age.
If the hernia bubbles out or is bigger than a pinkie finger, there is a chance that intestines may be slipping in and out of the opening. At some point, a section of intestines could slide out through the hernia opening and get trapped or twisted. At that point, your dog needs emergency surgery.
Signs you see with trapped intestines can include pain, your dog standing stiffly with his back arched, and possibly not eating or vomiting. If you see these symptoms, you need to call your veterinarian right away.
What Exactly Is an Umbilical Hernia?
In an unborn puppy, the umbilicus slips out through an opening in the puppys stomach wall to connect to the placenta. When a puppy is born, his dam chews or breaks this umbilical cord or the breeder cuts it and ties it off. It dries and shrivels up, leaving behind the “belly button.”
Generally the abdominal wall closes up in the young puppy, leaving a solid abdomen. Sometimes a small bit of fat may get stuck in the opening, which leaves an “outie” belly button. Occasionally the wall of the abdomen simply does not close all the way. That is when we say a puppy or dog has an umbilical hernia.
Common breeds that have hernias
Some purebred dogs are predisposed to umbilical hernias. Here is a list of some breeds that are known to have umbilical hernias in their genetic makeup.
My puppy has a hernia! What should I do? | Sweetie Pie Pets by Kelly Swift
You’ve been told your puppy has a hernia. Any medical problem is worrying for a new puppy owner and one that may require surgery to fix is especially daunting.
Fortunately, while some hernias may be serious, most puppies with this condition are not severely affected by it. Despite this, however, many will require remedial surgery to correct it and prevent future complications.
This article will answer some of the questions you might have about this condition and settle some of the anxieties it might cause.