Everything worth knowing about the umbilical hernia in dogs. We explain the symptoms, causes and treatment of an umbilical hernia in dogs.
Many pet owners are scared when they see a bulge on the belly of their dogs. And this concern is justified, as this is usually a clear sign of an umbilical hernia.
To help you recognize this and know how to behave, we explain the symptoms, causes, and treatment options that are used in an umbilical hernia.
What is a hernia?
A hernia occurs when an organ – or part of it – comes out of the cavity in which it should be. This means that an internal part of the organism, which consists mainly of muscles and fat, is expelled to the outside.
This spout forms a smooth arch that is normally visible and feels soft. When this curvature returns, when gently pressed with your fingertips, it is called a reducible hernia.
But if this does not happen and the vault remains covered with a layer of skin outside, it is a trapped hernia.
In addition, if the oxygen supply is interrupted (that is, if the arch is not perfused), it produces a clinical picture called strangulated hernia.
In these cases, prognosis is usually more complex and surgical intervention may be required.
Hernias can arise all over the body. The appropriate location determines her name. The umbilical hernia appears, for example, at the navel. In addition, they can have different sizes and develop depending on the animal’s organism.
In any case, special attention and treatment is required.
Causes of hernias in dogs
As a rule, hernias in dogs occur due to congenital defects or malformations that occur at the time of birth. In these cases, they are called innate hernias.
Hernias can also be caused by injuries or wounds. In these cases one speaks of an acquired hernia.
How does an umbilical hernia develop in dogs?
The umbilical hernia in dogs is almost always innate. During pregnancy, the puppies receive all the nutrients through the umbilical cord that connects them to their mother’s organism.
At birth, after throwing her puppy, the bitch must separate that cord with her own teeth.
In many cases, a small piece of the umbilical cord remains, which should dry and fall off in the week after birth. This week also closes the cavity caused by the absence of the cord in the belly of the puppy.
If this cavity does not close completely, this small space may allow the formation of an umbilical. The belly contents of the puppy (tissues, fats and organs) can escape to the outside.
In this way, the soft curvature forms on the belly of the animal, which is the most visible sign of this hernia.
In rare cases, this hernia can also be caused by an injury caused by a trauma or an accident.
If the dog suffers a strong blow or bite, its abdominal structure may “break”. As a result, an internal organ could step outside.
What should I do if I notice a bulge on the belly of my dog?
The curvature resulting from an umbilical hernia can have different sizes and develop differently for each patient.
If you find a prominence in your dog, it is advisable to go to the veterinary clinic quickly. Under no circumstances should you use your own solutions or home remedies before the veterinarian examines.
How is an umbilical hernia treated in dogs?
Depending on the age of the dog, his state of health and the nature of the hernia, the skilled person will determine an appropriate treatment.
If it is a puppy with a small hernia, the vet usually waits until the patient is six months old. The goal is to see if his organism can restore it by itself.
If the dog is older than six months or is already adult, treatment will generally depend on the characteristics of the hernia.
Often, hernias are not dangerous and pose no risk to the animal’s health. In this case, in addition to regular check-ups, you can opt for a plastic surgery.
If the hernia is very large, strangles or poses a risk to the dog’s health, surgery is usually unavoidable. And in the case of a leaked organ, this intervention will be even more complex and delicate.