Any hernia is a bulge or a tear in a pet's body wall which allows other body organs or tissues to pass into those areas where are not supposed to be.
Some hernias are a small inconvenience while some others can be life-threatening. Some can be present from birth that is congenital while the others can be the result of an injury.
When the herniated organs can be returned into their normal position it is referred to as a reducible hernia. But if the contents of the hernia during this condition do not receive enough blood supply it is then referred to as a strangulated hernia. There are basically four kinds of hernias like the umbilical hernia, the inguinal hernia, diaphragmatic hernias and the perineal hernia.
Congenital umbilical hernias in dogs are the considered the most common of all the hernias. Since this problem can be an inherited one, it is advisable not to breed further pets with this condition. The umbilical hernia is normally repaired during surgery on when the dog is being spayed or neutered. For the female dogs the vet will sew the hernia.
Sometimes a large hernia can be less dangerous then medium size ones. But they can be a challenge to close because of the scarcity of tissue to cover the defect. Here at times a sterile fabric webbing which is synthetic can be used as the sewing patch. Under general anesthesia, the inguinal hernia sac can be carefully dissected with scissors or scalpel till it resembles a small balloon that is attached to the thigh. Then it can be replaced back into the abdomen. Care has to be taken while darning the hole shut, so as not to pinch the femoral nerve or artery. Post the surgery scaring can reinforce and block any future hernias at the area – if the surgery is done carefully, it will never reoccur.
Perineal hernias in dogs occur laterally to the anus. It is commonest in male dogs that are not castrated and may also be the result of an enlarged prostate. The problem occurs when the dog tries hard to pass stools. When this problem occurs it is a medical emergency as the pet can not urinate. The technique to repair these hernias is like the femoral hernias. It is a tunneling operation as the pelvic bones do not allow good exposure to the surgical site. One has to be careful not to injure the rectum nerves and anus during surgery. Pre and post surgical antibiotics are required to keep infection away.