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Diaphragmatic hernia in dogs

Diaphragmatic Hernias in Canines Symptoms, Causes:

Hernias are fairly common in the human medicinal world and especially so among males.

Hernias generally can be defined as an opening or a weakness in muscle mass that then allows the other tissues or body organs to go through. In the dog world hernias are quite common too. There are basically four kinds of hernias that can affect the dogs.

These are the umbilical hernia, diaphragmatic hernias, the inguinal hernia and the perineal hernia. Diaphragmatic hernias are considered to be the most severe and serious type of hernia that affects the dog. When a tear, rupture or rip occurs on the diaphragm, which is the muscular wall that divides the chest region and the lungs from the other important organs, liver and intestines, it then allows them to enter the opening.

The diaphragmatic hernia can be the result of an injury or can be a congenital birth defect. Some of the symptoms that accompany the hernia are weakness and lethargy, breathing difficulty, intestinal problems, coughing that is accompanied by an excess of saliva forming, there can be weight loss, high fever and vomiting too.

Treatment for Diaphragmatic Hernias in Dogs:

The diaphragmatic hernia needs to be attended to immediately and normally surgery needs to be done to rectify the problem. X rays are used while diagnosing which type of hernia this might be. Prior to surgical intervention there are a host of activities and medicines to be given. The dog needs to be kept calm with a lot of rest, antibiotics are administered and IV fluids and oxygen is supplied. A proper diagnosis is arrived at before surgery is attempted. When a diaphragmatic hernia is being treated the veterinarian will try to attach the abdominal wall to the stomach in an attempt to prevent any protrusions occurring. Surgery is not necessarily required for all types of hernias. But once surgery has been done on the dog it is imperative to see that the dog gets adequate post operative care. Post operative check ups are also required to insure that the wound is healing cleanly and that the diaphragmatic hernia condition has been resolved.  If the dog is young then the hernia treatment can be attended to while the dog is being neutered or spayed. However for older pets the condition is serious and should always be attended to immediately. Once the repair surgery has been carried out it is possible for the dog to resume a normal life.

  Submitted on February 10, 2010  

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