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Hernias in Dogs… How to diagnose and what it might cost to treat!

OK, now, if you own a dog like a Pug, you might ask yourself…

“Hernias in dogs? Come on!

After all, aren’t hernias caused by lifting something heavy or “overdoing” it at the gym? And any Pug owner can assert situations you would never happen with their little ball of joy. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some dog breeds that might end up suffering from a hernia. It also doesn’t take into account that there is a wide variety of hernias that a dog might suffer from. Some may have little to do with actual exertion or “overworking.”

This is why…

In this article, we wanted to take a moment and discuss exactly what it means to have a dog that has been diagnosed with a hernia, as well as shed some light on what it will be like to treat them. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Hernias in Dogs Defined

A hernia in a dog is akin to hernias in people. A hernia is a defect (tear or a gap) in the muscles surrounding the orga, thus allowing the organs, or fatty tissue, to push through. This could be just a little bit of an organ going through that wall or the whole internal organ protruding through. And while most of us are familiar with hernias that are caused by overlapping” something…

“Man, what have you got in these suitcases? You nearly gave me a hernia.”

The truth is many potential causes could lead someone or some dog to develop a hernia, including:

  • Congenital,
  • Trauma,
  • Disease,
  • Or simply getting older.

Types and Causes of hernias in dogs expanded.

As we just mentioned, many different types of hernias can occur in dogs b, but there are five that are the most common.

Umbilical Hernia – This is the most common Hernia in dogs. This Hernia is congenital (present from birth and hereditary) and usually found in puppies.

These types of hernias will be located on the underside of a puppy/dog, where the umbilical cord was in utero, just below their ribcage. There would be squishy protrusion in the place of a belly button.

Inguinal Hernia – As per its name, this hernia occurs in the dog’s groin area; Srea is in the fold where the rear leg connects to the body. These types of hernias can vary, but if the size is excellent enough, some bladders, small intestine, and uterus can move through the hole and become trapped in the Hernia, restricting blood flow.

Congenital developmental defects will cause these types of hernias and are most common in female dogs, which can become an issue when they become pregnant.

Diaphragmatic Hernia – The diagram is the muscle that separates the abdominal organs from the heart and lungs.

These types of hernias are caused by a hole in the diagram,m which allows internal organs to enter the chest cavity, making it difficult for the dog to breathe. They can also be congenital or develop into an injury, the most common being that the dog has been hit by a car where the pressure of the impact results in a tear in the diaphragm.

A perennial Hernia occurs when the muscles of the pelvis tear, thus allowing for the abdominal organs (rectum, prostate, blade,r, or fat) to enter the area next to the rectum. This is most common in unneutered male dogs over the age of 5.

Hiatal Hernia – This type of Hernia develops when a part of the stomach is pushed into the diaphragm, where the esophagus joins the stomach. This Hernia can be either congenital or the result of trauma, most often in male puppies less than 1yr old.

Commonly Affected Breeds

While any canine, regardless of breed or see,x can develop a herniasome species, are more predisposed to certain types of hernias.

Umbilical HerniaAiredale, Pekingese.

Inguinal HerniasBassett Hound, Chihuahua, Dachshund, Pekinese, Poodle, Spaniels.

Diaphragmatic HerniaCocker Spaniel, Weimaraner.

Perennial HerniaBoston Terrier, Boxer, Collie, Corgi, Dachshund, Old English Sheepdog, Pekinese.

Hiatal HerniaChinese Shar Pei, English Bulldog.

Symptoms of Hernias in Dogs

Becauseherniisre essentially internal organs are being pushed, or relocated, into areas where they are not intended, it often will result in the appearance of a soft, bubble-looking mass. Other symptoms can include;

  • Anorexia,
  • Coughing,
  • Drooling,
  • Signs of extreme pain,
  • Shortness of breath,
  • Vomiting.

Diagnosis of hernias in dogs

Often, a hernia will be initially “diagnosed” or at least identified by an observant owner who may notice an unusual “bulge” or “lump” where none had been present before. From there, you’ll want to be sure and bring this “bulge” to your veterinarian’s attention. From there, your veterinarian tailors a diagnosis and treatment plan specific to the type of Hernia that is suspected by looking for the telltale clinical signs.

In a lot of the cases…

The Hernia will be visible,e but when the Hernia is not visible, your veterinarian may deem an x-ray or an ultrasound necessary to evaluate your dog’s condition. While surgery may require the “type” of Hernia, its severity will typically guide your vet in choosing the proper treatment plan for your pet.

Treatment Options

Umbilical Hernia – Depending on the size of the protrusion, it may heal on its own; otherwise,e it should be surgically fixed when the puppy is spayed or neutered. If this protrusion is large and not corrected early on, serious complications can occur later in life.

Inguinal Hernia – If this type of Hernia is suspected, this is an emergency. This is life-threatening, egg and your dog must undergo surgery immediately.

Diaphragmatic Hernia – Surgery is necessary as soon as the dog has become stable enough for general anesthesia.

Perennial Hernia – With this Hernia, surgery is usually recommended. The pelvic wall will be closed, and the bladder and colon will be sutured to the wall of the abdometaidde to stabilize the organs and prevent any future reoccurrences.

Hiatal Hernia – With this Hernia, surgery is not always necessary. Your veterinarian may advise putting your dog on a low-fat diet and doing small but frequent feeding.

No, we should remind you that we here at IndulgeYourPet aren’t doctors, veterinarians, or medical professionals. We are all a bunch of folks passionate about animals and only want what’s best for them. If you feel your dog may be suffering from a hernia, get it to a vet ASAP! This way, you can avoid any unnecessary pain and suffering for your animal and save yourself a ton of cash,h too.


One thing we’ve found that is usually true regarding vet bills is that they can tend to be pretty expensive. Still, if a simple problem is treated quickly, it can often allow one to avoid a costly bill later on, which brings us to the next topic we wanted to discuss: what it might cost to treat a hernia in a dog.

Cost of Treatment

Regardless of the type of Hernia your dog is diagnosed with, if surgery is deemed necessary, your bill will be expensive. The prices of surgical procedures can vary depending on your geographic area and whether your dog is being treated at an emergency room or your local veterinarian.

However, Hernia repairs for thstandardon and straightforward cases will usually run around $700-$1000, with more complex challenging surgeries costing upwards of $2600-$3000. As with all surgeries, there are risks, and some of the most common associated with hernia repair include bleeding, dehiscence (where the incision breaks open), and infection.

Which is why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.

No, will a pet insurance policy be suitable for everyone?

No, probably not. But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Dave April 17, 2020, 3:02 pm

    I have a old pug and there is a little sac/bulge coming out of her female area.it has been about 2 weeks with this.The size has not changed and she is not in pain with this either.She almost looks like a male from the back.Maci(her name) and she is about 14 years old.And she a double rescue.Any info would be helpful Dave

    • indulgeyourpet April 17, 2020, 3:30 pm


      That’s a tough one given we can’t see what you’re talking about and we’re not veterinarians. Our advice would be to have her checked out, because in cases like these it could be something as simple as swollen anal glands or perhaps something that might need more care. In either case, the sooner it is taken care of the better your little girl will feel.

      Good luck,


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