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Perineal Hernia in Dogs… Symptoms, expectations and costs!

Unfortunately, a Perineal Hernia in Dogs is pretty standard; it happens to older and middle-aged dogs later in life when muscular weakness in the back end can cause some of the dog’s intestines to peep out of the Perineal area.  It is a commonly seen issue as the dog ages and the Perineal wall weakens.

And because…

This is an uncomfortable condition that has a variety of different causes. We’d want to take a closer look at this condition because, after all, the last thing that any of us loving pet owners want to see our pets suffer in any way!

So, take a closer look at what it is, how it appears, and what we can do about it for our poor fur babies!

What is it, and what does it do?

Canine Perineal Hernia only happens to male dogs, which seems a “bit” unfair. Still, female dogs have problems of their own, so we’ll leave it at that and let those who do have female dogs know that if they believe that their dog may be suffering from a perineal hernia, they can rest easy because that is not what’s wrong with their little girl!

You see, a hernia occurs when a hernial sac appears on the supporting structure of any body area. This sac then presses up against body parts that shouldn’t be constricted, causing pain and sometimes even death.  As the hernia grows and is filled with fluid, it becomes even more dangerous. If this sack bursts and fluid leaks into the system, it can be toxic and kill your pet. In any case, a hernia needs immediate medical attention, the urgency of which varies according to which organ is in danger.

Now in the case…

Of a perineal hernia, this “hernial sac” begins to develop in the Perineal region and presses up against the space between the obturator muscle (which is the triangular muscle that supports the pelvic floor) and the coccygeus muscle (which does the same job for your dog’s behind). This protrusion of the contents of your dog’s pelvis being pressed between the forces causes the growth of the hernial sac, and thus we have a doggy that is uncomfortable and sore in their old age.

Hernias can…

Also, press up against vital organs and cause terrible problems for our canine friends. In some cases, the contents can swell to press against the diaphragm, causing trouble in breathing for your pet. Likewise, specific vital organs like the bladder can pour into this gap.  If this happens, the lump will be huge and weeping fluid. In this case, it is essential to consult your veterinarian right away, as your dog’s life is in danger. Stop reading and go to the Vet; we will still be here when you return.

We should point out that…

Perineal Hernia increases in danger depending on size, but surgery is almost always the answer. Clinical signs include swelling around the anal sphincter, the rectum, and the anus. Sternal recumbency is another classic sign – where your dog struggles to get up or down.  They may also hold their tail down where they usually wouldn’t to try to account for the pain. They may also need help at the toilet, be tired, and even go off their food. A urinary bladder infection is not uncommon as an accompanying problem. This is because the bladder is being pressed into either by the obturator or the other contents of the pelvis.

This disease is thought…

To be inherited from your pup’s parents, but it can also happen due to trauma, other illnesses, simple old age, or gradual weakening of the Perineal region of muscles by some other means. It is worth noting that this disease occurs most commonly in intact males.

Most Commonly Affected Breeds

Remember that trauma and other factors can contribute to the onset of this particular disease. That being said, some inherit this condition. Therefore we can make a generalized guide on which dogs are most likely to suffer.

To the best of our knowledge, susceptible breeds include:

Remember that a mixed breed dog’s ancestry is never specific, so you cannot be sure if they are prone.

Treatment Options

There is only one natural treatment for this condition: a surgical treatment. Your vet will perform a rectal examination to ensure the diagnosis is correct. Once diagnosed, surgical repair will be scheduled, perhaps urgently. A purse-string suture will be made in the perineal region to support both muscles and stop the wall between the two from breaching.


Recurrence of this disease is not uncommon, and recurrence rates are high. The suture is a temporary fix, and your dog may need to undergo the procedure again after a few years. If your dog has been a victim of this disease, you should pay particular attention to any future rectal changes your dog might have…as unpleasant as that may be.

This brings us to…

Were we like to remind folks that we here at IndulgeYourPet are not 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 pet may have a perineal hernia (or any other health issue), you will want to have them checked out by a vet ASAP!


An early diagnosis will often lead to the “best” medical outcome for your pet regardless of what is bothering them, but beyond that, diagnosing a medical condition early could save you a bundle in medical costs!  This is also 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.

Now 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.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Tu N. January 13, 2021, 3:37 pm

    My dog have perineal hernia for a year now, and now I finally have some money, I would like to get that surgery for my pomeranian.

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