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Perineal Hernia in Dogs… Symptoms, expectations and costs!

A Perineal Hernia in Dogs is unfortunately fairly common, it happens to older and middle-aged dogs later in their life, when muscular weakness in the back end can cause some of the dog’s intestines to peep out of the Perineal area.

Now…

To you and me, the Perineal area is the part of the dog between the anus and the scrotum. Although this isn’t strictly a part of your dog getting older, 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, tet’s take a closer look at what it is, how it appears and what we can do about it, for the sake of 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 but female dogs have problems of their own so we’ll just 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 area of the body. This sac then presses up against parts of the body that shouldn’t be constricted, causing pain and sometimes even death.

As the hernia grows…

And fills 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 by accordance 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 which 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 muscles 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, certain vital organs like the bladder can swell into this gap.

If this happens…

The lump will be exceptionally large and will be weeping fluid. It is important to consult your veterinarian immediately in this instance as your dog’s life is in danger. Stop reading and go to the Vet, we will still be here when you get back.

We should point out that…

Perineal Hernia increase 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 normally wouldn’t to try to account for the pain. They may have problems at toilet too, might be tired and might 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 as a result of 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.

Affected Breeds

Bear in mind that trauma and other factors can contribute towards the onset of this particular disease. That being said, there are those who inherit this condition, therefore we can make a generalized guide as to which dogs are most likely to suffer.

To the best of our knowledge, susceptible breeds include:

  • The Boston Terrier
  • The Boxer
  • The Dachshund
  • The French Bulldog
  • The Pekingese
  • The Welsh Corgi

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

Treatment Options

There is only one real treatment for this condition and it is 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 that will support both muscles and stop the wall between the two from breaching.

Unfortunately…

Recurrence of this disease is not uncommon and recurrence rates are high. The suture seems to be no more than a temporary fix and your dog may need to undergo the procedure again after a couple of 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.

Which brings us to…

Were we like to remind folks that we here at IndulgeYourPet are not doctors, veterinarians or medical professionals.  All we are is a bunch of folks who just happen to be passionate about animals and only want what’s best for them.

This is why…

If you feel like your pet may have perineal hernia (or any other health issue for that matter) the first thing that you’re going to want to do is have him or her check out by a vet ASAP!

Because…

The truth is, an early diagnosis will often lead to the “best” medical outcome for your pet regardless of what is bothering him or her, but beyond that diagnosing a medical condition early could save you a bundle in medical costs!

This 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.

Now will a pet insurance policy be right 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.

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