Puppies are undeniably adorable, and it’s hard to resist their playful antics and unconditional love. But what if you come across a puppy with an umbilical hernia? Should this influence your decision to bring them home? In this article, we will delve into umbilical hernias in puppies and provide you with all the information you need to decide whether this condition should impact your choice.
What is an umbilical hernia?
An umbilical hernia is a condition that occurs when the intestines and other organs push through an opening in the abdomen. The most common cause of umbilical hernias is a weakness in the abdominal muscles, which can be caused by age or other factors.
If your dog has an umbilical hernia, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more likely it will be that your dog’s intestines will become damaged or even perforated by the protruding organs.
Should I buy a puppy with an umbilical hernia?
Well, that depends on your situation and what kind of dog owner you are. If you’re looking for a long-term commitment—like adopting a rescue dog—then we say go for it! If you’re just looking for a pet who will fit into your life for the next few years, then maybe not so much.
In general, if you want to adopt an animal with an umbilical hernia and take care of it yourself, then that’s great! But if fixing the problem means taking them to a vet every few months or so for checkups and treatment, then that might be too much responsibility for you now.
Are umbilical hernias common in puppies?
Umbilical hernias are relatively common in puppies. They occur when the umbilical cord fails to close after birth, allowing abdominal contents to protrude through the opening of the umbilical ring into the area around the belly button.
Umbilical hernias are a part of normal development for puppies and are often seen in newborns and young pups up to three months old. The condition is most common in small-breed dogs and occurs in around 10% of all puppies.
In most cases, an umbilical hernia will not cause any problems for your dog, but it is essential to keep an eye on it so that you can monitor its progress as your puppy grows up.
How do you know if your puppy has an umbilical hernia?
If your puppy has an umbilical hernia, it’s important to watch for symptoms. If you notice any of the following signs, take your puppy to the vet right away:
- The belly button looks like it’s bulging out of the abdomen
- Your puppy is having trouble walking or standing up straight
- The belly button looks inflamed or swollen
- Your puppy appears to be in pain when you touch the belly button
can a puppy umbilical hernia heal itself?
Umbilical hernias in puppies can go away on their own. If your puppy has an umbilical hernia, the hernia will likely close on its own as they grow. However, if your dog is still a puppy and has a large or recurring umbilical hernia, you should take them to see a vet to ensure it doesn’t get worse.
Regarding treatment, if your puppy’s umbilical hernia is small enough, you can treat it with bandaging or surgical tape. You can also treat it with over-the-counter ointments like petroleum jelly or other petroleum products.
Do umbilical hernias require surgery?
Umbilical hernias aren’t usually a cause for concern in puppies.
However, if the hernia becomes large enough that it puts pressure on your puppy’s internal organs or if the hole keeps getting bigger, then surgery may be required.
This is why it’s essential to keep an eye on your puppy’s belly button—if it looks like it might pop out or is bulging out of their body, ensure you take them to the vet immediately.
What are the risks of surgery for umbilical hernias?
When it comes to surgery for umbilical hernias in puppies, some potential risks and considerations need to be taken into account. While surgery is often recommended for larger or symptomatic umbilical hernias, it is vital to be aware of the following risks:
Anesthesia is required for surgery, and like any medical procedure, it carries some inherent risks. Puppies, especially those of certain breeds or with pre-existing health conditions, may have a higher risk of complications during anesthesia. It is crucial to choose a skilled veterinarian who can assess your puppy’s overall health and administer anesthesia with utmost care.
Surgery involves an incision to repair the hernia, creating a potential entry point for bacteria. Despite sterilization techniques and precautions taken during the procedure, there is always a risk of infection. Your veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics and provide post-operative instructions to minimize the risk. Still, monitoring the incision site for any signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or discharge is crucial.
There is a risk of bleeding during surgery, as the incision site involves cutting through blood vessels. The veterinarian will take precautions to minimize bleeding and may use techniques such as cauterization or sutures to control it. However, excessive bleeding can occur in rare cases and may require additional intervention. Your veterinarian will closely monitor your puppy during and after surgery to promptly detect and address any bleeding issues.
Reaction to Surgical Materials
Some puppies may have sensitivities or allergic reactions to the materials used during surgery, such as sutures or implants. Although uncommon, these reactions can cause inflammation, discomfort, or even delayed wound healing. Your veterinarian will consider your puppy’s medical history and choose appropriate materials to minimize the risk of adverse reactions.
Recurrence of the Hernia
Although surgical repair aims to correct the umbilical hernia, there is a slight possibility of recurrence. Factors such as the size of the hernia, the surgical technique used, and the healing process of the individual puppy can influence the likelihood of recurrence. Your veterinarian will provide post-operative instructions and recommend restrictions on physical activity to support proper healing and reduce the risk of recurrence.
How much does it cost to fix a puppy’s umbilical hernia?
The cost to repair an umbilical hernia in a puppy will depend on the size of the incision and the length of time you’re recovering. The average cost is between $200 and $400, but it could be less or more depending on your pet’s specific needs.
What dog breeds are prone to umbilical hernia?
While hernias can occur in any breed, the following breeds are more commonly associated with a higher risk of hernias:
- Boston Terrier: Boston Terriers are prone to developing umbilical hernias. This breed is known to have a genetic predisposition for hernias, and it is not uncommon for Boston Terrier puppies to be born with umbilical hernias. Breeders often screen their breeding dogs to minimize the risk of passing on this condition to their offspring.
- Pekingese: Pekingese dogs are also prone to umbilical hernias. The breed’s characteristic body shape, with a relatively large head and a short, broad chest, can contribute to a weaker abdominal wall, making them more susceptible to developing hernias.
- Cairn Terrier: Cairn Terriers have a higher prevalence of inguinal hernias. These hernias occur in the groin area and are more common in female Cairn Terriers. The exact cause of this breed’s increased susceptibility to inguinal hernias is not fully understood, but it is believed to have a genetic component.
- Basenji: Basenjis are known to have a higher incidence of umbilical hernias. These hernias are often present at birth and may require surgical repair. Breeders typically screen Basenjis for umbilical hernias and make informed breeding decisions to reduce the risk in future generations.
- Chinese Shar-Pei: Chinese Shar-Peis can be prone to developing a specific type of hernia called a perineal hernia. This type of hernia occurs in the pelvic area and is more common in male dogs. Perineal hernias in Shar-Peis can be attributed to genetic factors, anatomical predisposition, and hormonal influences.
- Beagle: Beagles are occasionally seen with inguinal hernias. These hernias occur in the groin area and are more common in intact (unneutered) female Beagles. The risk of inguinal hernias can be minimized by spaying female Beagles at an appropriate age.
How serious is an umbilical cord hernia with a puppy?
Umbilical hernias in puppies are not harmful, but they should be monitored to ensure they do not worsen.
So, I hope this alleviated any concerns you may have had about getting a puppy with an umbilical hernia. If anything, I was able to give you some advice on how to deal with your buddy’s condition for the present and the future.