What should I do about my dog’s hernia?

Original Question: Hi I am from Azerbaijan. My dog has a little umbilical hernia but in these past 2 days I see that the hernia is becoming a bit big and it is looking like a stone. I took my dog to veterinarian and he wrote a cream named by ichtiol and said that it will clean the hernia but I am worried about my dog. What should I do? -

What should I do about my dog’s hernia? May 3, 2018

Hi there,

Thanks for your question.

The technical term for this is an umbilical hernia. It is an inherited deformation where the abdominal wall does not fully close during development and a hole in the muscle layer remains. As a result, abdominal contents, such as fat and possibly organs, can push through the hole and appear as a lump under the skin. If you can push the lump or abdominal contents back into the abdomen, then it is considered a ‘reducible hernia’. If the contents cannot be returned, then it is called a ‘non-reducible hernia’. In the case of a non-reducible hernia, there is likely some scar tissue that has formed in the area causing the contents to anchor themselves to surrounding tissues and are therefore stuck.

Most pets will live a normal life with an umbilical hernia but there is a risk that very serious medical conditions could arise. The hernia could widen and a vital organ could pass through the hole and become strangulated, such as a loop of bowel. This is an absolute emergency and could be a fatal condition. For this reason, umbilical hernias are typically corrected with surgical closure when a spay or neuter is performed during a young age.

We have a very thorough video “General Info About Umbilical Hernias and Treatment for Puppies, Dogs & Cats” about this condition which I encourage you to take a look.

Best of luck,

Dr. Greenway

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