Umbilical Hernia Surgery for Dogs

Umbilical hernia occurs when the contents of the abdomen extend beyond the tummy button. Umbilical hernia surgery represents one of the possible treatment options for this condition, but it is meant for very severe cases only. Usually, umbilical hernia will not pose a threat to your dog’s life.

Cases That Do Not Require Surgery

If the orifice does not exceed 2 cm in diameter, chances are that it will close on its own. Your dog does not need to go through a surgical intervention if umbilical hernia does not produce any symptoms. Additional factors that make surgery unnecessary are the constant dimensions of the hernia and the possibility to be pushed back into the abdomen.

When to Perform Umbilical Hernia Surgery

In most of the cases, canine umbilical hernia is inherited. If your dog has inherited this medical condition from one of his parents, it is best not to let him or her breed. In order to solve 2 problems at once, you are recommended to have your dog operated for umbilical hernia while he or she is neutered or spayed. This way, the veterinarian will make use of anesthesia once for both surgical interventions.

In older dogs, however, umbilical hernia represents a somehow more serious problem and should be taken care of as soon as it is noticed.

Description of the Surgical Procedure

Umbilical hernia surgery implies an incision that is done below the hernia. The protruding sack is pushed back, so the contents get to their normal position in the abdomen. One of the most important things the veterinarian needs to take care of while operating your dog is not to get the small intestine strangulated when suturing the muscles.

The aforementioned procedure is used when the orifice is still small. On the other hand, umbilical hernias of great dimensions may require the placement of a mesh over the orifice.

Risks of Umbilical Hernia Surgery

There are no risks that are characteristic only to this surgical intervention. Your dog will be exposed to risks that are generally associated to anesthesia and surgery. Bleeding and infection are 2 such risks that may occur when the incision is made. Anesthesia, on the other hand, may interact with over-the-counter medication that is given to your dog for another disease. If such an interaction takes place, respiratory problems may be noticed. Other risks that you need to take into consideration are the relapse of umbilical hernia and formation of scar tissue.

Post Operation Recovery

If performed at the same time as neutering or spaying, umbilical hernia surgery does not extend in any way the recovery period of such interventions. However, the dog should be allowed to rest whenever he wants, at least for a few days. Making effort is not recommended after the surgery. In addition, if the veterinarian prescribes any type of medication that needs to be administered after the surgery, make sure that you respect the dosage and the time intervals at which drugs are given. Such medication reduces considerably the recovery period and relieves the symptoms of any organs from the abdominal area that may have been affected by umbilical hernia.