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I have a chihuahua pomeranian cross in my care. He is nearly 4 yrs old. He was neutered at 1 year.

Afterwards during checkups, it was highlighted to the vet that the dog had an 'outty bellybutton.' The vet seemed somewhat embarrased that she hadnt noticed this during surgery or before at the pre-op check. The advice was to monitor it.

The dog gets anual checkups. He is exceptionally fluffy, so I often have to point out the lump to different vets. It has been unchanged all his adult life. It can not be pushed in and food doesnt alter its size, which is very constant. About thumbnail size, maybe 1cm diameter. Very smooth. Sort of squashy, but not by much. Anchored in position.

The vet says it is most likely 'fat,' and the hole in the adominal wall that originally caused it may actually have closed up. Leaving this painless, unchanging herniated lump on the outside.

The dog eats well and has a very active life. He is an ideal weight and in lovely condition. All the vets at the practice tell me just to monitor the lump, which is tricky as he is so fluffy.

He has no other health issues at all. My concern is that the internet is full of information on these hernias. But all advice is surgical closure in puppies, and none make mention of adult dogs.

Though Ive shown it to at least 2 different vets at the same surgery, their advice was the same. Monitor it. A friend tells me her beagle had one all his life, with no ill affects except it wasnt pretty. She said I was "lucky" my pup's fluff covered and protected the lump.I dont feel lucky!

I sure dont want my pup cut open if it can be avoided, but is the vetinary surgery being lax, or sensible, advising me to just observe for any sudden changes or digestive illness?

Does anyone else have an older dog with one of these hernias?
 

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We have a Malinois (2 years 3 months old) that has a umbilical hernia. The vet noticed it at her initial puppy examination. At the time, he said to just monitor it, he could fix it during her spay.

The first vet had since moved away. When we took her to a different vet for her annual exam at 1, the second vet said the same thing, just to monitor it. She said she could repair it during her spay (which we have no plan to do so yet), but she wouldn't put her under just to fix an umbilical hernia.

Her hernia is about the size of a nickel, is sort of squashy, and can't be pushed in. We have a pretty active lifestyle with our Malinois as well, both vets knew, but still didn't recommend repair.
 

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Umbilical hernias are only a problem if they are large enough to trap internal organs (such as intestines). So if the hernia is large enough I can push my index finger into the abdomen through it, that is too large for me. Those that cannot be 'depressed' at all are not in any need of intervention and can be totally ignored (even 'monitoring' it is unnecessary - they do not change in an adult).
 
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