Diaphragmatic Hernia Average Cost

From 428 quotes ranging from $300 - 2,000

Average Cost

$800

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What is Diaphragmatic Hernia?

A feline with a diaphragmatic hernia will be reluctant to exercise due to the effort it takes to fill the crowded lungs with air and will present signs of breathing difficulties.

A diaphragmatic hernia in cats is a tear or rupture in the diaphragm. The diaphragm is the sheet of muscle that separates the abdomen from the chest cavity. If that sheet of muscle becomes torn, the organs from the bottom half of the cat’s body push through into the chest cavity. The stomach, intestines, or liver may push against the cat’s lungs, making breathing very difficult for the cat. In other cases, the intruding organs crowd the heart, causing rhythm and auscultation abnormalities.

Symptoms of Diaphragmatic Hernia in Cats

Symptoms of diaphragmatic hernia in cats depend on the severity and cause of the hernia. Classic clinical signs associated with diaphragmatic hernia include the following symptoms: 

  • Muffled heart sounds
  • Irregular lung sounds
  • Lethargy 
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Tachypnea (increased respiration) 
  • Dyspnea (shortness of breath) 
  • Pale mucous membranes
  • Labored breathing 
  • Abnormal heart rhythm

In felines with a mild case of herniation, the cat may display the previously listed clinical signs for a few days. Symptoms may then disappear as the condition stabilizes. As the herniated tissues still remain, the symptoms can reappear upon physical activity or stressful situations. Depending on the organs affected by the cat’s diaphragmatic hernia, the feline may also suffer from:

  • Coughing 
  • Weakness
  • Anorexia 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Abdominal distension 
  • Pneumothorax (air in the chest cavity) 
  • Hemothorax (blood in the chest cavity) 

Types

There are two types of diaphragmatic hernia in cats; congenital and traumatic diaphragmatic hernia. Although the term is synonymously used for both types, each should be considered separately, as the underlying causes differ greatly. 

Congenital

A congenital diaphragmatic hernia is present at birth likely caused by fetal development inside the womb. The most common type of congenital diaphragmatic hernia in cats is called peritoneal-pericardial diaphragmatic hernia (PPDH). 

Traumatic

A traumatic diaphragmatic hernia is caused by blunt force, tearing the diaphragm. 

Causes of Diaphragmatic Hernia in Cats

The cause of a congenital diaphragmatic hernia in cats is the result of an undeveloped fetal diaphragm. Although present at the time of birth, the clinical signs of a diaphragmatic hernia may not present themselves until the feline reaches 1-2 years of age. 

Traumatic diaphragmatic hernias in cats are caused by blunt force, rupturing, tearing or bruising the muscle of the diaphragm. Common examples of blunt force linked to diaphragmatic herniation in feline includes: 

  • Hard falls 
  • Abusive trauma 
  • Car accidents 

Diagnosis of Diaphragmatic Hernia in Cats

The diagnosis of diaphragmatic hernia in cats begins with careful physical examination conducted by the veterinarian. Your cat’s doctor will listen to her heart and lungs, tapping on the abdomen in addition to the chest for clinical signs suggestive of a herniated diaphragm. A definitive diagnosis will need to be made to prove the vet’s hypothesis, which is most commonly completed through x-rays of the chest and abdomen. Upon standardized radiography images, the images will reveal displaced abdominal organs and an irregularly shaped diaphragm if the feline does indeed have a herniated diaphragm. Your veterinarian may further his diagnostic examination by requesting a specialized x-ray that use dyes to highlight in intestine and stomach. Additionally, your cat’s doctor may request blood work from your cat, an electrocardiogram, fluid aspiration from the chest and perhaps a surgical exploration of the chest.

Treatment of Diaphragmatic Hernia in Cats

The only treatment available to cats with a diaphragmatic hernia is surgical repair, which should be performed once the cat is stable. To reach stabilization, the veterinary team may place the feline on oxygen therapy and intravenous fluids to restore hydration. If fluid on the lungs has been noted, a chest tap (thoracentesis) will likely take place to remove the crowding fluids off of the lungs and heart. The focus of the diaphragmatic hernia surgery itself entails repositioning the organs in their correct place and repairing the torn, or ruptured, diaphragm muscles. 

Recovery of Diaphragmatic Hernia in Cats

Your cat will require inpatient hospitalization following surgery in a time frame set by your veterinary care professional. Expect your feline to stay at least a day in the hospital as tubes are commonly placed in surgeries involving the chest cavity to avoid fluid accumulation. Pain management is the largest part of diaphragmatic hernia aftercare, so the doctor will likely administer pain drugs to the feline while she is in the hospital and send you home with a prescription. Once the feline is released, it is important for pet owners to restrict physical activity for a few days to prevent damage to the surgical site. Giving your cat a chance to rest will also speed up her healing time and make for a better recovery. 

Diaphragmatic Hernia Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Tig
house cat
1 Year
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Diagnosed during routine exam

Is £3800 too much to pay for a diaphragmatic hernia? We have just had to get our cat the surgery and they told us that the top end estimated price would be £2000 which we signed as ok but now a couple of days later they have somehow raised the price to £3800 which we find ridiculous.

Any information will be appreciated

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations

Prices in the UK are usually more reasonable than the US. Also, I am originally from the UK. Whilst price for surgery can vary depending on the cause, perioperative care and complications; this surgery in the UK would be reasonable at around £2,000 at a specialist practice. I did a quick check and I’ve added two links below. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
www.merialvetsite.com/sites/rowan/referral.pdf
www.animaltrust.org.uk/prices/

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Boo
domestic short hair
8 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Couldn’t move back legs

I had a cat that got hit by a car and we took him to an animal hospital. We were told he had the right side of his pelvis broken and his diaphragm pushed into his chest and they were pretty sure it ruptured. We were told to do surgery on just the diaphragm could be up to 5k and another 5k with the pelvis! With this information we were told from 2 different hospitals we ended up putting him down because of the cost:/ my question is, what are the chances of survival if we went with the surgery? And what are common cost of doing the surgery on a diaphragm that’s ruptured?

Read more at: https://wagwalking.com/cat/condition/diaphragmatic-hernia

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Any animal that has gone through that kind of trauma has a high risk for anesthetic complications, and a diaphragmatic hernia is a serious condition. I'm sorry that you lost your Boo that way, that is very sad, but it seems that may have been the kindest thing to do for him.

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Boomer
Maine Coon traits
7 Years
Mild condition
-1 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Vomit1x/wk-mo, Asthma w/ activity

Should a small congenital PPDH be repaired on a cat with Asthma whose Echo showed HCM and mild heart disease? No organs are visibly displaced via the hernia. I would be shocked to find a surgeon who WOULDN'T recommend surgery but I can't get more than a surgical consult recommendation from my Vet. I can't even afford a consult right now after the Vet bill but would like some peace of mind on whether this surgery is necessary at this time or even realistic with Boomer's other conditions. Is he more likely to die from the surgery or the PPDH? I've accepted he won't live more than 3-5 more years but I want to keep him around as long as possible if he's not suffering. If a surgery is realistic and can improve the quality of his life then I can start saving up for it or look for a charity to help.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. I wish that I could give you a recommendation one way or the other, but without seeing Boomer and knowing his specific situation, I really cannot. No surgeon will recommend surgery if it will endanger his life, or will not have a positive outcome from the surgery. It would be best to discuss this with your veterinarian, and let them know that the cost of the surgery is a concern. They will be able to give you a better idea as to whether Boomer will be able to live out his life with the hernia or whether it is a concern that should be addressed. If you do have the surgical consult, you can ask the surgeon the same question. They will not want to do a surgery that has a poor outcome, that's not what they enjoy. I hope that all goes well with him.

I had a cat that got hit by a car and we took him to animal hospital. We were told her had the right side of his pelvis broken and his diaphragm pushed into his chest and they were pretty sure it ruptured. We were told to do surgery on just the diaphragm could be up to 5k and another 5k with the pelvis! With this information we were told from 2 different hospitals we ended up putting him down:/ my question is, what are the chances of survival if we went with the surgery? And what are common cost of doing the surgery on a diaphragm that’s ruptured?

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Majique
Common
1 Year
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

broken femur
after surgery pain

Hello. I have a barely 1 years old female European cat who just had surgery for traumatic diaphragmatic hernia. She got the surgery in the first 24 hours after the trauma, after 1 day they sent her home saying everything went good and we are visiting once a day a different vet then the one who operated for daily medicine. The problem is she still has a broken femur to be operated in 2 weeks. I was told that at this point the pain she is experiencing is the biggest problem. Please give me any opinion on the case and advice how to take care of her. Thank you!

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
Without examining Majique and seeing x-rays I cannot fully weigh in, however pain will be a concern until the next surgery is performed; you should follow the instructions from your Veterinarian and ensure that Majique’s movement is restricted. I cannot really give you any practical advice as I don’t know the type of fracture or how your Veterinarian has stabilised it (cast, splint etc…). Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Chloe
Manx
14
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

When my cat breathes, the area that moves with her breath is by her mid-torso to her back legs. I have heard that cats are supposed to breath by their front legs. She is an old cat, and has always had a relatively short breath. However this year she went to the vet, and they found nothing wrong with her. But she doesn't move around much, possibly due to age, and is very sensitive to touch.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
Abdominal breathing is caused when an animal is unable to get a sufficient amount of air into the lungs, conditions like respiratory infections, heart failure and cancer may all cause abdominal breathing. If you are seeing this symptom, you should visit your Veterinarian again to check Chloe over as symptoms of heart failure (for example) can have a fast onset. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Cosmo
RagdollX
11 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Medication Used

none

Our 11 month old male desexed 2 days ago was found to have a hernia in his diaphragm. The intestines are wrapped around his heart. Two days later he has almost reverted to his old self. Cat normal is everywhere. He has always been a quiet cat and plays chasing balls now and then. His respirations are still rapid but his oral colour is good. Eating and drinking. We are unsure about the surgical approach right now. If we do not do the surgery what may we expect and over what time frame. We realised he won't live to be an old cat but what time frame are we looking at?
Thank you so much

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Diaphragmatic hernias can behave variably - some animals will die very quickly from respiratory complications, while others will live almost normal lives. It would be best to ask your veterinarian what to expect for Cosmo, given the severity of his disease. I hope that he is okay!

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MICKEY
Shorthair
3 Years
Critical condition
0 found helpful
Critical condition

Has Symptoms

Difficulty Breathing

I just had to put my cat down due to a diaphragmatic hernia. At the ER x-rays were taken and showed no broken bones, no internal bleeding, no sign of any force blunt trauma....I'm curious how this happened. He was 3 and very active outside about 12 hrs a day....

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
Cases of diaphragmatic hernia may be either congenital (from birth) or from trauma (not always visible signs of trauma); some cats (and other animals) may live their whole lives with a diaphragmatic hernia without any symptoms whilst others will present with symptoms. I cannot say for certain what the specific cause of the diaphragmatic hernia was unfortunately. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Sasha
American Short Hair
6 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Breathing Difficulty

My cat intestines are in one lung if I'm correct she is due for surgery may 1st.she seems fine I checked her for breathing found out late Jan.
They say she has a 50 50 chance
I would like to know that I'm doing what's right for her life she is a indoor cat don't know the cause. She is about 6 and I've had her since Palm size maybe 4 weeks
Also I don't want her life cut if I do this they say she is compromised either way. I'm 25 had her since 18 one-day she my only little baby

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Surgery is definitely the best option for Sasha, as she may not be able to live with a diaphragmatic hernia that is compromising her lung function. Without being able to examine her or see her x-rays, it is difficult to comment on whether you should do the surgery, but it is the only way to fix that problem, and your veterinarian will be able to discuss more with you whether it is the right thing to do for her. She is a young cat, and if the surgery goes well, she should be able to continue on with a normal life.

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Cloud
DOMESTIC
5 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Lethargy

Clouds X-rays show his spleen completely wears around his heart. This question won’t allow me to attach a picture, otherwise I’d give it. He acts fairly normal and isn’t in any obvious pain. His breathing isn’t consistent fast. But the vet told me he’d need surgery immediately. I can’t afford the surgery (she told me total costs including recover would be close to $7000). Is there a way to know his life expectancy? It’s been 5 days since the X-ray was taken. I don’t want to put him down before I absolutely have to. Is it possible he could live for another year or so?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
Diaphragmatic hernias may vary widely from case to case, the x-ray would confirm the presence of the hernia but it is the symptoms which are presenting which determine the overall urgency for surgical correction. Life expectancy also varies widely, sometimes a cat may be perfectly normal with a severe hernia whilst a relatively small hernia is showing life threatening symptoms. If Cloud is showing symptoms, surgical correction is needed; if price is a concern, you should think about reaching out to a charity or other organisation for help similar like the one below in the first link. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.helpinghandsvetva.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/HHV-1700-4-17-Price-Guide_nobleedcurrent-5-2018_aside-from-dates.pdf www.dogingtonpost.com/need-help-with-vet-bills-or-pet-food-there-are-resources-available/

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Tang
domestic medium hair
2 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Lethargy

Medication Used

none

I took my cat Tang to the vet today and found out he has a diaphragmatic hernia. I asked the vet I saw what he thought I should do in regards of putting him down because I cannot afford the surgery, and he told me that as long as eating and using the restroom I should let him live.. but if he is in pain (he doesn’t show any signs of being in pain, but all he does is lay around unless he’s eating or pottying), I don’t want to make him live in pain, but if he can live with this then I don’t want to put him down. I’m so heart broken, any advice would be appreciated

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
In this case I would try to find a charity clinic or an animal nonprofit which may be able to assist you with some or all of the cost of the surgery; it is impossible for me to say whether Tang is in pain, but you should try to see if you can get the surgery done somehow. Whilst it may not be critical now, it may develop into something more serious given time. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Chester
Norwegian Forest
14 Weeks
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Rapid breathing

My 3.5 month old kitten had a surgery two weeks ago after being diagnosed with diaphragmatic hernia which caused him to breathe at a rate of 100 breaths per minute. He's been eating well, using the toilet and playful, but his breathing is still between 50-70. Is this something I should be worried about or will it take time to adjust? Thank you.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
A respiratory rate between 50-70 breaths per minute is a concern and may be due to a few different factors including pain, but there is a concern that the increased respiration rate is due to a lack of oxygen in the blood. I would recommend you visit your Veterinarian for check up to make sure that there is adequate oxygen saturation and that Chester is not in distress. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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No name
DOMESTIC
3 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

I’ve been taking care of a street cat in Greece who was attacked by dogs almost 2 weeks ago. The local vet did x-rays and said she has a puncture in her diaphragm but surgery isn’t necessary. They wrapped her up and she’s been on antibiotics; first injections for 7 days and now on the last day of an oral cycle. I’d like to know how long will it take for the cat to heal and if we should insist on surgery or not.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Typically, diaphragmatic hernias do require surgery, but the surgery can have risks associated with it. Without seeing her, I can't comment on how she is doing physically or how long her healing process should take. Those are great questions to follow up with your veterinarian about, as they know more details about her specific situation. I hope that she does well.

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