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What is Inguinal Hernia?

Inguinal hernias can have varying severity, but all involve the enlargement of the inguinal canal and the risk of abdominal contents spilling out through the canal, or opening in the dog’s groin. Although not the sole cause, inguinal hernias are genetic conditions and are most commonly found in the Pekinese, Basset Hound, Cairn Terrier, Cocker Spaniel, Miniature Pinscher, Lhasa Apso, English Springer Spaniel, Collie, Bull Terrier, Australian Cattle Dog, Pomeranian, Maltese, West Highland Terrier and Basenji breeds.

The inguinal canal is an opening of the muscle wall in a dog’s groin, which exists in order for blood vessels and spermatic cord pass to the testicles in male dogs and for the vaginal process to pass through for female dogs. An inguinal hernia occurs when the opening of the inguinal canal widens, allowing abdominal contents to bulge out of or pass through.

Inguinal Hernia Average Cost

From 12 quotes ranging from $800 - $4,000

Average Cost

$2,300

Symptoms of Inguinal Hernia in Dogs

The most remarkable symptom of an inguinal hernia is the protrusion itself, which appears as swelling on one or both sides of a dog’s groin and can be exacerbated by certain activities such as standing, barking or straining. However, additional symptoms correlate with severity of the condition, and they include:

  • Noticeable pain
  • Warmth at the swollen site
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Malaise or depression
  • Frequent attempts at urination
  • Bloody urine
Types

</h6> Reducible

Typically smaller in size, a reducible inguinal hernia is one in which the protrusion is simply abdominal lining or fat and may safely be pushed back into the abdomen by a veterinarian. In the majority of cases, the only symptom displayed is swelling of the site itself.

Irreducible

An irreducible inguinal hernia is one in which part of one or more abdominal organs are protruding from the opening. If your dog exhibits symptoms beyond swelling at the site, it may be indicative of an irreducible hernia. This type of an inguinal hernia is more severe, as the affected organ(s) involved may become entrapped, compromising their function. In severe cases, blood flow may be completely cut-off from an organ, leading to tissue death. This is known as organ strangulation.

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Causes of Inguinal Hernia in Dogs

Inguinal hernias are both congenital, or present at birth, and acquired. While the majority of inguinal hernias are congenital, acquired inguinal hernias are caused by obesity, physical trauma, and pregnancy. Knowing if hernias run in your dog’s bloodline can help you identify a problem early.

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Diagnosis of Inguinal Hernia in Dogs

The veterinarian typically diagnoses inguinal hernias easily upon palpation of the groin area. In irreducible inguinal hernias, x-rays and/or ultrasounds are required in order to determine if there is any organ entrapment, so, the extent. Irreducible inguinal hernias commonly involve complications of the uterus, intestines or bladder.

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Treatment of Inguinal Hernia in Dogs

In rare cases, you and the veterinarian may decide not to treat very small, reducible inguinal hernias. However, this is unlikely, as trauma, pregnancy, activity and weight gain may exacerbate the opening and cause complications. In most cases, particularly with irreducible hernias, prompt surgery will be required. The veterinarian will remove any scar tissue that has formed at the site, push any entrapped organs back into the abdominal cavity, and use stitches to reduce the inguinal canal to its proper size.

It's vitally important that both diagnosis and treatment transpire swiftly, as untreated irreducible hernias can lead to strangulated organs, tissue death, and infection. In some strangulation cases, the dead or affected section of tissue may be removed, and the organ or intestine may be repaired with tissues. The success of this procedure depends heavily upon what tissue and how much tissue is affected.

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Recovery of Inguinal Hernia in Dogs

If your treatment did not involve surgery, it’s important to keep close tabs on the site for any changes. If you notice any changes or issues, investigate veterinary attention.

If your dog underwent inguinal hernia surgery, carefully follow the veterinarians' follow-up instructions to guarantee full recovery. Be sure to give your pet plenty of time and space to rest. Limit activity to letting your dog outside only to relieve itself. It will be tough, but do not allow your dog to run or jump for ten days to allow the wound time to heal. In the first few days post surgery, it's normal for your pet to experience sleepiness, lack of coordination, whimpering or crying, and coughing. Expect this behavior, but closely watch your pet for additional signs of stress or pain or the continuation of expected signs beyond four days.

Check the incision site daily for drainage and redness, as they are signs of infection, and you will need to see your veterinarian as soon as possible. If the incision doesn’t appear to be holding, or if any intestinal material protrudes through the incision, seek attention immediately. Careful feeding is very important the first few days after surgery, so monitor your dog while feeding small portions. In the case of vomiting, remove and withhold food for twenty-four hours and consult the veterinarian if your dog cannot hold down food after that period.

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Inguinal Hernia Average Cost

From 12 quotes ranging from $800 - $4,000

Average Cost

$2,300

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Inguinal Hernia Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Chihuahua

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6 weeks

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Unknown severity

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

None

My dog has 2 little lumps on the lower side bottom stomach . It doesn't hurt her and she acts normal but they're just large and never seen that before on a puppy

yesterday

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. The lamps you are describing in your in your puppy may be a normal part of her Anatomy, or she may have hernias or swellings that need attention. If she is eating and drinking normally otherwise, it may be something that you can ask your veterinarian at her next preventive care appointment. She will need vaccines soon, and at that appointment you can ask if the lumps are normal or if they are a problem. I hope that all goes well for her and she is healthy.

yesterday

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Jack Russell Terrier

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Three Years

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Unknown severity

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Unknown severity

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None

My dog has an inguinal hernia that has appeared since she gave birth two years ago, it hasn’t bothered her at all but now she’s pregnant and not sure how it’ll affect her. She’s completely fine, the hernia isn’t too severe either

July 21, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Gina U. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello Ideally inguinal hernia's should be repaired because basically it is an opening in the abdomen and vital organs can get trapped there. I recommend consulting with your veterinarian on the best option for your pet. Good luck.

July 21, 2020

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No Name Yet.

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Mini Bernedoodle

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8 Weeks

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Fair severity

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1 found helpful

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Small Hernia

I am about to purchase an 8 week old mini bernedoodle, but she has a small inguinal hernia. The vet says it may go on it's own, but the breeder has offered to fix the hernia before I purchase her. Is this something I should worry about? I want to make sure I cover all my bases before making the decision to purchase the dog. Is there any risk of the hernia reoccurring or are there any secondary effects from the surgery?

July 20, 2018

No Name Yet.'s Owner

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3320 Recommendations

Normally inguinal hernias have a low recurrence rate after surgery and there is little to be concerned about, normally these types of hernias don’t self resolve and I would certainly recommend having it corrected. I wouldn’t have any concerns about purchasing a dog with a repaired inguinal hernia. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 20, 2018

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Brooke

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cockerspaniel

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6 Years

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Mild severity

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Inguinal Hernia
Inguinal

I have. 5 year old cockerspaniel . We got her 2 years ago from another breeder who had gave us vet records to say she was clear of any health issues etc . Bred her and she developed a inguinal hernia . Lucky she failed to get pregnant and we had it repaired ASAP . Vet didn’t spay as she said she would be fine . We’ve just mated her again 3 weeks ago and what do you know ? The hernia is back again in the same spot .. what happens if she’s pregnant ?

July 15, 2018

Brooke's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Depending on the location and size of the hernia, pregnancy could be dangerous for Brooke, as that opening in the body wall could allow internal organs to exteriorize with increased pressure. I'm not sure how severe that hernia is, but it would be a very good idea to have your veterinarian look at it, and Brooke may not be a good candidate to breed if the hernia is recurring. Inguinal hernias can be difficult to repair, and sometimes need specialists to repair more serious hernias.

July 15, 2018

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Lucky

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miniature poodle

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13 Years

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Coughing
Constipation
Sleepy
Lack Of Appetite

I’m very concerned for my dog. He has a hernia right by his butt, it’s almost the size of a limon. I know it’s a hernia because I took him to the vet about a month ago and they did blood tests and X-rays on him and they said it was a hernia. I don’t know what to do because the vet told me the surgery would cost about 2,000 to 3,000 dollars to get it done and I don’t have that kind of money but I’m so scared for him and worried. They also told me if I get it done there’s a chance he might not make it through the surgery, but i still don’t want him in pain.. what is best to do, please help me... breaks my heart to think I’d maybe have to take him down.. :( help!!

May 11, 2018

Lucky's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Some dogs with perineal hernias can be managed with a change in diet and medication. I can't examine Lucky, so I don't have any way to know if that is possible for him, but it would be a good idea to discuss that with your veterinarian, or seek a second opinion if you are not sure. They will be able to look at the severity of his problem and discuss whether medical treatments are an option for him.

May 11, 2018

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Mia

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Chihuahua

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13 Years

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Fair severity

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Bump, Hernia

Hi there, my dog mia is really old but full of life and I noticed she had a lump in between her legs, she went to get some vaccines and the vet told me it could be a inguinal hernia, I’ve done research on it and I think it is but she hasn’t had any symptoms and it doesn’t seem to be bothering her at all, I can move it around a little but it’s about the size of a little bouncy ball, should I get surgery for her on it?

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Kingsman

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French Bulldog

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2 Years

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Fair severity

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Fair severity

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Inguinal Hernia

Hello, I have a French bulldog Male that’s about 2 yrs old. My vet just told me that he has an inguinal hernia. The vet mentioned that there’s different reasons why he got the hernia. We were intending on breeding him. How can I determine if this was inherited or caused by trauma? The vet mentioned I should neuter him just in case it was inherited and to refrain from passing along the defect.

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Holli

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French Bulldog

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9 Weeks

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Serious severity

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Bilateral Inguinal Hernias

Hi there, I am 10 days away from going to pick up my female french bulldog puppy from a breeder. I just found out that last week she had surgery for a Bilateral Inguinal Hernia. It is fixed now and the breeder says she is doing well. This gave me cause for concern, so I called a local vet here in Denver. She, after doing some research, advised me against buying the puppy because she may have a lot of health issues in the future, and she said in 10 years she has never seen this type of hernia in a small puppy. Thoughts? I am already in love with her from all of the pictures and videos - but I also am single and have a bit of a fixed income, so signing up to buy a dog who is going to have a lot of health problems may not be the smartest idea. Would love a second opinion.

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Nonya

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Doberman Pinscher

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5 Weeks

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Swelling

Just found out that my puppy has bilateral inguinal hernias. She's a European Doberman, 5 weeks old. Her breeder took her to the vet as soon as she noticed it. The note she sent me from her vet read, "The pup has bilateral inguinal hernias, mild, but L>>>R probably will resolve with age. Best guess is by 4 months. Plan: Recheck at every vaccine." Is it possible for an inguinal hernia to self resolve? I keep reading conflicting reports. She is currently showing no signs or symptoms of adverse effects regarding the hernia other than a small bleb that the breeder frequently checks and pushes back in. I plan on correcting/addressing her hernia complication when she is spayed.

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Cooper

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Boston Terrier

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13 Years

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Swelling
Inguinal Hernia
Old Age
Perineal Hernia
Trouble Using Bathroom

I am looking for advice for a dog with multiple hernias (Perineal and Inguinal). Cooper is my boyfriends older Boston terrier who he has owned for over 8 years. About 4 or 5 years ago Cooper developed a Inguinal hernia and a Perineal hernia that were diagnosed about two years ago with recommendation for surgery (to correct both), but with a large recovery time and a small success rate and a large cost my boyfriend decided to monitor his condition and manage on his own (This I did not agree with). I have been dating my boyfriend for a little less than a year, but I have known about the condition of the dog for a little while longer. The hernias do not seem to bother him (Pain wise), although the perineal hernia does not allow Cooper to pass feces on his own. We have to manually force the feces out when he tries to use the restroom, but that is not my main concern as it does not cause pain or discomfort to Cooper as long as he is able to pass feces on a regular basis. The Inguinal hernia is growing as we have just moved into a 3rd floor apartment and although my boyfriend is worried about surgery on such an old dog, I am concerned that the hernia is going to grow and eventually prove to be life threatening (if it isn't already). I have always been the type to believe that the best course of action is just to take the dog to the vet, have him assessed, and make a plan according to what they find, but my boyfriend doesn't agree, especially if it is surgery, since Cooper is getting old. I just have grown attached to the poor pup and want to make sure we are doing all we can for him. Thank you for any helpful advice.

Inguinal Hernia Average Cost

From 12 quotes ranging from $800 - $4,000

Average Cost

$2,300