Jump to section

What is Perineal Hernia?

The pelvic floor supports the rectum and keeps the abdominal contents in their normal positions. When the muscular diaphragm is weakened, it may rupture, allowing organs to become entrapped in the hernia. Perineal hernias exhibit as a swelling adjacent to the rectum and most commonly occurs in older unneutered dogs.

Though a perineal hernia is not life-threatening in itself, it may require an emergency response if the bladder moves through the rupture, as this can obstruct urination If a loop of intestine is trapped in the hernia, this may lead to strangulation of the bowel and loss of blood supply.

A perineal hernia is a rupture in the pelvic floor, through which an organ may protrude into the region between the anus and the scrotum. This affects a dog’s ability to urinate and defecate and may be life-threatening if the bladder or intestine is involved.

Perineal Hernia Average Cost

From 173 quotes ranging from $1,500 - $5,000

Average Cost

$2,100

Symptoms of Perineal Hernia in Dogs

A perineal hernia is commonly detectable as a swelling beside or below the anus. Symptoms that arise from the swelling include:

  • Straining to urinate
  • Difficulty with bowel movements
  • Constipation
  • Change in tail carriage

Clinical signs of a perineal hernia may vary depending on the organs affected. Typically, these symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
arrow-up-icon

Top

Causes of Perineal Hernia in Dogs

A perineal hernia occurs when the muscular diaphragm of the pelvis weakens or fails, allowing organs to protrude into the area between the anus and the scrotum. Hernias are potentially caused by a variety of factors, including trauma, tumors, age, and congenitally. Though there is no known underlying cause for perineal hernias, the vast majority of cases occur in unneutered male dogs that are middle-aged or older, leading to the theory that male hormones or prostate enlargement weaken the pelvic floor. No strong correlation exists between breed and likelihood of the condition.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Diagnosis of Perineal Hernia in Dogs

Perineal hernias are easy to identify by digital rectal palpation. If your dog exhibits swelling around the anus, your veterinarian will ask for a history and conduct a thorough examination of the rectal region to differentiate the hernia from a tumor. Blood work and urinalysis may be required to develop a complete health profile, determine your dog’s ability to withstand treatment, and identify any concurrent diseases.

Though unnecessary in diagnosing the hernia itself, an x-ray or ultrasound can help define the hernia and determine its contents. Your veterinarian may recommend a prostate gland biopsy or an inspection of the testicles as part of the examination. If an enlarged prostate is discovered during any of these steps, additional tests may be necessary to locate the underlying cause and identify treatment.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Treatment of Perineal Hernia in Dogs

Treatment varies depending on the extent of herniation. Surgical repair and castration are standard, though non-surgical options are available for management.

Medical Management

For minor cases, medical treatment may be an option, though it does not cure the hernia or address the rupture. A combination of stool softeners, enemas, and a high fiber diet help relieve the strain of defecation, while the bladder can be decompressed with a catheter. However, this does not permanently control the disease or its symptoms, and your dog still runs the risk of having its bladder or colon trapped in the hernia.

Surgical Treatment

Surgery is usually the recommend treatment for a perineal hernia. The hernia contents will be moved back into their normal positions, and the pelvic diaphragm will be repaired. The colon and the bladder may be sutured to the abdominal wall during this process, helping stabilize those organs and prevent a reoccurrence. The pelvic diaphragm is typically reinforced with a local muscle flap or surgical mesh, completely closing the rupture. Castration is performed on intact males as part of this procedure to minimize hormones and reduce the size of the prostate, decreasing the chances of a future perineal hernia.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Recovery of Perineal Hernia in Dogs

Antibiotics will be prescribed to combat potential contamination that arises due to the location of the surgical site. Your veterinarian will likely prescribe painkillers to ease your dog’s discomfort, though you should also modify your dog’s diet and employ stool softeners to ease defecation during the healing process. This minimizes straining, which reduces pain while preventing too much stress from being applied to the reconstructed muscles.

The surgical area needs to be kept clean and dry, and you will need to limit your dog’s physical activity during this time. An Elizabethan collar may be necessary to keep your dog from licking or biting at the surgical site. The prognosis is good for most non-emergency cases, though your vet may recommend regular follow-up examinations to ensure that the repair is healing properly and that the possibility of recurrence is low.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Cost of Perineal Hernia in Dogs

Stool softeners for dogs are usually $15 for 40 soft chews. Consult your veterinarian before trying human stool softeners on your dog. Enemas ($4 for a 4 pack) are another option. Changing your dog’s food to a high fiber diet will also help your dog’s condition and overall health. These special dog foods sell for $35 to $40 per 30lb bag. These options will not cure your dog’s perineal hernia, but rather relieve the strain and discomfort your dog is feeling. Surgery is usually the only option to cure a perineal hernia. Surgery can be used to move the hernia back into normal position and to repair the pelvic diaphragm. This surgery can cost $1,500 or more. The veterinarian may decide to castrate your dog (intact males only, obviously) which reduces the size of the prostate and decreases the chances of the hernia reoccurring. This can cost an additional $170 to $200.

arrow-up-icon

Top

*Wag! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Items are sold by the retailer, not Wag!.

Perineal Hernia Average Cost

From 173 quotes ranging from $1,500 - $5,000

Average Cost

$2,100

arrow-up-icon

Top

Perineal Hernia Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

question-icon-cta

Ask a Vet

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Beagle

dog-age-icon

Eight Years

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

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Painful Urination

I was told to put him down can i help him make it with home remedie

July 15, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question.' There are no home remedies, unfortunately, for a perineal hernia. It would be best to trust the advice of your veterinarian, as they can see his quality of life and know if he is going to be able to get better. If you are not sure, you can always get a second opinion from another veterinarian, as they may have something that you can try to help. I am sorry that this is happening with your dog.

July 15, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Wilma

dog-breed-icon

shepard

dog-age-icon

15 Years

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

Moderate severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Licking At Genitals
Loss Of Appitite
Perineal Painful To The Touch
Cries Out While Excreting Waste
Cries Out While Poo/Urine

I have a nearly 15yr old Shepard mix female. I have taken her to the vet twice with no resolve (3rd tomorrow). Her perineal area is painful to the touch, she cries out while pooping or peeing, and she now walks with her tail down. Her poop varies from medium hard to soft, I noticed a little mucusy blood within it tonight. She acts as if she is training while defecating and farts during urination, I've felt around the abdomen,no pain, appears normal to me. One Vet thought she might have a UTI and prescribed Clavamox 250, 1/12hrs. Its been a week and there's been no change in my little girl.

June 28, 2018

Wilma's Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

1611 Recommendations

Wilma may have fistulas, as those are somewhat common in GSD's, and can be very painful. They are typically quite obvious and very inflamed, and should be readily seen by your veterinarian. Without seeing her, I can't examine her or determine what might be happening, but if your veterinarian isn't able to help her, a second opinion may be a good idea.

June 28, 2018

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Raph

dog-breed-icon

Rottweiler

dog-age-icon

8 Years

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

Moderate severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Weakness

hi my dog is 8 year old rottweiler . recently he was not able to pass urine and vet doc near my place asked us to take dog for surgery due to perineal hernia obstructing the bladder. They did two procedures on both sides in two different days. the first suture healed. the second surgery suture is giving away. the dog is on complete bed rest with just liquids and rice. the doc has already done twice suturing but it has given away again. i am concerned. is this normal. why is the suture giving away again and again? we are giving laxatives with milk as his diet with everyday dressing to suture area, still why is the suture giving away? he is tied down and always sleeping. i feel my dog is in pain and not i feel sad looking at him like this. i am not happy with my vet doc who are taking care of him. what to do.. please help me to take care of him vijetha India

May 26, 2018

Raph's Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

1611 Recommendations

Without being able to see Raph, or look at the suture sites, I'm not sure why this is happening to him, whether it is infection, a problem with his skin, or a problem with the surgery. If you are able to get a second opinion from another veterinarian, it may help to explain what is happening, and get any treatment for pain or infection that he may need. I hope that he is okay.

May 26, 2018

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Poopie

dog-breed-icon

Maltese

dog-age-icon

9 Years

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

Serious severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Swelling
Constipation
Perineal Hernia

Our 9 year old maltese was diagnosed with a perineal hernia last night at the emergency vet. We had previously been told that he had cancerous pollups but after last night we found out that this is not the case. When we took him in his anus was swollen to the size of a baseball. He has been having problems defecating for the past few months and has been taking stool softeners regularly. After further examination they found out that it was his bladder that was being pushed outwards. They were able to push the bladder back to where it is supposed to be for now. They also discovered that his urethra is abnormally small which causes him to strain even harder to urinate. The emergency vet is recommending that we have the surgery or put him to sleep in the next day or two. Aside from the surgery being very expensive we have some concerns about the procedure itself and the life expectancy and quality of life afterwards. The emergency vet keeps telling us that there is only a 40% survival rate with this surgery as it is very invasive. We have not been told a whole lot about how his life would be if the procedure went well. How his recovery time would be and the possibility of going back to the spunky, energetic dog he was before. Any answers are greatly appreciated.

May 15, 2018

Poopie's Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

1611 Recommendations

If the procedure goes well, he should be markedly improved, as the hernia will be closed and his organs will stay inside his body where they belong. There are risks with the surgery, and those depend on the degree of the hernia and Poopie's health status otherwise, but if his bladder is herniating outside of his body wall, that is not a compatible condition with long term life, and surgery may be his only option. It would be best to discuss the details of his surgery and recovery with your veterinarian. I hope that all goes well for him.

May 15, 2018

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Bella

dog-breed-icon

Yorkie

dog-age-icon

11 Years

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

Fair severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

My 11 y/o female Yorkshire terrier had a bilateral perineal hernia repair almost 3 weeks ago by a Board certified surgeon. Today, I notice a bulge again on her left anal area when he barked but went inside right after. Is this a normal occurrence during healing process or a failed surgery? Please advised.

Oct. 23, 2017

Bella's Owner

answer-icon

recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

Perineal hernias have a recurrence rate of around 10% to 15% as stated on the American College of Veterinary Surgeons website page on the subject; if you are noticing a bulge you should return to the Specialist for a check of the site to make sure that there isn’t anything to be immediately concerned with. It is important that Bella is on stool softeners and isn’t straining whilst defecating. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.acvs.org/small-animal/perineal-hernias

Oct. 23, 2017

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Kenai

dog-breed-icon

Australian Sheperd

dog-age-icon

15 Years

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

Serious severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Perineal Hernia

Our 16 year old Australian Shepherd, Kenai has a perineal hernia. For about two years he's been on a stool softener (Lactulose) and daily walks (which seemed to keep his system moving) These steps helped reducing the problem to the occasional blockage / straining period. This is typically resolved with a 24 hour milk and lactulose diet. Over the last 6 months, the results of a pinched nerve in his back, he's gradually lost the use of his rear hind left leg and the muscle has atrophied considerably. Now the hernia has enlarged and protrudes out about the size of a baseball (at times). Two vet's believe the hernia surgery will be difficult because of his age and the lost muscle mass, another vet, who charged me $1600 to do her own exams, suggested euthanasia (which I won't discuss my opinion in this note). Next week he's off to see a forth specialist for an MRI and neuro exam, to understand the back pain problems, muscle mass, and survivor-ability of one or both surgeries. But, there is some good news. Over the past few weeks I'm been putting gentle pressure on the hernia lump and able to gradually get it to go back inside (his PT vet showed me this). He's become comfortable with me doing this. He's also switched to a 50% mixture of Purina HA (prescription) and his standard frozen whitefish & salmon food (Northwest Natural), The new fiber with the lactose has his stool a bit more solid, and I've found when he goes to poop, I can steady him (with the bad leg) and apply the same pressure and he has better poops then he's had in years. He's also able to go on his own because he's not blocked so I only have to do this every couple of days. My question... Is this normal? Should I abandoned the surgery idea, or maybe focus only on seeing what can be done to help him with the pinched nerve in his back? He's an amazing dog, still loving and good spirited, and doesn't seem to be in pain (though he likes to sleep more then he use to).

dog-name-icon

Rufus

dog-breed-icon

Dachshund

dog-age-icon

14 Years

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

Fair severity

thumbs-up-icon

1 found helpful

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

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting
Perineal

My 14 y.o. male dachshund just threw up and I noticed a mass to the left of his anus. It must’ve just popped up within 15 minutes. I’m suspecting a perineal hernia... since it showed up in such an acute manner, should I take him to the emergency very clinic? Or would I be okay to wait until the morning. It’s currently 00:44.

dog-name-icon

Tarzan

dog-breed-icon

Beagle

dog-age-icon

5 Years

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

Fair severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Muscle Tremors
Poor Appetite
Straining To Defecate
Constipation
Poor Stool Control

My dog, 5 years old and un-neutered, has been having difficulties pooping the last 2 days although he has continued to pee normally. He attempts to poop every time we walk but he ends up straining himself and not wanting to go any further. He used to go look for his food and eat it when served, but now we either must feed him, even then he’ll refuse it sometimes, or he’ll go hours before searching for food himself. He drinks water still but not as much as he used to and it’s worrying. He has a lump on the right side of him butt and so his anus has shifted leftward. It seems most likely to be a hernia. He has also taken a tendency to have full body muscle twitches throughout the day, even when he is not asleep. I am honestly worried and scared for him. What should I do?

dog-name-icon

Pickle

dog-breed-icon

Jack Russell Terrier

dog-age-icon

20 Months

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

Mild severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Puss

My young male intact dog has been told he has a Perineal Hernia. We noticed swelling on the side of his anal area and puss came out (of the swelling area - not anus) when pressed. He has been given antibiotics and anti-inflamatories to help with the swelling. We think it looks alot better, and haven't noticed him have any issues with pooing. He eats fresh minced meat (kangaroo) and Blackhawk pellets (I'm in Australia). My concern is the vet wants to castrate him, give him an ultrasound to look at the hernia, take a biobsy of a suspected absyss etc. Vet says the anal wall has minimal muscle and is almost bone. We would like to breed from him eventually. Just looking for a second opinion. Would prefer to medicate the symptoms as long as possible rather than castration.

Perineal Hernia Average Cost

From 173 quotes ranging from $1,500 - $5,000

Average Cost

$2,100