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View Full Version : Puppy Hernias... Common?



JessieAndMe
14th October 2011, 02:59 AM
Our little boy has a hernia.
We bought him from what you probably call, a backyard breeder. Lovely couple.

When we first brought him home at just over 7 weeks old, we noticed he had a soft pink spot on his belly, barely raised. We weren't really concerned as it wasn't mentioned to us (I think they assumed that it wouldn't develop and simply go away). He's now 12 weeks and it has become noticeably bigger and when he is bloated it can pop out by half an inch, easily. He isn't in any pain, as that was our first concern.

The vet mentioned to us that it is hereditary, and one of his parents would have had the same condition and went on to discuss that
any puppy with that condition, should be desexed (not that we were considering breeding). She also added that this is one of the
many reasons why you should only purchase from a registered breeder, to stamp out these conditions.

If you've had a similar experience, would love to hear your thoughts.

Nana26
14th October 2011, 03:17 AM
My Vet told me it's common in the breed. Can be hereditary or caused by mom being a little aggressive cleaning the umbilical cord

Eleanor
14th October 2011, 03:29 AM
The vet mentioned to us that it is hereditary, and one of his parents would have had the same condition and went on to discuss that any puppy with that condition, should be desexed (not that we were considering breeding). She also added that this is one of the many reasons why you should only purchase from a registered breeder, to stamp out these conditions.

My female pup had one, too, when we got her at 8 weeks. I didn't know that it is considered hereditary, but our vet did say it is common in many breeds. Our breeder, a registered and very reputable breeder (she does all of the recommended health testing), did not mention it when we got her, but on our first visit to the vet, the doctor pointed it out. We were alarmed but the vet wasn't and said we should only worry if it started to bother her or if it stayed raised or hardened (rather than the light pink, easy push-in 'button') and that it would be removed when we spayed her (which we decided we'd do before getting her as we are definitely not in the position to become breeders!). It was a slightly more complex and expensive surgery when she was spayed, but they removed it no problem and she was fine after and there is no risk of it becoming a problem later (they explained some nasty sounding ailment whereby intestines can poke out).

Hope that helps a bit!

JessieAndMe
14th October 2011, 04:27 AM
Thanks for your replies.

I did some research Nana26, before our first vet appointment and found the same thing, with his mum not being so gentle with the cord,
but the vet ruled that out and said his was hereditary from either parent, not sure how they can tell. Have any of your little ones needed to have one removed?

Eleanor, did your little girls hernia get bigger before it was removed? I'll be speaking to our vet about it later this afternoon, as Jessie
has a booster vaccination. She did suggest that some hernias, the intestine can rest behind it, but he isn't in any pain and is still eating like a little horse. We still have to wait for quite a few weeks before he can safely have both procedures.

It's probably just unnecessary worry on my part.

Nana26
14th October 2011, 05:30 AM
Thanks for your replies.

I did some research Nana26, before our first vet appointment and found the same thing, with his mum not being so gentle with the cord,
but the vet ruled that out and said his was hereditary from either parent, not sure how they can tell. Have any of your little ones needed to have one removed?
part.

No none of ours have had a hernia but I've seen a couple of puppy's with them so I discussed it with our vet.

Eleanor
14th October 2011, 05:37 AM
Eleanor, did your little girls hernia get bigger before it was removed? I'll be speaking to our vet about it later this afternoon, as Jessie
has a booster vaccination. She did suggest that some hernias, the intestine can rest behind it, but he isn't in any pain and is still eating like a little horse. We still have to wait for quite a few weeks before he can safely have both procedures.

It's probably just unnecessary worry on my part.

It stayed about the same diameter but it did seem to get a bit longer as she grew. She was spayed at 6 months so it may have just been growing with her. Some days it also seemed to stick out further than others depending on if her belly was rock hard with food or not. It's probably a great sign that his appetite is the same and he doesn't seem to be in pain. I definitely did some unnecessary worrying, too, but I don't think that can be helped!

BrooklynMom
14th October 2011, 06:28 AM
Don't worry at all, this is totally normal. Brooklyn has one too, they just removed it when she was spayed and I don't think she even knew the difference. Best to just get it removed when spayed.

A lot of cavaliers have them. If you do a search on Cavalier Talk (in the upper right corner) for "umbilical hernia" you will find lots of stories :) but lots of us have been there so don't fret at all!

ByFloSin
14th October 2011, 09:42 AM
When I bred Cavaliers most of the pups from my foundation pair had these umbilical hernias. None of the pups ever had a problem with them.

Winston Alexander, now 5 1.2 years old, has the most enormous U.H. I have ever seen. I have to be careful of it when I comb him, but it has never given him the slightest problem. I talked to the vet about it when he was a pup, because it was so large, but he said I would be wasting his time and my money if I insisted on removing it.

Mindysmom
14th October 2011, 01:24 PM
Rylie had a hernia. His breeder did point it out to us. Our vet wasn't worried. It seemed to grow as he did which alarmed me a bit but the vet said it was small and nothing to worry about having fixed until I was ready to have him neutered (when he was a year old). He went on to describe a massive hernia on a tiny kitten that they weren't able to wait to fix. He may have been fine without having the repair but getting him neutered was never a question - it was just a matter of when.

Brian M
14th October 2011, 01:59 PM
Hi

Both Rosie and Lily had hernias but when they were spayed the vet just made a slightly
longer incison and popped it back in ,no problem at all.

StillPooh
14th October 2011, 11:58 PM
Our little boy has a hernia.
We bought him from what you probably call, a backyard breeder. Lovely couple.

When we first brought him home at just over 7 weeks old, we noticed he had a soft pink spot on his belly, barely raised. We weren't really concerned as it wasn't mentioned to us (I think they assumed that it wouldn't develop and simply go away). He's now 12 weeks and it has become noticeably bigger and when he is bloated it can pop out by half an inch, easily. He isn't in any pain, as that was our first concern.

The vet mentioned to us that it is hereditary, and one of his parents would have had the same condition and went on to discuss that
any puppy with that condition, should be desexed (not that we were considering breeding). She also added that this is one of the
many reasons why you should only purchase from a registered breeder, to stamp out these conditions.

If you've had a similar experience, would love to hear your thoughts.Umbilical hernias are very common in all breeds and have nothing to do with where you got your puppy. Most of them come from the dam tearing the cord too vigorously with her teeth. Oliver had one when we got him, and the vet examined him and said it could wait till we had him neutered to repair it. Well, he was neutered yesterday at the age of 7 months, but the hernia had disappeared on its own months earlier.

So long as your puppy's hernia can slide easily in and out with no pain or difficulty, you can wait to have his repaired. It might go away on its own (although my vet was surprised and said that is fairly unusual).

Karlin
15th October 2011, 12:16 AM
I don't think that is actually the case. I've never come across anyone who has had a puppy with one except cavalier and Charlie owners, in which they are indeed fairly common. And while tugging too hard at the cord can apparently cause them, they are likely to be primarily an inherited (potential) problem in the breed as they are a bit too common. A lot of breeders and breed clubs have info on hernias in the breed and note they are likely hereditary (they are also known to be at least in part hereditary in people too).

There's a lot of debate on how serious they are and I have read that 'conventional wisdom' used to be not to breed from affected dogs, but that is not necessarily the case now. Also -- it would be a pretty minor thing to remove a cavalier from a breeding programme for, given the health issues already in cavaliers that limit breeding choices of health focused breeders

And that's the main reason never to use a BYB/pet shop/puppy mill/want ads etc as a source of a cavalier puppy -- these types of poor quality breeders, no matter how nice, know little about the breed or its extensive health issues and most likely have never MRId dogs for the serious and widespread breed condition syringomyelia, or cardiologist tested hearts, much less followed the MVD and SM breeding protocols or tested for eye problems, DNA tested for episodic falling disease or curly coat/dry eye etc.

Most hernias fix themselves as the puppy grows but serious ones may need to be surgically fixed, usually done at the time a dog is neutered. It isn't really well understood why they occur or at such frequency in some breeds. :(

The vet is right in that at the very least, puppy buyers should look for national club registered breeders but that is only the barest minimum. The main thing is to find a breeder who breeds to limit risk of the breed's serious health issues that are unfortunately, more widespread than umbilical hernias (eg most cavaliers will eventually get MVD, half by only age 5; 3 in 4 will also get SM eventually, though at least far fewer dogs suffer pain with it).

There are a lot of reasons to neuter a dog but not to prevent umbilical hernias... however no one should consider breeding a cavalier without extensive understanding of the breed, knowledge of genetic issues, and doing all the required tests (MRIs, heart, eyes etc). If the dog's parents aren't all also tested then breeding protocol says a dog should never be bred before age 5 and only if clear for MVD etc at that age. Good breeders tend to require that pets be neutered and place the dogs on limited registration.

JessieAndMe
15th October 2011, 03:35 AM
Thank you all for your insight, it is greatly appreciated.

Oh no, I totally agree that it doesn't matter where the puppy has been purchased, if the mother isn't as gentle, it can obviously happen
to any litter. I think the vet was meaning that some are easily pushed back in and won't cause any dramas, but she believed that this was due to a hereditary condition. I'm just paraphrasing, as I really don't know much about the condition, only from the vet and your advice here.

He is having it removed though when going in for desexing and micro - chipping in a few weeks.
He had his final puppy booster yesterday and also needed to have one of his glands drained, which the vet said is a concern,
considering he is only 12 weeks.