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Thread: Umbilical Hernia vs. Inguinal Hernia

  1. #1
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    Default Umbilical Hernia vs. Inguinal Hernia

    Newbie to the forum. Hi~!

    Is inguinal hernia as common as the umbilical? I've read many posts about the umbilical hernia and that it's not a big deal but there seems to be no posts about inguinal hernia.

    I have a 6 wk old puppy (picking up from breeder at 10 wks) and my breeder just informed me today that she developed inguinal hernia. She has a quite big bump on her stomach.

    I'm wondering if the inguinal hernia is rare (opposed to the umbilical) and perhaps more serious...

    Any input/knowledge is appreciated. Thanks!
    VERONICA
    Mom to our precious little girl "Gingerbread" born on 8/13/2006
    If there are no Cavaliers in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.

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    Hi. I believe the umbilical hernia is much more common, and usually doesn't need any treatment. i think that inguinal hernias usually do need to be treated because intestinal problems can result. Maybe the breeder could reduce the price of your puppy to compensate you for the cost of treatment? Umbilical hernia is definitely the most benign kind of hernia.

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    Thanks Judy. Our breeder said she would pay for whatever additional cost to get this problem fixed when we have her spayed by the vet (we were going to do that anyway). I'm actually so, so thankful that my breeder was honest with me about this before we brought our puppy home. That says a lot about her character and I feel "safe" with her now and perhaps for years to come. Finding a healthy, beautiful pup is one thing, but I feel very lucky to have found a breeder who values integrity and can help me when I need her (she lives only 1 hr away from my home, I'll bug her a lot ). But obviously I'm very worried about the hernia and almost freaked out to an extent...
    Anyways here's a picture of her.. You can see the bump on her stomach (right)... its a pretty big bump.. I mean she's still a small baby so maybe it looks even bigger. I'm just worried about the overall & future health of the baby. Does having inguinal hernia mean that the puppy is not healthy and prone to other diseases in the future?

    VERONICA
    Mom to our precious little girl "Gingerbread" born on 8/13/2006
    If there are no Cavaliers in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.

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    oh she is so cute. you must be in love. what's her name?
    There are people on these boards who have real knowledge about this subject. I don't. I've just heard that the umbilical hernia is the one that you don't have to worry about, unlike the others. I don't think an inguinal hernia means there's anything generally unhealthy about the puppy. I don't think it's related to anything else. I hope you can find out more information from knowledgeable people about what it means and what if anything you should do it about between now and when you get her spayed.
    she sure looks precious.

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    Thanks for your kind words Judy. Her name is "Ruby" and her long-registered name is "Land's End Ruby Tuesday". I felt iffy about using "Ruby"at first since it represents another color for CKCS, but I immediately thought of this red gem the moment I saw her and just had to go with it. She is so precious --I can't sleep at night thinking about how much fun we'll have when we finally bring her home! Just hope that this hernia thing will turn out to be not a no-worry issue... I was so worried about it today because I didn't know what it was exactly... I'm so glad to have found this forum though. Been reading threads here for a few hours and learning lotta info here about other people's lives with this wonderful breed.
    VERONICA
    Mom to our precious little girl "Gingerbread" born on 8/13/2006
    If there are no Cavaliers in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.

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    Actually most long time breeders say even inguinal hernias almost never need to be repaired and say to tell vets to leave them alone unless they are a serious risk. Interestingly this has been a current topic of discussion on one of the cavalier breeder lists and that is the recommendation of people who have been in the breed for decades.

    Hernias are really common in this particular breed -- some breeders will say some 30% of puppies have them. Vets unfamiliar with the breed tend to want to repair them (and even vets familiar with them!). Usually the vets will wait til the dog is spayed or neutered to see if this still needs doing, in their opinion. I was told by vets that both my males needed hernias repaired. The breeder told me the hernias were there and would be best left alone as they tend to close over. This happened in both cases, and in both cases too, the vets forgot to even mention 'repairing' them by the time of their neuters -- they just weren't that noticeable any more (Leo's was quite prominent).

    Just as a general point, what really distinguishes a good breeder will be if they cardiac test all their breeding stock, and showed you the certificates from a cardiologist for their clear hearts; and that this has been done for parents and hopefully, grandparents as well. The parents should have been at least two years old. And they should also have been tested for their eyes, hips and patellas too. And the breeder should have been open to discussing both mitral valve disease and syringomyelia, the two serious breed health issues, with a new owner. It's great to get a broader range of support and advice too but the above are the only things that truly matter.

    Also, I closed the duplicate thread posted to the health section so that there wouldn't be answers in two places, so people can keep their responses to this question over here.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

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    I would be concerned about an inguinal hernia. Especially if it just developed - that means it's patent and more "stuff" can slip through the hernia and out of the abdomen. (as opposed to closed and non-reduceable, so there's no risk of more slipping through.) It also depends what is in the hernia. Just fat?/ Or is there intestine or other organs?/ I would have a vet check it and see if they would recommend having it repaired sooner than later, because of the risk for intestines to slip through and lose blood supply and die.
    Hernias are usually hereditary, but doesn't necessarily represent anything else about the health of the dog. (i.e. doesn't mean the dog is otherwise unhealthy or more prone to future problems.)

    So, if it were me - I'd still get this ADORABLE little girl, but have the vvet look at it ASAP (meaning, NOW, before you get her) to make sure there's no risk of intestines slipping through and becoming a more serious problem.

    She's gorgeous, btw! Congrats!
    Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.
    --Roger Caras

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    Thank you for the info. I also got following responses from the people I inquired.

    From what I read it seems its pretty common. I just wanted to add another thing I saw that you might want to pass on to your breeder:
    As a note, umbilical hernias in puppies are a genetic or congenital defect in over 90% of the cases. The disorder is passed from generation to generation just like the color of the coat or the animal’s overall size. Very, very rarely are they caused by trauma or excessive pressures during whelping. Animals that have a hernia or had a surgical repair of a hernia should never be used for breeding. Additionally, those adults that produce puppies with this condition should not be bred again.


    An inguinal hernia is the result of abdominal organs, fat or tissue protruding through the inguinal ring. Inguinal hernias are presented as skin-covered bulges in the groin. They can be bilateral, involving both sides, or unilateral, involving only one side.
    Inguinal hernias are more common in females than males, but do occur in both sexes. As with umbilical hernias most inguinal hernias will shrink and disappear as the puppy grows, although you must keep an eye on the size of the hernia(s). Inguinal hernias can also occur in unspayed, middle-aged female dogs. This may occur as the result of stretching of abdominal tissue due to pregnancy, or atrophy of abdominal tissue and musculature due to advanced age.


    The breeder's taking the pup to vet this Thurs and I'll have more info.. Thanks for your kind words about my precious pup! She is so lovely and gorgeous
    VERONICA
    Mom to our precious little girl "Gingerbread" born on 8/13/2006
    If there are no Cavaliers in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RubyTuesday
    Thank you for the info. I also got following responses from the people I inquired.

    "...From what I read it seems its pretty common. I just wanted to add another thing I saw that you might want to pass on to your breeder:
    As a note, umbilical hernias in puppies are a genetic or congenital defect in over 90% of the cases. The disorder is passed from generation to generation just like the color of the coat or the animal’s overall size. Very, very rarely are they caused by trauma or excessive pressures during whelping...."
    Apparently there's some controversy or disagreement about this. I found the following Cavalier Health page published on the site of a community college by an English teacher who is Cavalier breeder(http://www.delta.edu/pahutchi/cavaliers.html)--on her health info webpage, she says that umbilical hernias are "usually" caused by birth trauma (cord too short). I would be interested to have the source of the info from which the writer you quote got their statistical generalizations--what was the source of their information?--in order to best evaluate it.
    The breeder linked above also says that inguinal hernias rarely go away without treatment. Here's the link to the health info page:
    http://www.delta.edu/pahutchi/health.html

    Animals that have a hernia or had a surgical repair of a hernia should never be used for breeding. Additionally, those adults that produce puppies with this condition should not be bred again.
    I'd like to hear more about the reasoning behind saying this. Is this person including the very common and harmless umbilicial hernias in this recommendation? If umbilical hernia is extremely common and it's harmless, it goes away on its own or causes no negative effectis, it doesn't usually require any treatment, it has no impact on being able to show and win championships, then what would be the value in not breeding those dogs?

    This is what i'd like to ask this person. I would want to point out that this would result in increasing the already dangerous and harmful inbreeding that shapes and creates the breed of cavalier king charles spaniels and would be certain to cause more genetic problems than it would fix--i would fear that umbilical hernia would be traded for more serious health problems caused by further restrictive pressure on the already small gene pool that has caused these sweethearts so much disease and suffering in the first place.

    I would want to ask whether this person would share my fear and caution about this--have they considered it? Or would they say I am misunderstanding the consequences of inbreeding and a narrowly restricted gene pool and that this would not be a concern? I'm just beginning to try to learn more about this. So far, I'm finding info suggesting that cavalier health problems are attributed to narrow breeding practices generally. I would not take what this person says on face value but would want to address these kinds of questions, maybe they know more about this subject that i would be interested in learning.

    I doubt there are reputable breeders who would follow the advice to never breed dogs with umbilical hernias however. so far, the discussion of this that i've heard by breeders (like Karlin, i just read a mail list discussion by breeders in the past couple of days, maybe it was the same discussion she refers to) has emphasized that umbiliical hernias are not a concern in this breed. One person said that "this is the one you don't have to worry about." That suggested to me that others, including inguinal, should be cause for greater concern. And Kendall's comments (Rory's mom) articulated what i had found on the web about this kind of hernia (Rory's mom is a vet in training at one of the best schools in the world ! ) which is that they should be investigated as to whether the intestines are protruding, and if so there's serious risks, requiring close monitoring and possibly urgent treatment.

    The breeder's taking the pup to vet this Thurs and I'll have more info.. Thanks for your kind words about my precious pup! She is so lovely and gorgeous
    That's great that she's getting it checked out. Ruby is beginning her life with the best of attention and love and appropriate concern. I know she's going to have a wonderful life.

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    I'm going with an opinion I've come to from three years on the main breeder list -- breeders say vets almost all say all hernias need repairing and will want to add this on the bill at the time of a spay/neuter. Breeders say they rarely need repairing, including inguinal hernias, but *some* inguinal hernias are a cause for concern. Not all and perhaps not most from what I gather from people who have produced lots of cavaliers over many years.

    I just think they are common, for whatever reason, in this breed. They are so common in this breed that I cannot see how they could be all due to birth trauma or the cord being cut too short -- certainly other breeds have considerably greater trauma in a typical birth than cavaliers or at least equal amounts -- and certainly cavalier breeders don't as a group all tend to cut cords shorter. My own breeder has been breeding since the 70s, and would be very experienced with cutting cords on puppy litters at this point, for example.

    Fixing hernias and pulling teeth are two areas where I tend to now wait rather than do what vets advise. Not least because my own vets told me Leo absolutely had to have two retained baby teeth pulled, and they forgot to do this during his neuter when it was scheduled. When I noticed a couple days later, they said not to worry, they were sure the teeth would come out anyway. And they did -- with the help of some chew toys. Less than two weeks later as a matter of fact. I had no intention anyway of putting him under again for two teeth.

    The vast majority of breeders I've heard on the subject of any type of hernia say all their vets tell them they need to be fixed, and they have almost never had to have one surgically corrected. In general they say if you can stick even a pinky into the opening on an inguinal hernia it probably needs to be fixed but I'd sure give the pup a fair time to have it repair itself. And I'd talk to the breeder to get his/her own opinion as this is one area where I think good breeders know their breed. And it's another reason to go to a good breeder in the first place as they can advise on such subjects.

    That said an inguinal hernia always needs to be watched carefully and if a vet you trust strongly advises treating it surgically, then follow that advice. I'd ask what is the most conservative approach that can be taken and if there's an age limit foir waiting for it to repair itself.

    I've heard that breeding animals that consistently produce hernias should be removed from breeding programmes but I wonder at the correctness of this as so many seem to produce it. Maybe if they consistently produce inguinal hernias...?
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

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