Getting a new pup is a happy occasion, but if your pup has a disease, you might hesitate. Should I buy a puppy with an inguinal hernia? Let’s discuss this disease threadbare so that you can take a decision.
A hernia is quite common in puppies, and inguinal hernia is one of the five most common hernias to develop in dogs. While it is most common to develop in middle-aged female dogs when pregnant, it can also be congenital, which means several puppies are born with it.
Often when you want to buy a puppy from a breeder, you select a puppy when they are born and pick them up when they are eight to nine weeks of age.
If the puppy you have chosen has an inguinal hernia and the breeder came to know about it and informed you, then you may hesitate before picking them up. After all, should I buy a puppy with an inguinal hernia? Will it lead to complications later on, extra expense for me, and need extra time to care for?
This article will discuss in detail what inguinal hernia is, its severity, treatment, and recovery of puppies.
Should I Buy A Puppy With An Inguinal Hernia?
The practical answer to this question is yes, you can buy a puppy with an inguinal hernia as long as the breeder has gotten the puppy treated and it has recovered. However, buying a puppy with an inguinal hernia involves a lot of things that you need to process.
Firstly, you need to understand its type and severity. Having better knowledge about the issue will clarify why buying a puppy with an inguinal hernia is completely fine.
What Is Inguinal Hernia?
An inguinal hernia is a condition that a puppy may suffer from in which their abdominal contents spill through their inguinal ring or inguinal canal.
An inguinal canal is an opening in a puppy’s muscle wall, which opens in their groin area. When a puppy’s inguinal canal is enlarged, there is a risk of abdominal content opening in their groin area or protruding through the enlarged canal.
The Spermatic cords and blood vessels pass to the testicles in a male puppy through an opening in their muscle wall to their groin area, and the same exists in a female puppy for the passing of their vaginal process.
This opening is known as the inguinal canal. When this inguinal canal enlarges, then the abdominal content bulges out of it or passes through completely.
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Where Does It Occur?
An inguinal hernia occurs in the area where the inner fold of a puppy’s hind leg is attached to its body. This hernia can be of varying sizes, and depending on its size, it can be life-threatening if left untreated. If the hernia is large, it can trap some part of the uterus or bladder, and that can put your pup’s life in danger.
What Causes Inguinal Hernia?
While it can happen through trauma, the most common cause for inguinal hernia is genetic. It could happen to a puppy if their parents suffered from it before.
Some puppy breeds that are most prone to developing inguinal hernia are Maltese, Pomeranian, Bull Terrier, English Springer Spaniel, Cocker Spaniel, Cairn Lhasa Apso, Australian Cattle Dog, Basset Hound, Miniature Pinscher, Basenji, Pekinese, Collie, and West Highland Terrier.
The video below will help you understand Inguinal Hernia in puppies
Types Of Inguinal Hernia
Two types of inguinal hernia can develop in a puppy.
Reducible Inguinal Hernia
A reducible inguinal hernia is one in which the swollen part is only fat or the abdominal lining. These are small in size, are less severe, and the only symptom you will see is the swelling or lump in the groin area of a puppy.
Treating reducible inguinal hernia is simple. A vet can push the lump inside safely.
Irreducible Inguinal Hernia
When abdominal organs spill out of the inguinal canal opening, that is the case of an irreducible hernia. Apart from the obvious swelling in a puppy’s groin or hind legs, if they show other symptoms mentioned above, you need to get them checked as soon as possible as they may have an irreducible inguinal hernia.
It is a more severe case of inguinal hernia. The organs that are protruding out of the inguinal canal may get trapped and won’t be able to function correctly. In more severe cases, the organ may not have any blood supply, which can lead to the death of tissues meaning organ strangulation.
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How To Tell When A Puppy Has Inguinal Hernia
When a puppy has an inguinal hernia, you would be able to see a lump in the inside part of their hind legs or their groin area, and activities like standing or walking would make it worse. This protrusion is the main visible symptom of an inguinal hernia.
You can see swelling on either one or both sides of a dog’s groin. Some additional symptoms may occur if the condition is severe, and you need to watch out for them. Some of the symptoms are:
- The swollen area seems warm to the touch.
- The puppy is in noticeable pain
- Vomiting water or food.
- Lack of appetite
- Frequent attempts at urination
- Bloody urine
- Shortness of breath
- Numbness in the puppy’s legs
- If the puppy shows symptoms of depression
How Common Are Inguinal Hernia in Puppies
Inguinal hernia puppies are very common, and various causes can lead to a puppy developing an Inguinal Hernia. Some of them may have it at their birth, or some might develop it later on.
A puppy can have a congenital hernia or acquire it due to some trauma they might have gone through. Most of the time, it is a congenital inguinal hernia that you will find in a puppy.
Acquired Inguinal Hernia is more common in older dogs rather than puppies. Congenital hernia runs in a dog’s bloodline.
Talk to your breeder. If any of the puppy’s parents had an inguinal hernia, then a puppy can develop it later on. Knowing it beforehand will make you identify the inguinal hernia in your puppy early.
How To Diagnose Inguinal Hernia in Puppies
A veterinarian can diagnose whether a puppy has an inguinal hernia by feeling the swelling in the groin area using their hands. This method is suitable for diagnosing a reducible inguinal hernia.
In case of irreducible inguinal hernias, the vet might have to do ultrasound and x-rays to determine any organ entrapment. The irreducible hernia often involves the bladder, uterus, or intestines, and for determining the severity of the condition, an ultrasound or x-ray is necessary.
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Is It Possible To Treat Inguinal Hernia In Puppies?
Yes, it is possible to treat inguinal hernia in puppies. While the inguinal hernia seems like a severe health issue, most of the time, it is not, and it can be cured with proper treatment.
In sporadic cases, if the inguinal hernia is small and of reducible type, then you and your vet may decide not to treat it. However, beware as any trauma later on in a pup’s life may lead to enlargement of the opening, making the situation worse.
In the case of female puppies, if they get pregnant later on, that can also widen the inguinal canal.
How To Treat Inguinal Hernia in Puppies
When the vet has determined the type of inguinal hernia, they will be able to determine the treatment options for the puppy. If the case is of irreducible inguinal hernia, then the puppy would most likely require surgery and that too as soon as possible.
The surgery will involve a veterinarian removing any scar tissue formation at the site of the inguinal opening. They will also push the organs that may have been entrapped back to the abdominal cavity. To reduce the size of the inguinal opening to the proper size, the vet will use stitches.
The diagnosis of the inguinal hernia and its treatment should occur simultaneously as leaving an irreducible inguinal hernia untreated can cause health risks in a puppy. It can cause infection, organ strangulation, or the death of tissues.
If the inguinal hernia has progressed to such a stage, then depending on its severity, it might be possible for a vet to remove the dead tissues from the organ and repair it with tissues. However, how successful the procedure will ultimately depend on how much tissue is dead.
Recovery Period Of A Puppy With Inguinal Hernia
After the inguinal hernia repair surgery, you should follow the instruction of the vet for your puppy to have a full recovery.
Let the puppy rest and limit their activity. Puppies are very hyper and have a lot of energy, but it is essential not to let them play or jump while they are recovering from the surgery so that the wound can heal.
For the first few days, your puppy might show some sign of distress, but consult the veterinarian if it extends beyond that.
Check the site of surgery for any sign of infection and see the vet if there are any. If you see the incision opening or any organ spilling through the incision, consult the vet immediately. Feed a smaller portion to your puppy for a few days after the surgery, and they vomit the food, consult with the vet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it OK to buy a puppy with a hernia?
Yes, it is entirely okay to buy a puppy with a hernia. Most of the hernias in puppies are treatable. However, before buying a puppy with a hernia, ask the breeder to get them treated first. If your breeder has got the puppy treated and has recovered from the surgery or the treatment, then it is entirely okay to buy a puppy with a hernia.
How much does it cost to repair an inguinal hernia in a puppy?
The cost of repairing an inguinal hernia in a puppy depends upon the severity of the hernia. However, any treatment that involves a minor surgery for an inguinal hernia can cost somewhere around $150-$500.
Pet owners may have to spend up to $1000 to treat the inguinal hernia for more severe cases.
Can a puppy outgrow an inguinal hernia?
If the inguinal hernia is small, then it might be possible for a puppy to outgrow it. However, leaving an inguinal hernia untreated is not recommended, no matter how small it is. It can, later on, develop to a much larger size and cause complications for your puppy.
If a breeder told a potential buyer that the puppy has an inguinal hernia. Most of them would wonder- should I buy a puppy with an inguinal hernia. If the breeder has the inguinal hernia in the pup repaired and the puppy has recovered from the surgery, then there is no problem in buying that puppy. After the hernia has been fixed, it won’t be a problem.