Tag Archive for: hernia

Although it may not seem like it, dogs suffer from many of the ailments that humans experience. From a simple cold to osteoarthritis, through hernias. As in humans, those suffered by dogs can have varying severity. In addition, hernias in dogs can be of four types: inguinal, diaphragm, umbilical and disc.

In any of the four cases, it is very important to diagnose them correctly as soon as possible. In this way, the appropriate treatment can be applied to the animal to relieve its discomfort. To do this, the main thing is to understand what a hernia is, what it implies and the main types of hernias in dogs.

Hernia in dogs: main types

The hernias of dogs, like those of humans, are lumps and bumps product of the exit of tissue from some organ of its usual position. They are quite painful, and are usually noticeable because the animal has a lump where it should not. A lump that is painful to the touch on many occasions.

As we have mentioned, the main types of hernias in dogs are four. Of these, the two most common are umbilical and disc herniations . The first usually occur when the animal is very young, shortly after birth. They usually start when the mother of a puppy incorrectly cuts the umbilical cord that joins him to him. When this happens they do not have a navel left as it happens with humans. But it is noticeable in an area that there has been a union with the mother.

In that area, if a hernia has formed, there will be a lump. Do not try to push it into the animal, because it can be painful. The solution to this hernia, and in general to all, is a surgical intervention to eliminate it.

The second most common type of hernia in dogs is herniated disc. Generally, it has its origin in a fall or a blow, which cause a rupture or inflammation of the intervertebral discs of the dog’s spine . However, in older dogs it may simply be due to the deterioration of the discs.

This hernia, in addition to being very painful, can generate mobility problems for dogs. These will be greater the more advanced and severe the hernia. In many cases, the solution will be surgery, but since it involves certain risks, it is the veterinarian who will have to assess if it is worth it. Meanwhile, you can relieve their pain with painkillers and anti-inflammatories. And in case the hernia is very serious and mobility is impaired, you can help him recover it with an adaptable dog wheelchair .

Inguinal and abdominal hernias in dogs

The other two types of hernia in dogs are less common. But equally painful for the animal. They are inguinal hernias and diaphragm hernias. The first are formed in the inguinal canal, a duct located between the muscles of the abdomen.

These types of hernias, which have the appearance of a mass of tissues, can become quite large. Therefore, as soon as they are detected, it is advisable to eliminate them by surgery, and this will probably be indicated by the veterinarian.

As for hernias of the diaphragm, they can cause serious health problems to the affected dog. This hernia, which is usually internal, often develops into the dog’s body. This is dangerous, as it can displace your organs. And it makes that many times, its symptoms are completely different from those of the rest of hernias.

Among them, the dog may have shortness of breath and irregularity in the heartbeat. Also vomiting or diarrhea if it affects the stomach or intestine. In addition, you may notice strange movements in the dog’s abdomen. This type of hernia is quite serious, and must be intervened as soon as possible to correct it.

Ayudas ortopedicas para perros

New technical and orthopedic aids for dogs are used in a wide variety of cases. These increase the mobility of dogs by providing the necessary support to maintain daily activity. Dogs need to exercise to maintain their physical and emotional well-being. If a dog is unable to exercise, it can develop problems such as heart disease, obesity, bone alterations, muscle atrophy, and emotional problems such as aggression or anxiety.

Applicable cases

Technical aids can be used for sprains, muscle weakness, arthritis, hip dysplasia, post-operative rehabilitation, lameness, weakness or pain in the joints that end up generating a mobility problem. The technical aids should allow the dog to perform its daily activities, but they should also be comfortable and offer protection against irritations and ulcers on the dog’s skin so it is important that they are performed by specialists. We list the most frequent:


Protector de rodilla canina

Knee protectors are typically used after surgery for rehabilitation of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), patella dislocation, medial collateral ligament (MCL), lateral collateral ligament (LCL), or posterior cruciate ligaments (PCL). Knee pads provide support and stability, prevent muscle loss during the recovery period, and reduce the risk of further injury. Knee protectors are also often used in cases where surgery is not performed.

Tarsus and Carpus

Protector de tarsoSoporte para carpo







Tarsal protectors are indicated in cases of osteoarthritis but also for post-surgical rehabilitation or injury to the Achilles tendon, nerve damage to the hind limb or foot and rehabilitation of the hock joint. They can also be used as long-term support in non-surgical conditions. A tarsus or hock protector stabilizes the bone of the back leg, as well as the muscles and tendons of the limb and knee. It works similarly to a knee brace in humans, allowing the dog to move without straining the joint. It also prevents the dog from re-injuring the affected joint or ligaments.


Protector de codo canino

An elbow protector is used to support the elbow joint after surgery or to reduce pain from arthritis, degenerative joint diseases, or other similar conditions. It provides control in lateral movement while allowing for normal extension and flexion while treating and protecting hygromas and calluses.


Soporte de cadera caninoHip

A hip support holds and increases the temperature of the dog’s lower back and hip. Made of special neoprene, it surrounds the lower back, hip and upper leg and is fastened thanks to a Roman-type harness. Hip supports are commonly used for dogs with mild to moderate hip dysplasia and localized osteoarthritis.


Ortesis de codo canina

Medial shoulder instability (MSI) is one of the causes of lameness in the front legs. A special support would allow the shoulder to be supported, which would limit the extension, flexion and abduction, allowing the dog to support its weight. These aids can be used after surgery or as a non-surgical treatment but also preventively.

x-ray dog with fractures

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Disc herniation is a neurological disease that affects the spine, when part of the intervertebral disc presses on or enters the spinal cord.

The dog has 7 cervical vertebrae, 13 thoracic, 7 lumbar, 3 sacral and, depending on the breed, 20-23 tail vertebrae. The intervertebral discs act as shock absorbers between the vertebrae that make up the spine and at the same time give it its mobility.

Two types of hernia and their symptoms

It mainly differentiates between two types of disc herniation: Protrusion and Discus Extrusion.

We speak of a Protrusion when the intervertebral disc moves and thus presses on the spinal cord but the spinal cord tissue is intact. The dog shows pain, walks awkwardly, sometimes with a hunched back and may drag its legs a little.

Extrusion means that the disc tissue has ruptured and disc material has entered and damaged the medulla. In this case the symptoms can be similar to that of the Protrusion but more serious. Depending on the location of the hernia, it causes paralysis of the forelimbs and/or hindlimbs. The dog loses sensitivity in those extremities, which manifests itself in the absence of pain, does not stand up and begins to crawl. It may also look like incontinence.

The most important thing in these cases is the rapid diagnosis and intervention of the veterinarian!!

A slight Protrusion can be treated with medication and almost absolute rest, however an Extrusion has to be operated to remove the disc material from the marrow.

But beware – each case of disc herniation is different and depends a lot on its location, to what degree it has pressed or damaged the spinal cord and how long it has been between the first symptom and diagnosis. That is why it is very important to choose a good neurologist.

Physiotherapy – recovery

In both cases, physiotherapy is very important for a good and faster recovery of the animal.

Various massage methods help stimulate the peripheral system and increase blood circulation. Passive joint movement prevents loss of mobility in affected limbs. Electrotherapy stops muscle atrophy and is the only passive way to increase muscle mass.

When the dog is already standing, several active exercises are applied to improve stability, balance and coordination.

The owner must take great care with the feeding of his dog during recovery and consult the veterinarian, since the loss of mobility and the same amount of food lead to weight gain – something that should be avoided in any case. Every extra gram makes it more difficult for the dog to get up and walk again.

In the event of a cervical hernia, the use of a harness is recommended to avoid sudden movements in this area and also to raise the food and water bowls so that the dog does not have to bend down too much.

andrea klein

animal physiotherapist

Collaborator of Ortocanis.com