Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Inguinal hernia

Contributor(s): Rachel Burrow, Kyle Mathews, James Simpson

Introduction

  • Rare.
  • Mostly seen as accquired hernias in females, it is usually acquired in middle-age, particularly after pregnancy. May also occur after trauma causing abdominal compression.
  • In males it occurs as a congenital condition. It has been seen in dogs that also have a umbilical hernia.
  • Cause: pathologically enlarged inguinal canal, delineated by the internal abdominal oblique muscle externally and the rectus and internal abdominal oblique muscles internally.
  • Signs: a soft, doughy or large firm inguinal swelling with or without other evidence of abdominal visceral abnormality. May contain uterus, bladder, omentum or intestine and presents as a fluctuating mass in the inguinal (or scrotal) region that can often be gently reduced in the uncomplicated case.
  • Diagnosis: clinical findings, radiography, ultrasonography.
  • Treatment: repaired by partial closure of the opening in the aponeurosis of the external abdominal oblique muscle with permanent sutures. Intestinal and bladder involvement are indications for immediate surgical repair. Herniated gravid uteri may be managed until full term, at which point Caesarean section is best undertaken through the hernia to allow repair at that time.
  • Prognosis: complications include gravid uterine herniation, strangulation of intestine and incarceration of the bladder. Intestinal resection and anastomosis may be required via a midline celiotomy.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Usually an acquired problem in the middle-aged bitch, particularly after pregnancy, but may also be encountered after a traumatic incident causing abdominal compression.
  • Male - congenital. It has been suggested to occur more commonly as a congenital condition in males compared to female dogs due to delayed inguinal ring narrowing associated with late testicular descent.

Predisposing factors

General
  • Pregnancy.
  • Entirity.
  • Trauma.

Pathophysiology

  • Herniation of intestinal organs occurs through a pathologically enlarged inguinal canal which is normally delineated by the internal abdominal oblique muscle externally and the rectus and internal abdominal oblique muscles internally.

Timecourse

  • Small and recently noticed hernias are more likely to be associated with complications than hernias that have been present or noticed for some time.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Ruble R P & Hird D W (1993) Congenital abnormalities in dogs obtained from a pet store: 253 cases (1987-1988). JAVMA 202 (4), 633-636 PubMed.
  • Waters D J et al (1993) A retrospective study of inguinal hernia in 35 dogs. Vet Surg 22 (1), 44-49 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Read R A, Bellenger C R (2003)Hernias.In: Slatter D (ed)Textbook of Small Animal Surgery3rd edn, pp 446-448.
  • Smeak D D (2003)Abdominal hernias.In: Slatter D (ed)Textbook of Small Animal Surgery3rd edn, pp 449-470.


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