How much does inguinal hernia surgery in dogs cost?


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Before we can discuss this specific type of hernia, let’s talk about what a hernia is. Hernia is a word used to describe the protrusion of one organ through tissue or muscle layers that were originally supposed to contain it. It’s a mischievous organ that simply doesn’t want to stay in its place. 

When we talk about inguinal hernia, that means that the organs pass through the opening known as the inguinal canal. This is located in the abdominal area, near the pelvis and the protruded organs settle into the groin. 

Inguinal hernias can be either acquired which means they can happen during life, when due to different reasons there is muscle weakness in the affected area, or in some cases, they can be congenital, which means that your dog was born with this condition. Regardless of how it has occurred, this can potentially be a life-threatening situation, if necessary action is taken. 

Inguinal hernias can show either on one or both sides, meaning they can be unilateral or bilateral.

What are the clinical signs in dogs that have inguinal hernia?

The first thing the owners notice in their dogs is that they have some kind of soft lump in the groin area. Many times the lump can come and go and people don’t take a big interest in it. Over time, the dog may show signs of pain, trouble with the gastrointestinal system, or difficulty when going to the potty. 

In more severe cases, where the muscle layer has been torn even more, there may be a big softball with organs that sit under the skin. Dogs with this type of sign are usually depressed, lethargic, they refuse to eat and they may vomit, have diarrhea or show signs of bleeding.

How do vets diagnose inguinal hernia?

Every examination at the vet clinic begins with the owners describing what they have seen in their dogs. Once the initial conversation is over, the vet usually continues with a physical examination. In this case, the problem is fairly noticeable and vets usually are quite sure what the pathology is. 

If the case is an uncomplicated area when the vet palpates it, he won’t feel any warmth, he won’t notice any redness and the lump is usually soft and can be returned to the abdomen. 

When the hernia is more complicated, the swelling will be sore and firm, and it also may be warm to the touch. When the vet tries to push it back in the abdomen, the dog may show signs of pain. 

For the vet to confirm that this is an inguinal hernia, they will run some blood work, a dog x-ray, and an ultrasound. In more complicated cases, the vet may suggest more advanced imaging such as CT and MRI.

How is an inguinal hernia treated in dogs?

The only way for this to be treated is surgical. It is usually recommended to be done as fast as possible, because the organs that have protruded may be permanently damaged. Usually, vets can find protruded intestines, bladder, or in females the uterine horns. 

Surgery allows for the protruded organs to be returned to their original place with minimal damage and it corrects the defect in the muscle layer. Dogs that have been brought on time, usually make complete recovery without any ongoing issues. 

Owners should be expected to pay somewhere between $800 and $2500 for this type of surgery.


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