Umbilical HerniaSurgery most of the time( I would say 98% of them) is an uneeded operation made up for a veternarians benifit to make money,(most tummy bumps are not true hernia's) in 30 years I have had ZERO hernia's that have needed to be repaired if you wait untill they are a year or so they just go way, or are certainly unnotacable and not big enough to cause any problem. I am sure there are a few that need to be done very large ones, but I have had many pups with them over the years(normally one or two in just about every litter)and none have had to be done by the time they are a year old you can't even see them unless you look very very close ! So I generally do not discount for a hernia unless it is a very large one . Often hernia's can appear AFTER they go to new homes if so they are generally small and do dissapear with age. It's basically like haveing and outy belly button instead of an inny button. good discussion below I had a female with a large hernia never produce a hernia and some without produce them all the time it seems to be mommies who over focus on the cleaning the cord sometimes it helps to cut them closer for her sometimes it makes it worse as she's over bothering with the stump..Most knowledgeable vets will not reccomend surgery even for large ones untill time for spay or nueter and if it is large it can be done at that time when the dog is already under the extra expense on doing the hernia is then under 100 dollars .

from one websight best explained al all pets websight...


An umbilical hernia can be common in pups, but the thought of it, can worry  you because you may be unfamiliar with
what it actually is, how to treat it, and what it means for the future of your new pup.  We want you to know, we understand
any concerns you have.  We hope the information listed on this page will be an aid to you by shedding some light on this
subject and relieving your mind.

Umbilical hernias may be present at birth, or may be acquired. For this reason, if you have chosen a pup at birth and later this
pup happens to acquire a hernia, we recommend you read this page and also speak to your vet about it and obtain further

The most common means of acquiring an umbilical hernia is as a result of the umbilical cord being severed too close to the
abdominal wall, when the mama dog bites off the umbilical cord too closely or is rough with the pup while whelping. Or that
an area around the umbilical cord and belly simply did not grow fully closed and fuse together normally.

Sometimes the hernia can go away on it's own, and other times it can be corrected with a simple surgical procedure.  In most
cases umbilical hernias are small and reduce as the puppy grows. Generally, by the time the pup is 6 months old the umbilical
hernia will shrink and disappear on its own.  Most umbilical hernias are not serious.  For this reason, many vets will
recommend waiting until the pup is 6 months of age before repairing surgically. Your vet may ask you to keep an eye on
it, and they themselves, will examine it at each check up and vaccination appointment as well.

If the hernia does not shrink on it's own, it can be corrected surgically. This surgical procedure is usually a simple procedure
and relatively inexpensive. It can conveniently be done at the time of spaying/neutering your pup. You will save you some
money to correct the hernia simultaneously at the time of spay/neutering because anesthetizing fee will only be charged once
for the two procedures. We have had very few pups with hernia's in all our years of breeding, only a couple have needed
surgical correction. If you have purchased a pup from us at a young age, and this pup acquires a hernia, we will discuss with
you a discounted balance (pick up price) for your pup to help off-set any medical costs.

A hernia will not alter or hinder their lifestyle in any way.  Keep in mind that a pup who acquires a hernia can still lead a
happy and healthy life as a pet!


Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 11:24 am
I have a 10 week old puppy with an Umbilical Hernia. Should I have it surgically fixed, fix the puppy or leave it alone. The vet wants to spay the pup and says it is a genetic defect. Bloodlines are excellent, not to mention the price for this pup. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Puppy Umbilical Hernia
by GSDfan on 27 May 2006 - 11:05


Post: 296 of 1386
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2004 08:43 pm There was a thread on this topic not too long ago, copy and paste to the browser bar.

Puppy Umbilical Hernia
by hodie on 27 May 2006 - 14:05

Post: 220 of 4190
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2003 01:48 am
Hernias are most often not genetic defects, but rather a result of too vigorous pulling on the cord during or after birth. Hernias are common in all breeds and it is not a reason to spay, unless you are spaying anyway and choose to repair it then. If it is small, repair is generally not necessary and, as the pup grows, it can get better. If it is larger, then surgery may be a good idea and when spaying, unless there is some urgency to fix earlier, it can easily also be repaired.

Puppy Umbilical Hernia
by DeesWolf on 27 May 2006 - 17:05


Post: 12 of 575
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2005 05:13 am
I wish I had a dollar for every vet that told me a puppy had an umbilical hernia when in fact it was just umbilicus. I'd be rich! Rich I tell ya!

Puppy Umbilical Hernia
by Nadia on 27 May 2006 - 17:05

Post: 5 of 13
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2004 04:23 pm
DeesWolf: Can you explain the difference? Thanks!

Puppy Umbilical Hernia
by Jill on 27 May 2006 - 20:05

Post: 2 of 38
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2004 11:15 pm
Go to this website and it is a great article on umbilical hernias and tells the difference.

Puppy Umbilical Hernia
by Chey on 27 May 2006 - 21:05

Post: 21 of 42
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 06:22 pm
My one bitch produced 3 pups in her first litter with hernia's. (out of 9). Dam does not have a hernia and neither does her sire and none in her sire's litter had hernia. I let her do all the 'ripping' on each placenta/cord. Second litter, I decided to do ALL the puppies cords manually. NO hernia's. ( The sire of this litter has produced hernia's in other litters) Personally I think MANY of the hernia's we see are not genetic but are due to pulling /tugging on the cord.

Puppy Umbilical Hernia
by D.H. on 27 May 2006 - 21:05

Post: 452 of 1071
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2003 03:51 pm
The superficial hernias are not real hernias and usually disappear, sometimes leaving the dog with an "outie" belly button, but not always. The link from Jill is an excellent reference. Most superficial hernias are small, so that you could not stick the tip of a finger inside the hole or barely. Carefully push the soft "outie" bits in a couple of times a day. Over time you should notice the "hole" get smaller, which does not happen with a true hernia. US vets are very quick to snip off/out reproductive parts. Seems just about is fixable to them with a spay/neuter. Let your pup mature but pay attention to the outie bits to make sure it will not lead to any future complications.

Puppy Umbilical Hernia
by Melissa on 29 May 2006 - 04:05

Post: 48 of 165
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2006 01:23 am
Jagger, my 9 week old puppy has an umbilical hernia also. My vet, who has treated many GSD puppies, told me to wait and that MOST of the time they just go away on their own. She also said they are VERY common. If it is small, just let it be for now. Also, don't let any vet tell you to spay a young dog. Do a lot of research on your own first. Good luck!

Puppy Umbilical Hernia
by klekoni on 14 November 2006 - 18:11

Post: 14 of 89
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2005 11:36 pm
I have just noticed that my 3 1/2 month old female has a small umbilical hernia as well. I agree with Melissa that most times these settle on their own. I am a surgeon myself(human type) and know that with children we do not operate on these anymore until the child is 8 or over and only if this persists. The majority of umbilical hernias close off. There is no reason to suggest that dogs are any different. Umbilical hernias are not a specific genetic defect attributable to a specific chromosome defect. It is usually a mutation and therefore highly variable. So I certainly would not spay any female and would still breed her. She should not have any higher incidence of litters with hernias.

« Previous1Next »

Understanding Umbilical Hernias
Julia M. Crawford

Editor's Note: This article is presented in support of the fact that ours is not the only breed that finds umbilical hernias common. Unfortunately, too many veterinarians would like us to believe Shih Tzu are the exception. If you substitute "Shih Tzu" for "Berners", the information would be the same. The ASTC Education committee has been working on a flyer to give to vets describing this and other conditions (e.g. late teething, undershot bites, tight nostrils due to teething that do not require surgery, etc.) normal in Shih Tzu but not "understood" as such by most veterinarians. Let a committee member know of your experiences.

If a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy has an umbilical hernia, it will be apparent by 6 weeks of age as a bubblelike protrusion at the navel. This occurs when the umbilical rings fail to close fully after birth. Umbilical hernias can be caused by heredity, cutting the umbilical cord too short, or excessive stress on the umbilical cord during delivery. The frequency of occurrence of this type of hernia in Berners should indicate that heredity is a factor. The mode of inheritance is unknown. The concern that this condition poses for the future of the breed is small in comparison with far more weighty matters such as structural soundness, excellence in breed type and longevity.

In more than 30 years of experience with Bernese Mountain Dogs, only once did our veterinarian feel surgical correction of an umbilical hernia was necessary The size of the protrusions we have seen range from minuscule to the size of a nickel at 6 weeks, and if makes note of the presence of a hernia, the pup is monitored. Not once have any of the puppies had a problem. In the highly unlikely event that an umbilical hernia becomes painful to the touch, swollen or red, the dog should be examined by a veterinarian within 24 hours. Experienced Berner breeders have found that bitches with umbilical hernias - some quite large - are unaffected by repeated pregnancies, even with large litters.

Some veterinarians are unaware that umbilical hernias can be a common occurrence in Bernese. They alarm new owners with recommendations for surgical correction and a call to spay or neuter the pup regardless of its quality.

A Bernese Mountain Dog's status as a candidate for future breeding should not be determined by the presence of an umbilical hernia. While concerns about the condition may be justifiable with some other breeds, not so with Bernese. The call for surgical repair is usually unnecessary, other than for cosmetic reasons.

One veterinarian actually told the new owners of a 9-week-old potential show puppy that the pup's small umbilical hernia (identified by the breeder and her attending veterinarian as being no problem)) would have to be repaired for the health of the dog even if it would disqualify the dog from showing because of the surgical alteration of appearance. In fact, the AKC's disqualification applying to all breeds regarding hernia surgery mentions only corrections of inguinal (in or near the groin), scrotal or perineal (near the anus) hernias, not umbilical hernias. Fortunately, inguinal, scrotal and perineal hernias are very rare in Bernese.

The presence of an umbilical hernia should, of course, be called to the attention of the prospective owner. We have found it helpful to provide a written, referenced discussion of umbilical hernias in Bernese Mountain Dogs that can be presented to the puppy's veterinarian to assist in making knowledgeable recommendations to the owner.

Reprinted with the permission of the author from the Bernese Mountain Dog column in the July 2000 AKC Gazette


Vet Information for Hernias in a Puppy

By Angela Brady, eHow Contributor
Vet Information for Hernias in a Puppy thumbnail Most puppies are not bothered at all by hernias.

A hernia can look concerning at first; a big, round lump simply does not belong on a puppy's belly. In some cases, a hernia can lead to a life-threatening illness, but in most cases, it is just a minor annoyance that can be easily fixed. If you suspect your puppy has a hernia, bring it to the attention of your vet.

  1. Hernias

    • A hernia occurs when there is an abnormal opening in the abdominal wall, and abdominal tissues are able to push their way through to just underneath the skin, producing a small external lump. If the hernia is small enough that only fat can get through, it is not an urgent problem. The emergency arises when the opening is big enough that a loop of intestine can poke through and get stuck, causing intestinal strangulation.


    • A hernia will appear as a fleshy lump on the puppy's belly, either where the bellybutton should be or where the hind leg meets the abdomen. Most hernias are normal-flesh-colored, but if the lump appears irritated or inflamed or feels hot to the touch, intestinal strangulation may already be occurring. If this is the case, the puppy might be vomiting and running a fever and should be taken to a vet immediately.

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    • The vet will visually examine the hernia and attempt to press the lump back into the abdomen with her finger. If it does go back in, it means that only fat was poking through, and the hernia is not an emergency. If the lump feels firm and warm, she will likely run bloodwork and take x-rays to determine the extent of the problem.


    • Surgical correction is the only way to repair a hernia, but not all hernias need to be repaired. Some small hernias close themselves by the time the puppy is six months old, and other, very small, hernias never need to be closed at all. Most vets schedule hernia repair for the same day as the spay or neuter surgery. If the hernia is large, however, it should be closed immediately. If intestinal strangulation has already begun, a couple of days of intensive post-operative care will be required.


    • Most puppies aren't bothered too much by hernias and to recover from the surgery rather quickly. Even puppies with larger hernias involving intestinal strangulation can recover from surgery just fine--but an untreated large hernia can be fatal within 48 hours of the onset of intestinal strangulation.

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