Congenital Umbilical Hernias

by Marie-France Sarra-Bournet, DVM

Congenital umbilical hernias are a common problem in some breeds. It can be small with only fat in it or it can be a serious illness with intestine
loops or bladder trapped in there needing an emergency surgery.

Because congenital umbilical hernias can be inherited and because it is hard to know which one is inherited and which one is not, it is recommended not
to breed those dogs.

Very few breeders take this advice.

There is a high incidence of other malformations in puppies with umbilical hernias (especially those with a big hernias, what I call “true hernias”),
so it is important to check for other problems like cleft palate and heart murmurs (what I see the more often combined with hernias).

Cutting the umbilical cord too short is not a cause of umbilical hernias.

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