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Umbilical Hernias

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  • Umbilical Hernias

    Do you always seek to repair them in foals?

    Mine has a one finger hernia. I have had conflicting veterinary advice. From surgery to leave it be.
    I\'m not crazy. I\'m just a little unwell.

  • #2
    I always have them repaired before the foal is weaned, however that has a lot to do with the foals being for sale and not wanting to lose a buyer due to a hernia (one of my broodmares has a foal with a hernia every year). A small hernia does have the potential to close on its own or it can get larger and cause problems. Another thing to think about is that surgery on a foal is usually considerably cheaper than surgery on a larger horse. All in all for one of mine I would go ahead and have it repaired; the surgery is routine and they recover quickly.


    • #3
      There is an alternative to surgery. Injection with a dilute iodine solution can get excellent results. We had a colt this year with a massive hernia - we were all set to do surgery when one of the surgeon's colleagues suggested this technique. Seems even a number of the medicine folks at the vet hospital weren't aware of it as an alternative. We have done one injection, and with help from a pressure wrap (belly band) we have had amazing improvement from a hernia that filled two hands to one that is barely noticeable and still improving!
      Equine Science at Virginia Tech
      Virginia Tech MARE Center


      • #4
        Is injecting the area kind of along the same lines as blistering a tendon?


        • Original Poster

          It is. My vet mentioned that. Said it makes a rather large scar tissue.

          I would not be AS opposed to that, as I would be to general anethesia for surgery.

          But still have concerns.
          I\'m not crazy. I\'m just a little unwell.


          • #6
            How old is the foal?


            • Original Poster

              17 weeks
              I\'m not crazy. I\'m just a little unwell.


              • #8
                I had one two years ago that was repaired when the foal was about four months. I have a colt this year that also has one and it will be repaired the same time I have him gelded.

                My vets train of thought is to do it the sooner you can.


                • #9
                  Clicking on a slightly older thread. I have a colt that had umbilical abscess surgery on July 11th. This week I thought he was getting an infection. Nope other vet out 6-8" SURGICAL hernia. The surgical site was not strong enough and his intestines dropped through.

                  This vet recommended having the vet that flubbed fix it, but he's out til August 31st. So he said let it go and if he gets colicky to belly wrap it. But what if I belly wrap it now? Would that be better to be proactive. Any one have advice? It's right in front of his sheath, about 6-8 inches long and about 2-3 inches wide. I am just heart broken. This is a pure Cleveland Bay colt, an endangered breed. I just don't know how much more $$$ I can dump into him.

                  He's fine and healthy now. If I wrap should I keep him locked in the barn, let him out? I don't have a clue what to do!
                  Maria Hayes-Frosty Oak Stables
                  Home to All Eyez On Me, 1998 16.2 Cleveland Bay Sporthorse Stallion
                  & FrostyOak Hampton 2008 Pure Cleveland Bay Colt


                  • #10
                    My colt born May 14th this year had a "two finger" umbilical hernia. My vet said to wait and see...he just saw the colt yesterday and said it's barely a sliver now and you really can't even notice that it was even there (unless you knew or really look at it). He is really pleased at how well it healed up on its own. Me too as I am not plan to geld him and I didn't want to have to go through surgery!