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Inguinal hernia felt in teat of previously nursing spayed dog. Hernia moved under anesthesia, then bloody colitis. Related?

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  • Inguinal hernia felt in teat of previously nursing spayed dog. Hernia moved under anesthesia, then bloody colitis. Related?

    I adopted a dog 7 months ago who had been nursing at some point before being turned into the rescue, as she was still saggy and possibly had a bit of milk. She'd already been spayed by the time I met her. After I got her home, I palpated her all over and noticed that her right posterior teat felt slightly unusual. No tumor or a solid mass, but it felt different than her left teat. I had the vet look at it during her initial exam. She agreed it was different and strange compared to the other teat, and suggested biopsying the teat at some time in the future. The dog was never in pain any time that I gently palpated the area, nor any other time.

    In October, I took her in for her first dental cleaning, X-rays and two extractions. I totally forgot how sensitive she'd been when I first started trying to wipe off her paws before coming into the house. When the vet went to put the catheter into her leg, she was very resistant and anxious. They ended up having three people trying to cath her before they finally gave her some anxiety meds (made me very upset when I heard about the three people and how anxious my dog must have been). She was eventually sedated, had all the scheduled dental work and all went well until.....

    The next day she had diarrhea, which turned bloody. The vet said it was bloody colitis, which is not unheard of post-anesthesia, and especially if the dog was anxious. It got worse to the point of where she was straining, no poop, and there were puddles of blood. She also threw up a few times. She became dehydrated, so I decided to take her back to the vet for a day of IV fluids, observation and blood tests (all negative). She stood up on me as I put her coat on and it was then that I felt her abdomen and discovered that the weird slight mass that I'd previously felt on her right posterior teat had now moved and could be felt on her left posterior teat. Right then and there I figured it must be an inguinal hernia. The vet called me later and confirmed that she, in fact, does have an inguinal hernia. That'll be a $1,300 surgery. Great.

    After the day of IV fluids, I bought her prescription Royal Canin gastro low fat canned food. Started her on a pre and probiotic. She was fine on it for a few weeks, but now she's sick of it and has become a picky eater. She will now turn her nose away at the dry food she ate before this all started and the Royal Canin canned food. I can tempt her with some chevre cheese, which she eats every time. Each meal is now a challenge because she'll only eat from a spoon, my fingers, or sometimes on a plate. But not in a bowl. I don't know if a change in appetite is a side effect of bloody colitis or if this has something to do with the hernia? Or, does she have my number with the goat cheese and other non-dog food items she is eager to eat, but not her dog food? Before this all happened the dogs would get little pieces of some of what us humans eat, so that part hasn't changed. The only thing that's changed is that it's difficult to get her to eat dog food of practically any kind.

    I am wondering what happened here with her being put on her back for dental work, the inguinal hernia moving from one side to the other while she was on her back under anesthesia, and then the bloody colitis? Could these things be related? Palpation of the teat and unknown (at the time) hernia mass never seemed painful before this happened. Even after it moved to the other teat, there still seemed to be no pain involved.

    Has anyone had a dog that had an inguinal hernia and had surgery? I have not had a chance to get quotes from other vets yet. Does $1,300 sound right for this type of surgery?

  • #2
    Our latest Pomeranian had an inguinal hernia when we got her earlier this year. The breeder told that they can be hereditary so that's why she was available to us as the hernia excluded her from their breeding program. We recently had her spayed and the hernia was repaired at the same time. The total bill from start to finish was $500. I also checked prices with several other vet offices and most came in around the same price. Our girl came through the surgery without a hitch and it's a big relief to know the hernia is now a non-issue. She is a 6lb Pom so not sure how much that factored into the cost of the surgery.

    Comment


    • #3
      So, an inguinal hernia isn't going to switch sides. Think of it as being at the space where abdomen meets the leg.

      Cost is so region dependent, so I can't comment on that.

      Food issue could very well be more psychological than physical

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by RLS View Post
        Our latest Pomeranian had an inguinal hernia when we got her earlier this year. The breeder told that they can be hereditary so that's why she was available to us as the hernia excluded her from their breeding program. We recently had her spayed and the hernia was repaired at the same time. The total bill from start to finish was $500. I also checked prices with several other vet offices and most came in around the same price. Our girl came through the surgery without a hitch and it's a big relief to know the hernia is now a non-issue. She is a 6lb Pom so not sure how much that factored into the cost of the surgery.


        Thank you for sharing your story. I am going to seek a vet who can ultrasound what I am feeling on her. Now I wonder what it costs to ultra sound a dog's lower abdomen? If it is infact a hernia, then I will shop around for prices for sure. This dog is 11.5 lbs. I wonder how weight influences pricing, too.

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by Marshfield View Post
          So, an inguinal hernia isn't going to switch sides. Think of it as being at the space where abdomen meets the leg.

          Cost is so region dependent, so I can't comment on that.

          Food issue could very well be more psychological than physical

          I am beginning to wonder what this is, too, and am doubting that it's a inguinal hernia. Whatever it is, t's a doughy feeling mass. Feels like a dough intestine to me, but I'm not a vet. I agree that it shouldn't switch sides. I checked it again today and it's still in her left most posterior teat. It feels like you can push it in a bit, like there could be a hole in her abdominal wall way back in that area, maybe from when she was spayed? I don't want to pry around back there deep enough to locate a hole. I met and adopted this dog after she was spayed. I'm pretty sure that the paperwork from the rescue has the contact information to the vet who did her spay. I'm hoping either the vet will release records to me or the rescue will give them permission to release her records. You'd think that if there was anything unusual or any complications they'd have told me. Whatever the case, I noticed the mass shortly after I adopted her and it was in her rightmost posterior teat at the time.

          The doughyness and switching sides is puzzling to me. It feels like it is deep within the involved teats or behind them. I don't think there should be a pocket laterally connecting the right and left teats, nor should there be a opening in the abdominal wall behind the teats where some bowel could fall through. It doesn't feel like any mammary gland tumor I've ever felt and is of no definable shape. She has not been in any pain in palpating that area. She does not seem to be in any distress. She is still being a picky eater when it comes to eating regular dry dog food. She will scarf down treats just fine, so I think she might just be picky.

          The only other slightly strange thing that I've noticed in her compared to my other dog of the same size is that her turds are much wider in diameter than my other dog. Big size coming from the butt of such a small dog.

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