Choosing a Puppy – Umbilical Hernia and Its Implications

When planning to buy a puppy, you want to get the healthiest as much as possible. Those with pure breed may come expensive but enthusiasts will gladly pay for them. One of the conditions that you may want to avoid in your new puppy, especially if you plan to use them as stud in the future, is the presence of umbilical hernia if you can’t verify whether it’s a real one or not. This condition occurs when the contents of the puppy’s abdominal area sticks out through its abdominal wall around the belly button. When checking the puppy for hernia, see if there is a soft mass, usually irregularly round in shape, that protrudes in the belly button area.

In most cases, the cause of umbilical hernia is unknown. You may need to have the puppy checked with your veterinarian yourself if you happen to doubt the owner’s statement about the nature of the puppy’s condition. There are generally two causes for this condition: hereditary and delayed closures.

A true umbilical hernia, the hereditary one, should cause a concern for puppy owners especially who plans to have breeds of dogs. This condition can be passed on to their next generations. In this case, a solid circular cartilage may protrude on the abdominal part of the puppy that could extend into its diaphragm. This type of hernia may be very difficult to fix surgically and may require a mesh implant.

On the other hand, umbilical hernias that are caused by delayed closures may heal over period of time after birth, usually up to six months. While the puppy is still a fetus in its mother’s womb, blood vessels pass from the mother to the puppy through the opening in the puppy’s umbilicus (belly button). Normally, when the puppy is born, the belly button closes. However, when this fails to close immediately, umbilical hernia occurs and it may take some time for it to heal. In some cases, a minor operation is required.

So is it advisable to pass on puppies with umbilical hernia? It depends on you. If you are a strict dog breeder, you may want to avoid those with umbilical hernia. But if you just want to own and take care of any dog, those with umbilical hernia may touch your compassionate heart. On the other hand, if you are a practical pet owner, you may want to avoid paying the costs of surgery and therapy for the puppy’s umbilical hernia.

Take note, however, that larger umbilical hernia may cause serious difficulties to your puppy. It may cause a loop of the puppy’s intestines to be trapped, causing life-threatening situations. One sign of strangulation of the intestine is when the puppy keeps on vomiting and is having abdominal pains. Also, your puppy is often depressive and shuns away from food. Large hernia sac may feel warm as a sign that a part of intestine has been trapped in it.

True umbilical hernias may also be associated with other hereditary conditions in your puppy, such as cleft palates and heart problems. Furthermore, male puppies with umbilical hernia may run the risk of having cryptorchidism, an abnormal condition at birth in which the testicles (one or both) stay in the abdomen from where they were developed. The puppy’s testicles must descend to its scrotum at the latest of two months to avoid complications.

So whether or not you’ll pass on paying for a puppy with umbilical hernia, it is your choice. As long as you know the implications of having puppies with the hernia condition, you can assess whether or not you are up for the challenge to take care of such pet.