Hernia Surgery For Dogs: Everything You Need To Know

Dogs, just like humans, can get hernias. In fact, they’re fairly common in canines, and industry estimates suggest about 90% are due to genetics. 


While hernias are common in dogs, they can cause problems and dog owners should take steps to have them checked out by a qualified veterinarian and eventually corrected surgically. At Dr. Kelly’s Surgical Unit, hernia repair surgeries — both inguinal and umbilical — are among the most common surgeries we perform. 


It helps to understand what hernias are, how much the surgeries generally cost to treat them and how long it may take to recover. 


Inguinal hernia vs. Umbilical hernia.

A hernia occurs when a tear in a muscle wall or fatty tissue allows the contents of a dog’s stomach to push through that opening. If the hernia occurs in the area near the belly button, it is considered an umbilical hernia. If it occurs near the dog’s groin area, it is considered an inguinal hernia — which could involve vital organs, like a bladder or uterus. Umbilical hernias are most common in puppies as they are the result of an incomplete closure of the umbilical ring after birth. There are a few other varieties of hernias, such as diaphragmatic, perineal and hiatal, but umbilical and inguinal are the most common.


Understanding symptoms.

Although hernias sound minor, they could become serious if an organ is pushing through the tear and losing its vital blood supply. So, it’s important to understand hernia symptoms in dogs to recognize a potential problem as soon as possible. Since hernias in dogs most commonly occur in the groin area, known as an inguinal hernia, be suspicious of bumps or bulges in that area. An umbilical hernia is characterized by a “soft swelling” beneath the skin in the belly button area. In addition, dogs experiencing a hernia may also exhibit symptoms that include vomiting, loss of appetite, drooling and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. 


Surgical costs.

Costs for hernia repair surgery range from one veterinarian to the next, however at Dr. Kelly’s Surgical Unit we provide low cost hernia surgeries in an effort to keep the cost of pet care as affordable as possible. The average cost of umbilical hernia surgery, according to industry estimates, is between $150 and $400, while the average cost of inguinal hernia surgery is about $2,300. At Dr. Kelly’s Vet, we try to keep costs down for dog owners. 


  • Umbilical hernia surgery: Starts at $280 on its own, or $55-$75 when combined with another surgical procedure.
  • Inguinal hernia surgery: Starts at $392 on its own, or $280-$400 when combined with another surgical procedure.


Recovery time.

Dog owners should expect to see some swelling and bruising after hernia surgery. And, as with most surgeries, dogs will need to rest and refrain from high-energy exercise for a couple weeks. The incision will likely heal within 10-15 days. 


If you suspect your dog may have a hernia, it’s best to get it checked out by a veterinarian. As a surgical unit that performs more than a dozen surgeries a day, our experienced staff would be happy to offer a consultation, answer questions and perform a hernia repair surgery to make sure your dog is as healthy as possible. 


Dr. Kelly’s Surgical Unit is a trusted veterinary team serving the Phoenix, Peoria and Tucson metro areas, with accessible locations in each market, offering highly specialized surgery, quality spay and neuter procedures, and accessible  dental care for pets. Contact us to learn more about our specialized services and our accessible appointments.   

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