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Theresa
Theresa, A Voice for Your Pet
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 8007
Experience:  19+ years experience in small animal medicine
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My 13 year old yorkie has had a hernia that has come and gone

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My 13 year old yorkie has had a hernia that has come and gone for years, today it seems really big I'm wondering if it will go back in or if I should take her in tomorrow? She is eating and drinking normally, but does seem a bit restless today. I'm curious if you think at her age it should be operated on?

Theresa :

Hello and welcome.

Theresa :

Where is this hernia located?

Customer:

Her back left leg/groin area

Theresa :

Has she been urinating normally and having normal bowel movements?

Customer:

I haven't seen her poop today, but I have been letting her go out potty more frequnetly

Theresa :

This is an area where several organs can actually become lodged in the hernia which includes the intestines and in some cases the bladder as well. Ideally you would have this evaluated to be sure that isn't what is occurring here. Her restlessness may or may not be related. If there are vital organs entrapped they can become strangulated and lose blood supply so we don't want this to happen.

Theresa :

I always say that age is not a condition. No one knows how long a dog will live but as long as she is otherwise healthy there is no reason that this hernia cannot be repaired.

Customer:

So how will I know the difference? This is my parents dog and my dad is out of town until father's day. I'll take her in if you think I need to.

Theresa :

If she is not able to pass urine or have a bowel movement and becomes overly painful then she should be evaluated on an emergency basis.

Theresa :

First thing you need to do is contact your father and ask what his wishes are. You will also likely need a method of payment so get that sorted out first.

Customer:

So I should take her to the emergency clinic?

Theresa :

I wish I was there to be able to see the change. This would be up to you but if the hernia is significantly larger than it was just yesterday then having her evaluated on an emergent basis would be ideal.

Customer:

I didn't notice it yesterday...but then again we have had a crazy week, moving my sister having a baby...I have the dog most of the time and only noticed today when she rolled over it was the size of a golf ball

Theresa :

Give your Dad a call and have him give you a comparison from what he had seen before he left and then proceed from there.

Customer:

I just tried, no answer...I will try to reach my vet or call the emergency clinic

Theresa :

Okay, good luck and hope you both feel better soon.

Customer:

Thanks

Theresa :

You are very welcome. Let me know if there is anything else I can help you with.

Customer:

I took her to the vet today and her usual vet wasn't there, the vet that saw her today said he thinks it may be a mammary tumor and not a hernia. What are your thoughts on this? He said she is stable and to wait until my dad is home to see his thoughts. Do you recommend surgery for this? I'm so sad to think this could be the end of her. She's a great little dog, my dad is going to be devastated. Please comment on any thoughts you may have about this. He did try to aspirate this to take a look at the cells and didn't get any, but did get a yellowish discharge, but not much.

Customer:

Also, she was 7.2lbs today

Theresa :

If your dad is home I would be sure to have radiographs done of her chest and complete bloodwork. If all of this is good then there is no reason why she cannot have this tumor biopsied and if it comes back as carcinoma then having that tumor and the mammary chain removed. Age is not a condition and if she is otherwise healthy then surgery is an option for her. The problem with leaving these tumors is that they will rupture eventually. Interesting that there was yellow fluid removed. This fluid could be infection but it could also be milk. Is she spayed? If not then they should spay her during the time of the surgery to decrease the risk of her developing more tumors in the future.

Theresa and 3 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Just checking in on everything. Wondering what you all have decided to do?

Theresa
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Well not much right now, we took her back to see the regular vet and he said he thinks the tumor is fat. He said we should watch it and bring her back in if she appears to be in pain etc. My parents don't want to put her through surgery if they can help it. The vet doesn't feel it is causing her pain, but may be putting pressure on the bladder which could be why she is going more often. He said he may aspirate it again in a few weeks, blood work and urine sample came back normal. Thoughts?

At the very least I would consider having the area ultrasounded to ease your mind. If he is concerned that it is compressing the bladder then an ultrasound can confirm this. I would have the ultrasound before considering aspirating something they are not sure is fat or what.

Theresa