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Hello, this is Dr. Jess, I am sorry to hear about your dog! Do you know for certain now that it is a hernia? Has any imaging (x-ray or ultrasound) or aspirates been done to confirm this?
So does your vet actually think this is a hernia? We can definitely see lipomas (fatty tumors) that can get very large, and they can be in this area of the body (anywhere really). They often don't cause any problems at all UNLESS they start to get so big that they are inhibiting movement of the limb because of their location. It can be tough to decide if we should do surgery because it is an easier surgery if the mass is small, but some masses end up staying small forever and never cause an issue- and we cannot predict what will happen in terms of growth! A hernia can be a different story, because there is risk of strangulation of the intestines if they are coming through the hernia. This is a more urgent surgery. But unless your vet has told you they think this is a hernia, I wouldn't jump to this conclusion. You could request that they do some testing to determine what it is (a needle aspirate and/or an x-ray).