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My female is pregnant with her second litter. Her first

My female is pregnant...

My female is pregnant with her second litter. Her first litter was very large, but very normal pregnancy. This time she is about day 35 and has developed what I believe to be an inguinal hernia. This has me very worried about how to limit risk to her and the pups (sonagramed at day 32 - very healthy looking fetus, small litter, only saw 2 on the ultrasound at the same time, guessing 2-4 pups). My vet is away and unreachable for the next few days, so I'm trying to find anything to help me since it doesnt seem to technically be an emergency for taking her to the e-vet.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. We need to be extra careful with pregnancies, so we'll need to connect you with the Veterinarian ASAP. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the dog?

Not sure. She's very healthy otherwise, very fit but not skinny.

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Answered in 8 minutes by:
3/23/2018
Dr. Stacy
Dr. Stacy, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1,605
Experience: 10 years of experience in general practice.
Verified

Thank you for your question. My name is***** I have been a small animal veterinarian for 14 years and I'd like to help with your question.

I know how stressful it can be when something is off during pregnancy. Can you tell me a bit more about this hernia. First, is it always the same size or does it gets larger and smaller.... for example when she is on her back does it get smaller. Second, is it painful? And third, is she sick in any way?

Dr. Stacy

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
It seems pretty classic for what I read about the inguinal hernia. Its always in the same spot just above and behind her last teat. It doesnt hurt her and very soft, kinda of like a lipoma, but not as firm. No lumpiness or bumps like in a mammary. If I press lightly on it, it goes back (and in?), it disappears for a while but comes back later. It's never larger than the size of an egg. She's not giving any symptoms of illness; acting totally normal and no fever; eating very well; normal water intake.

Pregnancy can increase the risk of hernias forming because of the increased pressure in the abdomen. So this could definitely be a hernia, but you would need to have a veterinarian examine her and probably ultrasound the hernia to know more. The concern with a hernia is that an organ or in your case, a fetus could slip through the hernia and become entrapped. This could be life threatening for both mom and babies. If nothing every becomes entrapped she could make it through her entire pregnancy with no problems. There is not a good way to predict what is going to happen.

If this is a hernia the best coarse would be to surgically repair it as soon as possible before there is a serious complication. However, a surgery during pregnancy could endanger the babies. My best advice is to get her checked as soon as possible so you can be completely sure what is going on. In the mean time, sure her over and gently massage the hernia... if it disappears when you do this then nothing is entrapped.... Do this several times a day. If the swelling ever becomes painful and firm or if she becomes ill then this is a medical emergency. Once an exam is done you can ask your veterinarian if they think the size of the hernia is likely to have complications. A small hernia doesn't tend to trap things. A large hernia doesn't tend to trap things.... it is the medium ones that re dangerous.

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If the hernia is a size likely to cause a problem you will have to decide whether to risk surgery or monitor her closely and risk possible organ or fetal entrapment in the hernia sac.

I hope that helps, but if you have more questions please let me know. If all your questions have been addressed please don't forget to rate my answer.

Dr. Stacy
Dr. Stacy, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1,605
Experience: 10 years of experience in general practice.
Verified
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
This helps me very much! I will monitor her as you suggest and be prepared to take her to emergency with any signs of trouble. This does ease my mind though that I can otherwise wait a few days for my regular vet that I trust and knows her to get back from vacation to see her. And that there is hope that both she and the pups will be fine through the pregnancy with extra monitoring and preparation. Thank you!
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