PERINEAL HERNIA

WHAT IS PERINEAL HERNIA?

Perineal hernia is the movement of abdominal organs to the pelvic cavity, and it is secondary to weakening of the muscles of the pelvis.

The hernia is identified as a swelling or bulge on one side or both sides of the anus.

WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF PERINEAL HERNIA?

The cause of perineal hernia is not well understood, however is it believed to be caused by hormonal influence, age and genetics. Middle age to older, non-castrated dogs and cats are mostly affected.

HOW DO I KNOW THAT MY PET HAS PERINEA HERNIA?

Most common signs of perineal hernia include swelling by the anus, straining to defecate / urinate, pain, lethargy, decreased appetite and abnormal carriage of the tail.

HOW CAN I CONFIRM THAT MY PET HAS PERINEAL HERNIA?

The best test to diagnose perineal hernia in your pet is a rectal exam by your veterinarian. The exam will allow to determine which organs are herniating and determine the urgency of surgical correction. Additional tests recommended are abdominal x rays and ultrasound.

IS PERINEAL HERNIA AN EMERGENCY?

Patients with a suspicion of perineal hernia should seek immediate veterinary attention, because if there is an organ entrapment, it could become a life-threatening situation. Emergency surgery is indicated if the patient is unable to urinate (bladder herniation), and if the intestinal loop is strangulated.

HOW IS PERINEAL HERNIA TREATED?

There are two possible treatments for perineal hernia, the medical and surgical one.

Medical management include enemas, laxatives, intestinal motility drugs, special diet and removal of fecal impaction. Unfortunately, this measure is unsuccessful and eventually surgery is indicated. 

Surgical management involves the correction of the muscle dividing the abdominal cavity, and the pelvis and the prevention of hernia recurrence. The repair can be done by using adjacent muscle (primary) or via mesh type materials. Additionally, the bladder and colon can be tacked to the abdominal wall to prevent their herniation.

WHAT IS THE PROGNOSIS FOR HERNIA SURGERY?

The prognosis is excellent; however, a small population of patient will require revision surgery. It is advisable to castrate patients at the time of surgery to minimize the chances of recurrence.