- Health Library
- PetMD U
Peritoneopericardial diaphragmatic hernia is a congenital defect that affects the communication between the pericardium (double-wall sac containing the heart) and peritoneum (membrane that forms the lining of abdominal cavity). Like other hernias, the protrusion of the septum affects the surrounding area -- in this case, the abdomen.
Symptoms will largely depend on the amount on the amount and nature of abdominal contents herniated. Some common ones include:
Peritoneopericardial diaphragmatic hernia occurs at the embryologic stage, and is considered a prenatal defect.
You will need to give a thorough history of your dog’s health, including the onset and nature of the symptoms, to your veterinarian. He or she will then perform a complete physical examination, as well a biochemistry profile, urinalysis, and complete blood count (CBC) -- the results of which are typically normal.
Abnormalities visible on X-rays ultimately depend on size and amount of herniated abdominal contents. More advanced techniques, like contrast peritoneography, are also used for a more detailed evaluation, whereby contrast medium (chemical) is given by injection into the peritoneal cavity and then X-rayed at different angles. Another technique commonly employed for confirmation of diagnosis is echocardiography.
Surgery is typically required to close the hernia and place the viable organs to their normal location. However, if found in adult dogs displaying no adverse symptoms, no treatment is required.
Prognosis is good for dogs that have undergone surgery with no other complicating factors.
Anything occurring before birth
A wall or partition that is designed to divide and separate
An in-depth examination of the properties of urine; used to determine the presence or absence of illness
The membrane that covers the wall of the abdomen and pelvic area
The sac of membranes that hold the heart
A procedure that is used to evaluate the health and structures of the heart
The condition of having a part of a body part protruding through the tissue that would normally cover it
The space in the abdomen that holds the major digestive organs in an animal. Normally referred to as the area between the diaphragm and the pelvis. Also referred to as the peritoneal cavity.