Surgical treatment may be necessary if your veterinarian finds the need to close the opening (hiatus), or needs to attach the stomach to the abdominal wall so that it does not protrude further. Antibiotics and therapeutic breathing treatments may be necessary if aspiration pneumonia develops as the result of associated breathing abnormalities. Your veterinarian can prescribe drugs that will promote digestion and increase the tone of the sphincter in the lower esophagus. For example, medications such as cimetidine will decrease the acidity of the reflux, and promote healing of the damaged esophagus tissue.
But, not all hiatal hernias require treatment. Conservative therapy can be successful for controlling symptoms, and feeding small but frequent portions of a low-fat diet may also control symptoms.
If surgery is required for your dog, you will need to follow through with visits to your veterinarian for after care treatment. This is true even if you are managing the hiatal hernia from home. Aspiration pneumonia is one of the possible long term complications related to a hiatal hernia, so you will need to be watchful for signs of this. If you do see symptoms of pneumonia, you will need to take your dog to the veterinarian immediately, as this is a condition that can quickly progress. Some dogs may have a recurrence of all symptoms, in which case you and your veterinarian will need to go back to square one to rule out other causes and settle on a treatment plan that will work.
The condition of having a part of a body part protruding through the tissue that would normally cover it
A ring-shaped muscle that is used to close and open an opening
Pertaining to the chest
Anything having to do with the stomach
The whole system involved in digestion from mouth to anus
a) Mass per volume b) The number of animals in a given area
The muscle in the abdomen that aids in breathing
The abdominal wall is a group of bones, muscles, and vital tissues that make up the wall around the organs in the abdomen. Inside these bones, muscles, and tissues is a cavity, and the cavity is what houses the vital organs found inside the abdomen. The abdominal wall is vital for protection of these organs.
The tube that extends from the mouth to the stomach