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Hernia (Hiatal) in Dogs

3 min read



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. 


Living and Management


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.



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