Should my dog’s inguinal hernia be fixed?

Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra – My dog (2-year-old male mixed breed) has an inguinal hernia. What is an inguinal hernia? Should it be repaired?
Thanks Dr. Debra!


Josie M. Gainesville, FL


Hi – thanks for your email. In general, a hernia can be defined as a protrusion of tissue or an organ though an opening that is normally closed. Hernias can occur in different parts of the body. You can have it in the diaphragm (the muscle between the chest and abdominal cavity), at the belly button (called umbilical hernia), and other locations in the body including the inguinal area.

An inguinal hernia is a condition in which abdominal contents protrude through the inguinal ring. The inguinal area, which is, located at the inner fold of the rear leg close to the body wall “groin area”. An intestinal loop, the urinary bladder, and/or the uterus can become trapped which can become a life-threatening problem. For this reason, it is recommended that all hernias be closed after diagnosis. This can sometimes be done concurrently with the Spaying (Ovariohysterectomy) or Castration surgery.

An article that might be helpful to you is Inguinal Hernia in Dogs.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra