Vet Diary - Poor Baby!
Some of the sights we see here at Stray Aid make us sad, others make us angry. The following story did both:
A tiny little dog, weighing just under 3kg, was brought to the kennels with suspected "breast cancer" (mammary tumours). She had clearly had at least 1 litter of pups. On examination, there were 2 swellings under her tummy, but they were actually inguinal hernias! These are gaps in the muscle in the groin, where sometimes little pads of fat enter the space. In the case of this little dog, she had loops of intestine pushing through! This is a potentialy life-threatening situation because, if one of those loops of intestine had got trapped, it could have been "strangulated" resulting in infection, septicaemia and possibly even death.
It was vital that this hernia was repaired as soon as possible, which we were able to do in our Animal Welfare Centre.
What really upset us was that this poor dog had actually had a litter of puppies. Firstly, the increased pressure of the puppies on her intestines as they grew inside her massively increased the risk of her hernia strangulating, or the hernial ring could have stretched and become even bigger. The other thing is that inguinal (and umbilical) hernias are often inherited so there would be a very high probabilty that some of the puppies would also have the same defect.
Irresponsible dog breeding, by people who don't understand the implications, has a lot to answer for. Please do not breed from your bitches unless both dog and bitch have passed a full veterinary health check before appropriate mating, and that you are prepared for the fact that things could go wrong at any stage during pregnancy and whelping. You should also be confident that you will be able to find good homes for all the puppies.