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Thread: Hernia in a pet?

  1. #1
    Elite Member Cali's Avatar
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    Default Hernia in a pet?

    I was wondering if any of you have had a pet who had a hernia. I suspect my Basset Hound has one, but the vet wasn't sure. She's having surgery in Feb. to fix it, or to remove the mass if thats what it is.

    I have a hunch it is a hernia because when I had her spayed, there was a section of her scar that didn't heal properly because the stitches kept coming out. I had to take her back twice to get this fixed and sewn up, and its in this exact spot that the (most likely) hernia is at.

    Which also makes me a bit mad: if it is a hernia, this could have been prevented if the vet had taken a bit more time to properly stitch it up after the stitches came out the first time. They just put some skin glue on it and sent me on my way. Is this a point worth arguing with the vet, in terms of the cost to have it fixed?

    Do any of you have any advice or experience with this? Will this be an ongoing problem that I have to have fixed again and again? And how do you keep your dog calm after they feel better, so they dont move too much and disturb the stitches?

  2. #2
    Elite Member ariesallover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calimoonchild View Post
    She's having surgery in Feb. to fix it, or to remove the mass if thats what it is.
    What kind of imaging did you have done on it?

    I have a hunch it is a hernia because when I had her spayed, there was a section of her scar that didn't heal properly because the stitches kept coming out. I had to take her back twice to get this fixed and sewn up, and its in this exact spot that the (most likely) hernia is at.
    Did the vet mention that it could be adhesions? I had to have a second surgery on my abdomen to get rid of them from the first surgery - they had a lumpy feel and were very painful.

    Is this a point worth arguing with the vet, in terms of the cost to have it fixed?
    Are you using the same vet to perform this surgery?

    I'm so sorry about your pooch.
    "I ransacked his drawers when he left me by myself at his place for the first time. That's how we did it in the good old days. Tells me all I need to know about him. He pretends he didn't notice. That's how good relationships start." - Chilly Willy

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    Elite Member Cali's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ariesallover View Post
    What kind of imaging did you have done on it?



    Did the vet mention that it could be adhesions? I had to have a second surgery on my abdomen to get rid of them from the first surgery - they had a lumpy feel and were very painful.



    Are you using the same vet to perform this surgery?

    I'm so sorry about your pooch.
    The vet just physically felt on her abdomen and determined that she needed surgery. She said she couldn't determine if it was a tumor / mass or a hernia and she needed to have surgery to sort it out. Is this inaccurate? There were no xrays or CAT scans etc.

    And I dont know what adhesions are, can you explain it to me? That sounds terrible and I"m not in a position to be able to afford multiple surgeries for my poor pup.

    I'm sorry you are going through this! Thank you for responding, this is exactly the information I need to have.

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    Elite Member ariesallover's Avatar
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    Let me clarify - the worst of my adhesions are over. Sorry I wasn't clearer.

    Here's how it happened: I had a surgery where I was cut from hip to hip, and the healing on the right side did not go well. Adhesions are bits of flesh that the body creates as it heals. It's sort of like scar tissue, and it's almost like the body has gone into overdrive to protect the injured area, particularly in the abdominal and pelvic region.

    Unfortunately, that flesh adheres to stuff it should not (hence "adhesions"). Sometimes it just adheres to itself. In my case, the adhesions were like a combo of ropes and webs (lol, the surgeon's words) that had attached to my abdominal wall and started to rip it. They also moved some of my organs out of the way, so the surgeon said she "repacked" me. The adhesion removal surgery was done via laparoscopy - a one-day procedure.

    I've never had a repeat of the problem along those lines.

    Adhesions happen, but not all of them require a surgery to remedy them. Some do if they present pain; otherwise, it's not worth another surgery to clean them out. They're not odd if the healing from an incision was complicated in some way, and usually they're left alone.

    If it's a mass, could it be just a fatty tumor to be left alone? My dogs had them, and while it was disconcerting to feel a lump, the dogs never seemed to be bothered. I had a few aspirated just to check, but each time, they were benign.

    Would you consider a second opinion on what kind of intervention is necessary, especially since the diagnosis is not clear?

    The bigger issue is that you have a history with this vet, and you were not pleased with the complications presented by his/her surgery on your dog. Maybe a second opinion could give you a better differential diagnosis before proceeding with surgery again, especially if the vet said it could wait until February?

    Is your dog acting like he's in pain or off somehow?
    Last edited by ariesallover; January 24th, 2008 at 04:20 AM.
    "I ransacked his drawers when he left me by myself at his place for the first time. That's how we did it in the good old days. Tells me all I need to know about him. He pretends he didn't notice. That's how good relationships start." - Chilly Willy

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    Elite Member Cali's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ariesallover View Post

    If it's a mass, could it be just a fatty tumor to be left alone? My dogs had them, and while it was disconcerting to feel a lump, the dogs never seemed to be bothered. I had a few aspirated just to check, but each time, they were benign.

    Would you consider a second opinion on what kind of intervention is necessary, especially since the diagnosis is not clear?

    The bigger issue is that you have a history with this vet, and you were not pleased with the complications presented by his/her surgery on your dog. Maybe a second opinion could give you a better differential diagnosis before proceeding with surgery again.

    Is your dog acting like he's in pain or off somehow?
    Thank you for your in-depth response! My mom is an MD and when she visted, she felt on my dog's mass and she couldn't tell if it was a hernia or a mass. NOr could the vet. So the surgery she is scheduled to have is somethign along the lines of 'lets go in there and see what it is, if its a hernia we wil fix it, if its a mass we will remove it and send it off to be cultured.'

    I dont know how I feel about it. I've run everything by my mom and she says that its all per protocol. But my instincts are telling me that this vet is negligent.

    Another trouble experience is that when it was time for my dog's annual shots, they sent me a postcard notifying me of all the annual shots she was due. I didnt know any better, it was a list of 5+ shots. So I took her in and she had them.

    Upon leaving the office, she starting puking all over my car and I took her back and they treated her. Gave her cortizone shots and Bendryl shots and let her go. So I finally got her back home and then she started breaking out into hives and entering respertory distress.

    (as I'm typing this all out and thinking it over: I need to get a second opinion, you are exactly right, thank you).

    She broke out into hives and I was doing doggie CPR in the car on the way to the after-hours vet clinic.

    Turns out, she had a near-fatal reaction to two completely unneccsary and controversial 'annual' shots she was given. THe doggie ER doctor was exasperated and angry that my vet gave her these two shots, on top of a 5-year Rabies shot, and all in one day.

    The two shots in question, for everyone eles's reference, I will post soon here. I cant recalll their names and I want to provide correct info. One started with a G and the other was for some virus contracted while camping in wooded areas. Neither of which applies to me or my dog who live in downtown Los Angeles.

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    Elite Member ariesallover's Avatar
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    somethign along the lines of 'lets go in there and see what it is, if its a hernia we wil fix it, if its a mass we will remove it and send it off to be cultured.'
    Okay, so the surgery is essentially an exploratory surgery that is the major diagnostic tool and a fix.

    I dont know how I feel about it. I've run everything by my mom and she says that its all per protocol. But my instincts are telling me that this vet is negligent.
    It seems then your gut reaction isn't so much to the fact above (the dog needs an exploratory surgery to see what it is), but perhaps anxiety over its execution by a vet who has been - as far as you can tell - sub-par? That again points to finding a different vet, even if you make a consultation appointment and see what your instincts tell you.

    A word on instincts: they exist for a reason. It's not like you're randomly awful-izing here - you've had apparently more than one questionable experience with this vet. I don't think you can go wrong by trusting yourself here.

    THe doggie ER doctor was exasperated and angry that my vet gave her these two shots, on top of a 5-year Rabies shot, and all in one day.
    I wonder if anyone has logged a complaint against this practice with your state's regulatory board? I don't know if what you experienced rose to the level of malpractice (the shots sure sound that way, since another expert clearly knew immediately that it was not the standard of care), but something seems amiss.

    That's scary to need to do CPR. I can't imagine how horrible that felt. Thank goodness you were prepared.
    Last edited by ariesallover; January 24th, 2008 at 04:50 AM.
    "I ransacked his drawers when he left me by myself at his place for the first time. That's how we did it in the good old days. Tells me all I need to know about him. He pretends he didn't notice. That's how good relationships start." - Chilly Willy

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    Elite Member Trixie's Avatar
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    My vet won't give all the boosters at once. He said it was because too many animals get sick and have flu-like symptoms. I guess he was right!

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    Lord! Get a new vet-not just a second opinion!
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    Elite Member Cali's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trixiebelle View Post
    My vet won't give all the boosters at once. He said it was because too many animals get sick and have flu-like symptoms. I guess he was right!
    HELL YES he is right! I didnt know any better, and GOD I wish I did. And so my poor dog was vomiting and pooping 30 min later all over my car in rush hour traffic on an LA freeway. And then the hives started and she began breathing funny and I was trying to breathe into her little nostrils like they teach you, all while flying 90 BACK down the freeway to the after-hours clinic... that was even more fun.

    The two shots that the other vet said my dog should NOT have been given were these:
    - Giardia:
    Giardia Infection In The Dog and Cat at ThePetCenter.com
    - Lyme disease (which isn't even a risk for me at all)

    The more I think about it, the more it pisses me off. They just took her back and said "alright we'll give her her vaccines, be right back!"

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