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Hernia Between the Pericardium and Peritoneum in Dogs

Peritoneopericardial Diaphragmatic Hernia in Dogs

A peritoneopericardial diaphragmatic hernia in dogs is an inborn abnormality impacting the connection between the pericardium (the double-wall sac encompassing the heart) and the peritoneum (the membrane lining the abdominal cavity). Similar to other hernias, the protrusion of the septum disrupts the adjacent area, specifically the abdomen.

Symptoms and Types

The symptoms can vary depending on the quantity and type of abdominal contents that have herniated. Common signs may include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Coughing
  • Weight loss
  • Difficulty breathing


The peritoneopericardial diaphragmatic hernia develops during the embryonic stage and is classified as a prenatal defect.


Provide your veterinarian with a detailed history of your dog’s health, including the onset and characteristics of the symptoms. A comprehensive physical examination will be conducted, along with a biochemistry profile, urinalysis, and complete blood count (CBC), typically yielding normal results.

Abnormalities observed on X-rays depend on the size and quantity of herniated abdominal contents. More advanced methods such as contrast peritoneography may be utilized for a detailed assessment. This involves injecting a contrast medium into the peritoneal cavity, followed by X-ray imaging from various angles. Echocardiography is another commonly employed technique for confirming the diagnosis.


Surgical intervention is usually necessary to repair the hernia and reposition the viable organs to their normal positions. However, if the condition is identified in adult dogs without any accompanying symptoms, treatment may not be necessary.

Living and Management

The prognosis is favorable for dogs that have undergone surgery without additional complicating factors.

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