Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Umbilical Hernia in Dogs

Umbilical Dog Hernia

A canine umbilical hernia is a gap in the muscle wall situated at the site of the umbilicus (belly button). This opening permits the passage of abdominal contents through it.


Umbilical hernias can be either complicated or uncomplicated. A complicated hernia occurs when abdominal contents, such as a loop of intestine, pass through the opening and become trapped.

An uncomplicated umbilical hernia is characterized by a soft swelling in the umbilical area. This swelling may vary in size and may appear and disappear. Otherwise, the dog will seem healthy.

Symptoms associated with a complicated umbilical hernia may include:

  • Pain and warmth, particularly at the site of the umbilical swelling
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression


The primary cause of umbilical hernias in dogs is likely genetic inheritance, although trauma can also contribute. Certain dog breeds, such as Airedales, Pekingese, and Basenjis, are predisposed to developing umbilical hernias.


Typically, umbilical hernias can be identified through physical examination by locating the swelling caused by the hernia. However, in some cases, contrast radiographs (x-rays) or an abdominal ultrasound may be necessary to ascertain whether any abdominal contents are trapped.


Treating an umbilical hernia typically requires surgical correction of the opening and, if needed, repositioning of abdominal contents. However, some umbilical hernias may close on their own, typically by the age of 6 months.

While small umbilical hernias may not require surgical correction, larger hernias should be repaired to eliminate the risk of complications.


Given that many umbilical hernias are hereditary, it is advisable not to breed pets with such hernias.

Scroll to Top