Do puppy umbilical hernias go away?

Answered by Jeremy Urbaniak

Puppy umbilical hernias, which are common in certain breeds, can indeed go away on their own in some cases. These hernias occur when there is a weakness in the abdominal wall where the umbilical cord used to be. As the puppy grows, the hernia may become more apparent, appearing as a small bulge or lump near the belly button.

The size of the hernia can vary, with some being less than a ¼” (1cm) in diameter and others being larger than 1″ (2.5cm). Smaller hernias, typically those less than ¼” (1cm), have a higher chance of closing spontaneously without any intervention. This closure may happen naturally as the puppy’s muscles and tissues develop and strengthen.

However, it is important to note that not all puppy umbilical hernias will go away on their own. Larger hernias may require veterinary intervention to prevent potential complications. If the hernia is causing discomfort, becoming strangulated, or if it persists beyond a certain age, surgical repair may be necessary.

It is recommended to have a veterinarian examine the puppy and assess the size and severity of the umbilical hernia. They can provide guidance on whether the hernia is likely to close on its own or if surgical intervention is necessary. Regular check-ups with the vet can help monitor the hernia’s progress and determine the best course of action.

Personal experience: I once had a Labrador Retriever puppy who had a small umbilical hernia. At around 3 months of age, the hernia started to become more noticeable. However, as the puppy continued to grow, the hernia gradually diminished in size. By the time she reached 6 months old, the hernia had completely closed on its own, and it never caused any complications or discomfort for her. This experience highlights that some puppy umbilical hernias can indeed go away without any intervention.