Tara is an eight month old female domestic shorthair who presented for a surgical consult of a suspected umbilical hernia. She was found as a stray and taken in by a rescue group. The group was told at one point that the hernia may be too large to correct.
On presentation Tara was found to have a large (approximately 3 inch) defect in her abdominal wall with herniation of her abdominal contents into her subcutaneous space. She was covered in fleas and thin. Her other physical exam findings were normal.
A radiograph (x-ray) was taken which confirmed her abdominal contents in her subcutaneous space and a large defect in her abdominal wall. No other radiographic abnormalities were noted. A feline leukemia/feline immunodeficiency test was run which was negative. A fecal was submitted which was also negative.
Tara was scheduled for surgical correction of the hernia and concurrent spay.
An umbilical hernia is defined as herniation of abdominal contents through the umbilicus or umbilical ring. Umbilical hernias are usually congenital. In normal development, the umbilicus closes at birth leaving an umbilical cicatrix. If the umbilicus fails to contract, is large, or improperly formed, an umbilical hernia results. The cause is unknown but they are thought to be inherited. With large hernias there is concern for the herniated contents to become rotated on themselves or strangulated. This can be life threatening. Therefore, timely surgical correction is recommended.
Tara was taken to surgery. She was spayed. The edges of her hernia were debrided and her abdominal wall was sutured together closing the defect. Her abdominal contents were not strangulated and appeared normal. She recovered well from surgery. Her post operative x-ray showed closure of the abdominal wall with her abdominal contents back in normal positioning. She should have no long term effects from the herniation.