Ever had a foal with an umbilicle hernia?

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Ever had a foal with an umbilicle hernia?

This is a discussion on Ever had a foal with an umbilicle hernia? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • My horse has a hernia
  • How long is recovery from umbilicle hernia surgery

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    08-11-2009, 11:56 AM
Ever had a foal with an umbilicle hernia?

Hey! Just wondered if anyone has any experience with umbilicle hernias in foals/horses. I have recently purchased a QH filly (suckling) and I get her in September. While I was at the breeders I saw a foal I really liked, but was told she was sold. She's now available again, and I'm interested in buying her also. But, (there is always a but!) she has a good sized umbilicle hernia. Wondering if any of you have ever dealt with this before? Did you do the surgery? Was it costly and what was recovery like?
Any info you have would be great. My only experience with this was horribly negative - we had a yearling standardbred, a $60, 000.00 yearling purchase (GASP!) who had an undisclosed hernia repair done - long story short, we discovered it when it became infected and she needed major surgery. Turns out it was a total hack job not even done by a vet. Filly was out for a whole year. Owners thankfully got their $$ back. So I guess I'm looking for positive experiences?? Hopefully?? I rilllly like this filly!
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    08-11-2009, 12:09 PM
My filly had one.. The vet came out and apparently he thought it would just go away. Sure enough at 10 months old it was gone. :) That is the only experience I've had one them though.
    08-11-2009, 06:28 PM
Depending on the size, that determines a lot. Some of the smaller hernias will resolve on their own. Our guideline was always if it is still noticeable at time of weaning, then you have surgically correct it. The veterinary hospital I worked at did a lot of hernia repairs (probably 25 + a year) and all of them did well. I have never seen one that was a problem after it was corrected. I have seen a few not corrected become a big problem. Intestine can easily get trapped in the hernia and become constricted leading to intestinal death. I have also seen one or two trap part of the liver causing death. I would not count this filly out just because she has a hernia. As long as it is not too large, the surgery is not that expensive (I think we charged about $500 total ). You can always go to an equine surgical center and have the surgery done there.....at least then you know that a board certified surgeon performed the procedure (just more expesive). All the surgerys we did were on TBs, and all of them went on to a racing career.

Until you have the surgery, make sure to check the hernia daily (if not 2x daily). If it suddenly gets larger, firmer, non-reducible, or painful for the horse.......surgery immediately.

If you wait on surgery also make sure that you push on the hernia daily.....if the contents continually go back into the abdomen, that will help to have it correct on its own (if it was going to).

If you have any questions please feel free to ask. Hope this helps.
    08-11-2009, 10:04 PM
Yes, I had a filly that was born with one, about the size of a quarter. I could poke my finger up through the hole. It closed on it's own with no problems as she got older. By a year old, it was gone.

If the intestines fall down through the hole and adhere, then you will need surgery to close it up.

Most cases resolve as the foal grows though.
    08-12-2009, 12:38 PM
Ok, thanks! I'll talk to the breeder and see what he says. He said he'd fix it himself - I don't know what that means, but I think I'd rather have my own vet do it. He is a surgeon also. Maybe the breeder will drop the price a little if I take care of it myself. It's pretty big, so I think it will most likely need surgery.
    08-12-2009, 01:34 PM
Yeah, that is scary when someone says "I will fix it myself" on a potentially surgical procedure *gasp* LOL

If it is surgically repaired - the horse should be laid down like a geld, the area is shaved and sterilized with chlorhexadine. Most vets will also have sterile drapes that they surround the site with once they are scrubbed and gloved themselves. An incision is made across the area and the fat and tissue is pushed back into the opening in the muscle wall (hernia) or trimmed away. The edge of the muscle is cut to make a fresh edge and the hole is stitched closed. The subcuticular tissue is closed and then the skin is closed. Should be completely healed in 10 to 14 days - some heal as quickly as 7 to 10 days.

Your vet will decide whether to do a course of antibiotics for 10 days and I give mine herbal respond for discomfort rather than bute - easier on the stomach.
    08-12-2009, 01:42 PM
Ya, I didn't know what to think with the "I'll fix it myself" thing. I hate to say this but in that area of the province, people do tend to go the "do it myself" route! That's what happened with the stdbd filly - what a mess!

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