Monday, June 21, 2010

108. Perineal hernia repair Boston Terrier 7 years

Case: Boston Terrier, Male, Not neutered, 7 years, 12.4kg
Big swellings besides the anus, the left swelling being bigger.
Difficulty in pooping for past 3 weeks.

A knowledgeable young man who has his own views of dog care.
He presented a Boston Terrier with constipation for the past 3 weeks. He went to Vet 1 who referred him to another vet after taking a blood test as she did not want to perform the surgery. She had given him a laxative for the dog and the dog had passed loose stools instead of hard ones.

"Why don't you see the referred vet?" I asked.

"The Surgery has a bad reputation," the young man had googled the name of the practice he was referred to by Vet 1. "There is a very bad complaint about the vets from one dog owner. So I better not go there."

"All veterinary practices will have one or two nasty complaints about service," I educated this young man. "The busier the practice, the higher the chances of getting complaints. This is because the vet has no time to handle each case as thoroughly as he or she would love to. This applies to over-worked doctors in human medicine too especially in the emergency wards."

"Has your dog been vaccinated?" I asked.
"No vaccination for the past few years. Do you have parvovirus in your Surgery?" the young man asked me.

"Fortunately for your dog, my practice does not have parvo-viral cases for many months as I seldom provide service to the dog breeders nowadays. You have taken a big risk exposing your dog the risk of parvoviral and canine distemper infections."

I checked Vet 1's blood test results. It is wise not to trust the blood results of other practices based on one of my experiences (see one case I had written). However, he had paid $130 for the test and I would not insist as that would increase his vet bills. Overall, the dog was examined and was healthy. So I took the chance.

IV saline given. Then I gave Atropine 0.4 ml IV followed by Domitor 0.2 ml IV
Waited 10 minutes. Isoflurane gas mask. Dog struggled. So, I gave Zoletil 100 @ 0.1 ml IV. This sedated the dog who was masked and given isoflurane gas at 5%. The dog slept and was intubated. Isoflurane at 1-2% maintenance was done by my experienced assistant, Mr Saw. I asked him to increase the dose when the pelvic fat kept coming out from the hernia after pushing the fat into the abdominal cavity. The dog recovered smoothly.

I gave him antibiotics to take and schedule perineal hernia surgery 2 days later. The surgery took nearly an hour as the hernia was large. The hernia bulge with pelvic fat is large, around 4 cm x 6 cm. An electro-incision made a big cut to the left of the anus.

It was difficult to identify the medial coccygeal and levator ani muscles in this case as there is a lot of inflammation. The internal pudendal artery and vein and the pudendal nerve on the dorsal surface of the internal obturator muscle looked compressed as I showed to my assistant Mr Saw who nodded his head. Judging from his eyes, he did not believe they were what I said.

Is there a right perineal hernia too?

Electro-incision. Big amount of pelvic fat. A retractor enabled me to have a good field of view to stitch up the defect

See the big hole through which part of the colon and pelvic fat herniated through causing a big backside swelling

Left perineal hernia repaired. Neutering in 3-4 weeks if the owner wants to do it. The right perineal hernia may need to be repaired later.
The internal obturator muscle is on the ventral aspect of the pelvic diaphragm. This was a big fatty mass horizontally covering the muscle, unlike the no-fat muscles illustrated in Small Animal Surgery, T.W. Fossum 1997, pg 354.

I used a retractor to spread open up the operating area and to see the pudendal vessels and nerve just above the obturator muscles in this case. Do not stitch these vessels or nerves.

Dog woke up fast. Given tolfedine painkillers.

I doubt that it is possible to do two hernias at one go as the muscle stitching on one side (i.e. left hernia in this case) pulled the left anal area tightly to cover the herniated hole. Therefore doing two hernia repair at the same time just is not in the interest of the dog as he will feel very uncomfortable and painful.

LOOSE STOOLS leaking out from the anus. This must be plugged. The dog had been given an oil laxative by Vet 1 for 3 days and the loose stools start to come out despite atropine injection.

The dog was OK and was warded for at least 4 days as the owner did not have a crate to prevent the dog running loose. I checked the dog every day to ensure that he had proper nursing care and pain-killers. The boy's parents came to visit the dog yesterday. The dog should be back home after 7 days. He had managed to rub his backside onto the floor of the crate despite tolfedine 60 mg at half a tablet per day for 3 days. I decided to give him 1/4 dose of a 30mg phenobarb and then Rimadryl for another 3 days to prevent pain and inflammation.

1. Yearly vaccination is important. Fortunately this dog did not get infected with parvoviral disease in the practice of Vet 1 which is a very busy practice and in my surgery. Otherwise, I end up with a dog passing blood in the stools and dying later. At the time of writing this report, it is still early at Day 5 after visiting Vet 1. Parvoviral signs come in around 10-14 days after infection.

2. "Neutering the dog when he was younger would have decreased the chances of him getting perineal hernia," I said. "Perineal hernia is more common in non-neutered dogs." The young man said: "It is cruel and that is why I don't do it." He has been advised to neuter the dog around 2-4 weeks later. As for the right perineal hernia, it is a smaller one. Wait and see. If the dog is neutered and there is
no more swelling in the backside, then there is no need to do a right perineal hernia repair.

3. High anaesthetic risks. I don't enjoy doing high anaesthetic risk surgeries as they are very stressful for me. If the dog survives, everybody is pleased. There will be deaths and the owners may be very emotional and angry. Some may post a nasty complaint in the internet. To minimise risks of deaths of old dogs on the operating table, I don't force myself to perform hernia repair and neutering at the same time. The owner has to appreciate that I don't take risks unnecessary.

Detailed report at

No comments:

Post a Comment