student nurse newsletter

Clinical Corner Answer - October

The answer is Hiatal Hernia. A hernia is most likely to occur in puppies less than a year old and is usually inherited (congenital). It can occur in any breed, gender or age, but there does appear to be a predispotition for male animals, and with Chinese Shar-Pei and English bulldogs more than other breeds. 

It occurs when one part of the body protrudes through a gap or opening into another part. A hiatal hernia, specifically, is when the lower oesophageal sphincter slides into the thoracic cavity and allows gastric reflux into the oesophagus, causing inflammation of the oesophagus. 

Symptoms include

  • regurgitation, coughing or vomiting 
  • anorexia or weight loss
  • excessive salivation
  • shortness of breath


X-rays may show

  • abdominal tissue growth of foreign body in the oesophagus, digestive tract or stomach
  • inflammation of the oesophagus 
  • enlargement of the lower oesophagus 
  • protrusion of the stomach into the oesophagus