Umbilical hernias in foals and yearlings

Foals born with umbilical hernias are a common occurrence.

A hernia is essentially a hole in the body wall that is discovered by owners when a small lump appears in the belly button region. Some foals may have the defect since birth, or it may not show up until later.
Treatment is not usually urgent, however, it is advisable to get them fixed at some stage. This prevents the risk of the intestine becoming entrapped in the hernial ring and causing colic.

Treatment options

These depend on how big the hernia is.

  • Small hernias may be able to be fixed on farm, by reducing the hernia with rubber rings under general anaesthesia.
  • Larger hernial holes will need surgical closure on the table at the clinic, also under general anaesthesia.
If you’re concerned your foal or yearling has an umbilical hernia, contact the clinic to book a vet to assess them.

- Megan Reidie


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