Sad but true. Even Chihuahuas. And I am unfortunately a living example. It turns out what seemed to be a lump on my belly is instead an “Umbilical Hernia”. There is an opening where my belly button would be if I had one, and through that opening has passed either part of my intestine or fat. Ugh. Can you imagine?
A hernia is “an abnormal opening in a muscle through which other tissues of the body pass.” These openings, or hernias, are under the skin so you don’t actually see them. There are two primary kinds of hernias in dogs. One is in the groin area and another in the “belly button” area.
I blame my mother. According to my vet, it may be hereditary or my mommy dearest may have bitten off my umbilical cord too close and left a little hole. Then I grew up and that hole did too. Because it’s under the skin you can’t see it. Except now there’s an unsightly bulge in my belly. No bikinis for me right now.
So if you notice a lump on your Chi, take them to the vet and have it examined because there can be complications with blood supply and such and can be fatal. Yikes! Having part of your intestine ooze out of your stomach is yucky. Surgery is needed to close the hole after placing back the stuff that escaped.
For more information read Inguinal, Umbilical and Diaphragmatic Hernias in Dogs from Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc., Race Foster, DVM or do a search online. Or visit your friendly vet.