Inguinal Hernia in Horses

My gelding has been diagnosed with a hernia between the omentum and the inguinal ring. He hasn’t had signs of
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Q:My 8-year-old gelding has been diagnosed with a hernia between the omentum (a fold of the abdominal tissue surrounding the organs) and the inguinal ring (an opening deep within the groin area through which the spermatic cord passes).

I first noticed a large, hard lump (about the size of my palm) just below his stomach, on the upper part of his sheath or scrotum along with huge swelling of the sheath area which I initially thought was a hygiene issue. He has had no signs of real discomfort, his bowel movements have been the same, and he doesn’t have any problems with urination.

I have had two different vets look at it, test his blood for any abnormalities, and on the vet’s last visit he conducted both external and rectal ultrasound exams.

All bloodwork came back normal, the external ultrasound showed multiple pockets of liquid in this hard lump, and the veterinarian was unable to find the inguinal ring on rectal ultrasound. After conferring with a surgeon the vet diagnosed it as a hernia

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Written by:

Anthony Blikslager, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, is a professor of equine surgery and gastroenterology at North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. His research interest is gastrointestinal physiology in horses, studying the mechanisms of injury and repair in the gut with the clinical outlook of enhancing recovery of horses with colic.

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