What causes a diaphragmatic hernia or rupture?
The most common cause of diaphragmatic hernia is blunt trauma. This type of trauma can occur after a fall from a high place (such as a window), an automobile accident, or a blow to the abdomen. Congenital diaphragmatic hernias are less commonly seen in veterinary hospitals. What are the clinical signs of diaphragmatic hernia? Clinical signs are dependent on the severity of herniation. With small tears or in dogs born with a diaphragmatic hernia, there may be no discernible clinical signs. The pet owner may report mild breathing difficulties, especially when stressed or exercising, and periods of mild gastrointestinal upset. In severe or acute cases, there is often respiratory distress, an abnormal heart rhythm, muffled heart and lung sounds, and other signs of systemic shock. The abdomen may feel empty when palpated. How is a diaphragmatic hernia diagnosed? Diagnosis is based on medical history, physical examination, and radiographs. Blood and urine tests may be performed if the patien