Outcome after surgical and conservative treatments of canine peritoneopericardial diaphragmatic hernia: A multi-institutional study of 128 dogs

Keaton R.S. Morgan, Ameet Singh, Michelle A. Giuffrida, Ingrid M. Balsa, Galina Hayes, Margaret L. Chu, Christopher B. Thomson, Shiori Arai, Daniel D. Smeak, Eric Monnet, Laura E. Selmic, Megan Cray, Janet A. Grimes, Taylor Morris, J. Brad Case, Jeffrey J. Biskup, Jason Haas, Kelley Thieman-Mankin, Milan Milovancev, Mathieu Gatineau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To compare demographics and disease characteristics in dogs in which peritoneopericardial diaphragmatic hernia (PPDH) had been diagnosed and report outcomes after surgical treatment (ST) or conservative treatment (CT).

STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective study.

SAMPLE POPULATION: One hundred twenty-eight dogs (91 ST, 37 CT) in which PPDH had been diagnosed.

METHODS: Medical records were reviewed for demographics, perioperative findings, and outcomes. Follow-up was obtained via telephone interview and email correspondence with owners and referring veterinarians. Baseline variables were compared between treatment groups.

RESULTS: Dogs treated surgically were younger (P < .001), more likely to be sexually intact (P = .002), more likely to have clinical signs from PPDH vs an incidental diagnosis (P < .001), and more likely to have other congenital abnormalities (P = .003) compared with dogs treated conservatively. Ninety-seven percent of ST dogs were discharged from hospitals. Intraoperative and postoperative complications were reported in 22% and 41% of dogs, respectively, although most complications were classified as low grade (75% and 83%, respectively). Follow-up was available in 87 dogs, at a median of 1062 days. Hernia recurrence was not reported in any surgically treated dog. The deaths of nine dogs (five ST, four CT) could be attributed to PPDH, and long median survival times were observed in both the ST and CT groups (8.2 and 5 years, respectively).

CONCLUSION: Preoperative characteristics differed between dogs treated conservatively vs surgically. Surgical treatment was associated with low operative mortality, and both ST and CT dogs had good long-term survival.

CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: A diagnosis of PPDH can confer a good long-term prognosis for both ST and CT dogs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-145
Number of pages8
JournalVeterinary Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The American College of Veterinary Surgeons

Copyright 2019 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Animals
  • Conservative Treatment/statistics & numerical data
  • Dog Diseases/surgery
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Hernia, Diaphragmatic/surgery
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications/epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Journal Article


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