Spaying and Umbilical Hernia

Hi, we have a 14 wk old basenji that is having surgery done this Monday. I'm getting her spayed and getting her umbilical hernia fixed while we are at it. Does anyone have any advice for me on helping her through it?

14 wks is pretty early? Any reason you are doing it at only 3 1/2 months? You might want to consider waiting till she is at least over 6 months.


I asked the vet when the earliest I could take care of her hernia and he went ahead and scheduled it this Monday. I didn't want her to have any health problems from her hernia so that's why I agreed to have it done so early.


What type of hernia is it? If it is an umbilical hernia, they're pretty-to-very common in the breed.
Pippin has one too….most vets sees them as an issue and wants to have them removed as soon,as possible....Pippin's vet did too, but I informed her regarding how common they are in the breed...she did some research on it and realized I was correct. She at one point even wanted to neuter him for it...even though I intend on showing him...which in turn would make hom not eligeable to show...ggrrr!

Small umbilical hernias are very, very common in the breed and it is extremely rare for them to cause any health concerns. How big is the hernia? If it is barely poking out and you can gently press on it and it will go back inside then there is nothing to worry about. You can wait until she is older to get her spayed and get it corrected at that time. If the hernia is large, hard, and cannot be pressed back into the abdomen easily then it should be corrected asap.


The breeder did tell us it was very common with Basenjis. I wasn't that worried about it at the time but sometimes it would get very hard and we weren't able to push it in. I guess when he listed the health risk it made me a little worried. The hernia is about a quarter size right now. It's pretty big to me. I'm just tired of people also making fun of it or asking what it is.

Who is the breeder please.

We had an umbilical hernia repaired on our first girl in 86 at about that age, but I have never spayed that young. I've always been told you should wait till they reach their full size at 6-9 months before doing a spay or neuter


I have been researching around and I read the earliest is 14 wks. I took the day off to get it done and I believe I will go through with it but I don't want to make the wrong decisions for her.

One of our puppies was neutered by his owner at 4 months And the vet botched it badly resulting in a terrible infection and he lost several inches of intestine. We took him back and it was months before he was back to full health. I think it's better to wIt till the dog is grown for many reasons. In whippets we are told to wait till the growth Plates are fully formed or the dog will not be a strong courser or racer so I wait till 2 yrs or longer o. The whippets

At what age does your breeder recommend spaying?

Sorry all, but I have to jump in here. ahem… very early spays and neuters are done routinely and as safely as on adult, maybe safer as they heal faster. There are as many MEDICAL reasons for doing it before the first heat as there are to wait. And if the hernia is a problem, you do risk losing your dog. With a normal small hernia, waiting til 6 to 9 mos wouldn't be a problem, but if your vet is concerned about the hernia, and it is abnormal as you describe, do what you and your vet think is best.

I work with rescues that spay/neuter as young as 10 wks. For large breed dogs, there is a link between neutering before 18 MONTHS and bone cancer. They have not studied smaller breeds yet. However with bitches, spaying before the first heat helps prevent mammary cancer.

Let me be clear, I am not really into spay/neuter ever if you can keep the dogs safely as far as breeding issues go and if you stay on top of routine checks for any lumps on bitches. But I think scare tactics should go out the window. Give the info, let the person make a good decision on their own based on facts. Cause Lisa, if your vet nicked the intestines, that is incompetency and having NOTHING to do with early spay/neuter. In fact, the research on early spay/neuter were done with puppies and kittens I think as young as 7 weeks old!

And for growth plates... the truth is early spay/neuter actually causes them to stay open longer and the bones to grow MORE. Sounds good if you want taller dogs... except, oh yeah.. that longer growth may be related to bone cancer. Again, I would wait til a dog was at least 2 myself, but it really is six of one half dozen of the other.


I asked the vet when the earliest I could take care of her hernia and he went ahead and scheduled it this Monday. I didn't want her to have any health problems from her hernia so that's why I agreed to have it done so early.

There is no health problems from an Umbical Hernia… very common (over 80%in Basenjis) .....

I would elect to wait


I have been researching around and I read the earliest is 14 wks. I took the day off to get it done and I believe I will go through with it but I don't want to make the wrong decisions for her.

I have had very small to very large Herina's on my Basenjis… two of the girls had huge... and I do mean huge ones... never a problem, both whelped with no problems... and then when they were spayed they were fixed then....

The only one that had a big one that I had a problem with and had to have fixed, was a bitch that let puppies (not hers..ggg) try and nurse from her and it ruptured and didn't have a choice... Not a usual situation

In all my years of having Basenjis, I have repaired o9nly ONE umbilical hernia.
It was one that was medically required.
If the hernia appears to change color… going from skin color to dark pink and then purple, it is strangulating the intestinal tissue and the surgery needs to be done immediately.
If this isn't the case, I would wait for a little more mental and physical maturity on the pup before undergoing surgery.
There is not a medical need to do it this early UNLESS there are problems with the hernia.
As many PP have said, the umbilical hernia is very common in the breed.
I have shown many big winners with these hernias and it has never been an issue in the show ring.


After all the question about the breeder. My bf and I have been researching the forums about the breeder we got our dog from. We have read some bad reviews on her. My breeders name is Mary Weiss and if anyone has any information can you please let me know.

Just make sure you order the fanconi swab test for your dog to determine her status as it is not known if your breeder does any health testing as there is no proof of it in the OFA database.

Test is a simple swab that you do and mail directly to the lab, cost is $65. You will have the results back within a month or so.

Your pup does seem a little young to be spayed, but if your vet can explain why it should be done so soon, I'm sure he knows. My vet spayed Shaye at 6 months, and repaired the umbilical hernia at the same time - there was no problem with either, and she came home with no ensuing difficulties. I was given five little vials of honey-flavored pain medication, but she showed no discomfort. She didn't need a collar, because she licked at it very rarely and then only a bit at a time. I was worried about the anesthesia situation as b's need less anesthesia than other dogs, and it could become a problem, but my vet was very aware of the situation. Be sure yours is as well. It need not be a scary thing if all your questions are answered by the vet first. + to the testing for Fanconi. We had Shaye tested soon as I learned (from this forum) about it, and were very happy to hear she was clear.

In my opinion unless there is a medical reason 14 weeks is far too young to have a puppy spayed - (I don't believe a vet here would spay that early). As to the umbilical hernia I agree with the previous posts that it may not be necessary at all. Has your vet had experience with Basenjis?

Please get the fanconi test kit. It will tell you what you have to deal with in the future.
We are all here for you, if you get bad results, which I so hope you don't.

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