Diagnosis and Treatment of Cat Hernias
Diagnosing hernias is pretty straightforward. Your vet will perform a physical exam, then follow up with an X-ray to see how severe the hernia is and look for any other damage.1
Treatment for hernias can depend on the type and severity of the hernia, any damage done due to the hernia, and any discomfort your cat may be experiencing. If the hole in the muscle wall that the tissues are pushing through is small enough and there’s no discomfort, your vet may be able to reduce the hernia without surgery and let it heal on its own.2
For some, your vet may decide that surgery to reduce the hernia internally and close the hole in the muscle wall is the best option. In more serious cases where blood flow has been cut off to the organs and tissues in the hernia, surgery is required to correct the damage.2
It depends on the situation. Some hernias may never cause problems for your cat, and they can live a normal life. However, it’s not advisable to ignore a hernia because some can become life-threatening. For example, a hiatal hernia can obstruct your cat’s airway and put pressure on the lungs, which can make it difficult to breathe and potentially lead to respiratory failure.5
Having a proper diagnosis can give you peace of mind, even if the hernia isn’t endangering your cat. After fixing a hernia, they can usually go back to their normal life without issues. While uncommon, cats who had a hernia once may experience a recurrence of it in the future.4
Cat Hernia Surgery Cost
Cat hernia surgery costs can run anywhere between $250 and $1,100.2 Every hernia is different, and what you’ll pay depends on your cat’s condition and the type of hernia.
Talk with your vet to get a better picture of what your vet visit may cost. You might ask them if your pet will need anesthesia, lab tests, prescriptions, or a follow-up visit. These services will add to the surgery's final bill.
Consider using a different vet to save money. For example, if you make up to a certain income annually, you may be able to get discounted hernia procedures at animal humane societies.7 Another option is to have cat insurance, which can reimburse you for covered vet expenses.
What to expect if your cat needs surgery
Before the surgery, your cat will need to fast from food and be given limited fluids. The anesthesiologist will insert a tracheal tube, to help your cat breathe while they’re in a deep sleep, and closely monitor your pet throughout the procedure.2
During surgery, the vet will push the hernia back into its proper place and repair any damaged tissues and organs. Then, they’ll close the gap in the muscle walls using surgical mesh, sutures, or stitches.2
The good news is your cat is unlikely to need a long hospital stay to recover.2 Prepare a cage or cat carrier at home, so your pet can rest comfortably while they recover. You may have to give your kitty antibiotics to treat or prevent infections, and they may have to wear a collar to prevent licking or biting the incision.
MetLife Pet Insurance May Help You Save on Surgery Costs
Luckily, hernia surgery is a common procedure, and complications are unlikely. Keeping up with regular wellness checkups is a great way to avoid costly surgeries, but even routine costs can add up.
Investing in a pet insurance policy could help make both routine and unexpected vet expenses more affordable. MetLife Pet Insurance offers customizable coverage on expenses like exams, medications, and surgeries, with optional wellness coverage that can help with spaying and neutering costs. Take a moment to invest in your pet’s health by getting a personalized quote, so you can get back to what matters: time with your kitty.