Meet Aggy the nine month old Border Collie X Labrador puppy who happens to belong to Dr Andrew's brother and family. Aggy was up for a routine spey (sterilisation). She has had a fairly normal life as a puppy, although Andrew's sister-in-law had mentioned she seemed to get tired a bit too quickly after exercise for a young fit dog of her breed.
All was well prior to Aggy's surgery day for her spey. Her pre-anaesthetic blood test came back regular and her admission examination was normal. However, during Aggy's spey operation, it was a big surprise to everyone that we discovered that she had a large diaphragmatic hernia.
A hernia is a defect in a body structure wall that has the potential to allow body organs or tissues to pass through. Some examples of hernias that occur in animals and humans include umbilical, inguinal, hiatal and scrotal hernias. A diaphragmatic hernia is an abnormal ‘hole' in the diaphragm that allows communication between the abdomen and the thorax. They often occur after some sort of trauma (such as a car accident) or, as in Aggy's case, a congenital defect. In other words she was born this way.
Aggy also had some of her small intestine sitting up inside her chest next to her lungs. No wonder she was getting puffed when exercising!
Consequently, Aggy's spey operation also turned into a repair of her diaphragm. Her owners are now commenting on how much more energy she has!