Polly's life-saving hernia surgery

Polly's life-saving hernia surgery
25 February 2022
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Polly is a 7-year-old Kune Kune entire female pig who was referred to Langford vets for life-saving surgery in a combined effort from a number of our specialist teams. 

Polly has had an umbilical hernia all her life; this is when some of her abdominal contents were protruding through a gap in her body wall muscle (where her umbilicus joined as a piglet) into a pouch under her skin. Unfortunately, the hernia had started causing problems. She was presented to her referring vets for inappetence and vomiting after drinking. Her owners had also noticed that the hernia had enlarged raising suspicion that a piece of gut had become stuck in the hernia and the blood supply to this gut was being cut off. Initially, Polly was treated by her own vet medically with pain relief, antibiotics and rectal enemas. However, when there was minimal improvement in Pollys condition her  owners agreed with her vet  to refer her to Langford Vets for life saving surgery. 

Before Polly could have her surgery the Langford Vets team needed to ensure she was stable enough to cope with the anaesthetic and the surgery. Blood samples were taken which showed inflammation, but luckily her kidneys and liver were functioning well. An ultrasound of her 10cm hernia showed some free fluid, and the gut was no longer moving normally as it had been trapped in the hernia. This finding on ultrasound confirmed that the hernia was strangulating the intestines, and this was the cause of Polly’s discomfort. We gave Polly further pain relief and drugs to reduce the risk of stomach ulcers forming to keep Polly comfortable and stable before her surgery. 


The day of Polly’s surgery came and with the help of the specialist anaesthesia team at Langford Vets, Polly underwent a general anaesthetic. The soft tissue surgeons performed the 2-hour surgery removing necrotic (dead) skin, removing 30cm of the strangulating gut and suturing the remaining gut back together. They then closed the incision and the hernia no longer existed!

Polly recovered well from her surgery in the comfort of a deep straw bed in our Farm Holding facilities. We kept Polly as an inpatient for a further week for nursing from our farm animal team and final year students and close monitoring to ensure she was comfortable. She continued to improve throughout her stay and her appetite returned in full force! We were delighted to send home a happy and healthy Polly ready to be reunited with her piggy friend once more.










Here is Polly back enjoying life back home!