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Q&A: Why Does My Puppy Have a Lump on His Belly?

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Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.

Inguinal hernia on a small puppy

Inguinal hernia on a small puppy

What Is This Lump on My Puppy's Belly?

"I have an 11-week-old Russell Terrier male puppy. He has a swollen area on his abdominal area, between his back leg and his penis. It feels like a bumpy lump under the skin and measures about 1"x3". The puppy acts normal, has no fever, is active, and is eating and drinking extremely well.

When you feel this lump area, it sort of feels lumpy under the skin, like a bruise or varicose veins do in a human. No sign of a bite or anything like that. Any ideas?" —Claudia

Inguinal Hernias in Puppies

Based on the photo and your description, it looks like your puppy has a small inguinal hernia.

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Read More From Pethelpful

Inguinal (scrotal) hernias are seen a lot in male puppies his age, but in older dogs they can be secondary to trauma, like being hit by a car. They are not usually dangerous unless they are large enough for the bladder or intestine to move into the canal and lose blood supply. Most dogs never have this problem with their hernia, and the most common sign is a small, non-painful lump. (1)

There are no guarantees that this isn't more serious, but it does not look bad.

The next time you take your puppy to the vet for vaccinations, point out the lump and they can determine how large the hernia is. If you plan on having him neutered, it is simple to fix it when he is under anesthesia for that procedure and will just take an extra incision and minor surgery.


  1. Waters DJ, Roy RG, Stone EA. A retrospective study of inguinal hernia in 35 dogs. Vet Surg. 1993 Jan-Feb;22(1):44-9.

This article is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from your veterinarian. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2022 Dr Mark

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