My 8 week old male shih tzu has a soft lump on his belly. What can it be?
I just noticed my puppy has a soft squishy circle on his belly.
He uses the bathroom regularly and doesn't whine or complain about the lump. I am always playing with him and he's never had it before.
Do you know what this can be?
From the way you describe it, I'd say that this lump is most likely a small hernia (also called an 'incomplete closure' as this is in fact exactly what it is!)
It's a small opening in the abdominal muscle wall and the soft 'lump' is usually a tiny piece of fatty tissue that is protruding through that opening.
This is actually very common in puppies. Sometimes it is seen at birth, other times it develops as the puppy grows. It can 'mend itself' as the pup grows and this does happen from time to time. However, more often it remains but generally doesn't cause any problems to the puppy.
There are potential complications though if a small loop of intestine slips through the opening, or if fat/intestine becomes trapped or pinched between the muscle walls. In that case the lump would feel very solid or hard, and you wouldn't be able to push it back through. The pup would be in obvious pain or distress and the area may look swollen or painful.
If that happens then you need to get your puppy to a vet very quickly, as it is an emergency. Although this is a rare complication, to avoid the risk you can have your vet put a couple of stitches in to close up the opening. It's a very simple and quick procedure, and can be done at the same time as neutering to make things even quicker and easier.
I'd recommend having your vet take a look at this just to be sure that is IS a hernia, and not something else that may need treatment though.
Hope this helps, best of luck with your puppy.
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