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Surgical Management of Intercostal Hernia in a Heifer.


Hernia is protrusion of organ through defect in the wall of abdominal cavity (Brissol, 2004). Intercostal hernias are rare phenomena caused by disruption or weakness in thoracoabdominal wall musculature resulting in herniation of fascia layers between adjacent ribs. Hernia may contain abdominal and thoracic viscera, such as liver, lung, small and large bowel, omentum or gall bladder (Abunnaja et al., 2014). Hernia occurs generally as a result of trauma (blunt injury, penetrating injury, rib fractures (Abunnaja et al., 2014). It is commonly seen along the costal arch, high or low in flank between last few ribs (Berge and Westhues, 1966). In the present communication, successful surgical management of intercostal hernia in a heifer is reported.

History and Clinical Observations

A eight months old heifer was presented with history of swelling at right thoracic region since last one week and size was increasing day by day after stamping by another animal. Clinical examination and palpation of swelling revealed painless, reducible and rent was noticed between 10th and 11th ribs (Fig.1). Physiological and haemato-biochemical parameters were within normal limits. Based on history and clinical observations, it was diagnosed as intercostal hernia and decided to perform herniorraphy.


The heifer was kept off feed and water for 24 hr and 12 hours, respectively before surgery. The animal was restrained in left lateral recumbency and area was prepared for aseptic surgery. Animal was sedated with Xylazine @ 0.1 mg/kg b.wt. and 2% Lignocaine hydrochloride was infiltrated locally. A longitudinal incision was done in middle of swelling and hernia ring was exposed. The herniated organ was omentum (Fig. 2) and was repositioned. Herniorrhaphy was performed by using overlapping sutures with no. 2 polyglycolic acid (Fig. 3). The subcutaneous tissue and skin were apposed with simple continuous suture by using catgut size no. 2 and horizontal mattress suture by using nylon size no. 2 respectively and closed cutting edges were protected by Tincture benzoin seal. Post-operatively, animal was administered with Inj. Streptopenicilli[n.sup.a] 2.5gm and Inj. Meloxicam (Melone[x.sup.b]) @ 0.3 mg/kg b.wt intramuscularly for five days and dressing was done on alternative days. Sutures were removed on tenth postoperative day and animal made uneventful recovery.


Trauma such as kick, blow, horn thrust or falling on blunt objects are most common causes for ventral hernia in animals (Desai and Parab, 2012), stamping by another animal was cause for hernia in present case. Sankar et al. (2010) reported intestines and omentum were the hernia contents and hernia of gravid uterus in crossbred cow was reported by Choudary et al. (2016), omentum was hernial content in our present case. Sankar et al. (2010) had employed no. 3 silk for overlapping suturing of hernia ring no. 2 silk was used in present case for suturing of hernia ring. Ventral hernia was reported in a heifer (Desai and Parab, 2012), in crossbred cow (Choudary et al., 2016) and in goat (Das et al., 2012) where as in present study, intercostal hernia was reported in a heifer.


A case of intercostal hernia due to epiplocele was successfully treated in a heifer.


Abunnaja, S., Chysna, K., Shaikh, I. and Tripodi, G. (2014). Acquired Abdominal Intercostal hernia: A Case Report and Literature Review. Case Reports in Surgery pp 1-5.

Berge and Westhues (1966). Veterinary Operative Surgery, Medical Book Company, Boulevard, Denmark.

Brissol, H.N., Durpe, G.P. and Bouvy, B.M. (2004). Use of Laprotomy in a stage approach for resolution of bilateral or complicated perineal hernia in 41 dogs. Vet. Surg. 33: 412-21.

Choudhury, M. D., Barua, P. M. and Deka, K. C. (2016). Surgical management of Unilateral Ventral Hernia of Gravid Uterus in a Crossbred cow. Intas Polivet 17: 70-71.

Desai, B. V. and Parab, P. R. (2012). Ventral hernia in a Heifer and its Surgical management. Intas Polivet 13: 46-47.

Sankar, P., Justin William, B., Shafiuzama, Md., Rao, G. D. and Suresh Kumar, R. (2010). Repair of Rumino- Entero-Omentocele (Ventral Hernia) in a Cow - A Case Report. Ind. J. Ani.Res. 44: 214-16.

P. Veena (1), M. Sai Baba (2), G. Vani (3) and R.V. Suresh Kumar (4)

Department of Surgery and Radiology College of Veterinary Science Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University (SVVU) Tirupati - 517502 (Andhra Pradesh)

(1.) Professor and Corresponding author.


(2.) Teaching Assistant

(3.) Assistant Professor

(4.) Professor and University Head

(a) - Brand of Zydus Animal Health, Ahmedabad

(b) - Brand of Intas Animal Health, Ahmedabad
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Title Annotation:Short Communication
Author:Veena, P.; Baba, M. Sai; Vani, G.; Kumar, R.V. Suresh
Publication:Intas Polivet
Article Type:Clinical report
Date:Jul 1, 2017
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