A 2-wk-old stranded harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) rescued by Mystic Aquarium showed signs of the presence of a hiatal hernia during rehabilitation. Contrast radiographs of esophagus and stomach revealed an intrathoracic radiodensity that contains filling defects typical of stomach, consistent with gastric rugal folds. Mural thickening was observed at the level of the cardia consistent with a diagnosis of a hiatal hernia. Although clinical improvement was noted with medical therapy and tube feeding, surgical correction of the hiatal hernia was considered necessary for full resolution. However, owing to the animal's low body weight, the corrective hernia surgery was postponed until the body condition improved. The seal needed to be surgically treated for a corneal ulcer, and while anesthetized with isoflurane, the seal became dyspneic and developed cardiac arrhythmias; ultimately cardiac arrest ensued. Resuscitation was unsuccessfully attempted and the seal was euthanized. Necropsy confirmed the radiographic diagnosis and further characterized a paraesophageal hiatal hernia.
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