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What are Protrusion of the Rectum and Anus?

Young kittens are the most at risk of developing a protruding rectum. Kittens under six months are more susceptible to parasites, which can cause straining during defecation. Older cats may also develop rectal prolapse when suffering from injuries or rectal tumors. Chronic irritation of the rectum can weaken its state in the body. Intense straining in general can push the rectal tissue out of the body. If this happens, it is important to keep the tissue moist and immediately bring the cat to a veterinarian for treatment. 

In rare circumstances, a cat’s rectal tissue may protrude out of the anal opening. This is referred to as a “rectal prolapse”. The rectum is the end piece of the large intestine. Noticing tubular tissue coming out of your cat’s anus is a visual cue that the rectum has partially exited the body. Swelling and severe pain are common with this condition. The cat will not likely be able to pass stool, which can lead to death in a matter of days.

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Protrusion of the Rectum and Anus Average Cost

From 377 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,800

Average Cost

$600

Symptoms of Protrusion of the Rectum and Anus in Cats

While certain primary issues may lead to rectal prolapse, most symptoms of the prolapse itself are external and visible from the anus of the cat. Symptoms are as follows:

  • Tube-like tissue outside the anus
  • Bright red anus
  • Straining
  • Severe constipation
  • Swollen anus
  • Excessive anal licking
  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • Long capillary refill time
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Causes of Protrusion of the Rectum and Anus in Cats

Many different underlying issues can cause rectal prolapse in cats. Identifying the main problem can help in preventing prolapse from happening a second time after treatment. All known causes are below.

  • Gastrointestinal parasites
  • Dystocia (pushing while delivering kittens)
  • Cancerous or benign tumors in the rectum
  • Injury to the rectal lining
  • Genetic predisposition (as seen in the Manx cat breed)
  • Hernia
  • Ingestion of a non-food item
  • Constipation
  • Gastroenteritis from bacterial or viral infections
  • Urethral calculus (urinary stones in the urethra)
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Diagnosis of Protrusion of the Rectum and Anus in Cats

After you bring your cat into a veterinary clinic or animal hospital, the veterinarian will need to perform a complete physical examination. This will include visual confirmation of the symptoms present followed by a rectal exam. To differentiate rectal prolapse from an even more severe condition called intussusception (small intestine prolapse), a lubricated probe will be inserted into the cat's anus. If the probe enters with little to no resistance, intussusception is likely and emergency surgery is required. If the probe does not enter easily, rectal prolapse is most likely present. The cat will need to be sedated for the duration of this examination.

The underlying cause of the rectal prolapse needs to be identified to choose the proper form of treatment. A fecal analysis may prove useful in identifying any parasites that are present in the cat. Blood work, including a complete blood count to see if hemoglobin is decreasing, and a chemical panel for overall health assessment may be necessary. Urinalysis can also help diagnose certain issues that cause rectal prolapse. X-rays can be used to see the extent of internal damage to the rectum. 

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Treatment of Protrusion of the Rectum and Anus in Cats

The earlier a cat is brought in to be treated for rectal prolapse, the better chance for a successful recovery. Treatment has to be administered quickly to keep as much rectal tissue alive as possible. All treatments require general anesthesia and pain killers for the recovery period. 

Manual Resetting 

If most of the rectal tissue is alive, the veterinarian may be able to manually push it back into place. Sutures are then placed around the anus to keep the rectum in the body. Sutures need to be loose enough to allow bowel movements to pass. Sutures can be removed after 48 hours. 

Colopexy 

This is a mildly invasive surgery with an initial incision about the size of a spay incision. The rectum is pulled back into the body and secured to the body wall. 

Rectal Resection 

This surgery is used if rectal tissue has died and needs to be removed. Once dead tissue is amputated, the rectum is connected back to the anus. This is a very complicated surgery that is used as a last resort attempt to save the cat’s life. Complications are common.

Deworming Medication 

If parasites have been found in the cat, a full deworming is necessary to help the cat from having more rectal issues.

Antibiotics 

If bacterial infection has been identified as an underlying cause, antibiotics can be prescribed to eliminate the harmful bacteria from the body. Prescriptions generally last from two to four weeks.

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Recovery of Protrusion of the Rectum and Anus in Cats

If the underlying cause of a rectal prolapse has been identified and treated and the rectum has been successfully returned to its proper place, the cat can make a full recovery. If a colopexy or manual resetting have taken place, recurrence is possible. If rectal resection surgery has been performed, serious infections can develop through the healing process and permanent incontinence is a possible outcome. 

If any incision has been made, take proper care in monitoring the surgery site for swelling, pus, bleeding or any other signs of infection. Apply an Elizabethan collar to stop the cat from licking its incision. Stool softeners are often required and are sometimes paired with an anal gel to assist the cat in passing bowel movements and help reduce pain. 

Deworm your cat on a regular schedule to help prevent a parasitic infestation from occurring in the first place. Fecal exams can also help diagnose parasites at early stages. Your veterinarian may recommend that you give your cat a diet high in fiber. Lots of fresh water should also be available to your cat. These provisions can help prevent constipation from occurring.

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Protrusion of the Rectum and Anus Average Cost

From 377 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,800

Average Cost

$600

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Protrusion of the Rectum and Anus Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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i dont know

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Three Months

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Unknown severity

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11 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

I found a stray lil kitten and I don’t know what this is and I don’t know if it’s normal

Nov. 29, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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11 Recommendations

Hello, this looks like a little bit of a protrusion rectum. This could be due to diarrhea or parasites. It would be best for your vet to look at her and see what is causing this. In the meantime, keep this area clean with soap and water.

Nov. 29, 2020

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unknown

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unknown

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10 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Swollen Anal Cavity, Lethargy

need to find a cure or a way to make him more comfortable

Sept. 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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10 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I am sorry for the delay, this platform is not set up for urgent emails. The kitten looks like it may have terrible diarrhea, which is sticking to the fur around his anus and causing the skin to become inflamed. Deworming the kitten, resolving the diarrhea, cleaning the area with warm water and keeping it clean will help. It would be a good idea to have a veterinarian examine the kitten to make sure that nothing else is going on.

Oct. 10, 2020

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Protrusion of the Rectum and Anus Average Cost

From 377 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,800

Average Cost

$600

Vet bills can sneak up on you.

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