What is Rectal Prolapse Treatment?

Rectal prolapse is an issue that can affect any age or breed of dog. Puppies under the age of six months suffer from rectal prolapse more often due to their susceptibility to intestinal parasites. Obstructions caused by tumors, hernias or foreign bodies can also lead to the lowest portion of the intestines exiting the body after excessive straining to defecate.  

Rectal prolapse is easy to see, as the internal organ is visible from outside the anus. It can be either complete or incomplete, with incomplete prolapse only being evident while the dog is straining. In a complete prolapse, the intestinal tissue stays outside of the body. This tissue begins a bright red color, but as the tissue starts to die, it turns blue or black. Tissue death can be fatal for the dog and requires immediate treatment. Veterinary assistance is required to correct rectal prolapse, and a surgeon is needed if tissue death has occurred. 

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Rectal Prolapse Treatment Procedure in Dogs

To determine exactly what has gone wrong, the veterinarian will have to physically examine the dog's rectum. A tool or finger will be inserted into the rectum between the protrusion and the rectal wall. This is done to rule out the chance of prolapsed ileocolic intussusception, an issue that is much more severe. If the object can not enter, rectal prolapse is the diagnosis. General anesthesia is usually needed to return the mass to its place, however because these procedures are often done on an emergency basis, blood work to ensure the safety of sedation may have to be forgone. 

If the prolapse is incomplete, or if the tissues are fully viable, the intestines may be gently pushed back into the body using lubrication. Once returned to the right spot, the tissue can be secured using a purse-string suture. If the prolapse is complete and the intestines have begun to darken, this indicates that the tissue has started to die. When dead tissue is present, it must be fully removed, the rectum reattached, and then replaced back into the body. 

Efficacy of Rectal Prolapse Treatment in Dogs

The overall prognosis will heavily depend on how severe the prolapse is, and whether the tissue has begun to die or not. Because of this, dogs that are treated quickly tend to have a better outcome than those who wait to see a veterinarian. If only a manual reinsertion is performed, the prognosis is generally good, although a second prolapse may occur. If intestinal amputation is necessary, the rate of recovery drops significantly. Procedures used in the treatment of rectal prolapse can include a colopexy, anastomosis, rectal resection and celiotomy.

Rectal Prolapse Treatment Recovery in Dogs

The dog will be closely monitored as anesthesia wears off to ensure all vital functions resume properly. A topical anesthetic or an epidural will be used as the animal wakes up to help prevent it from straining its rectum. Any stay sutures will need to be removed in the first two to five days. The dog will be prescribed stool softeners, antibiotics, and antiparasitics if an infestation is deemed the cause of the prolapse. A diet of wet food such as soft kibble and pumpkin can be given during the recovery period. It is likely that the dog will have diarrhea throughout this process. It can help the animal if you bring it outside at frequent intervals to relieve itself.

Cost of Rectal Prolapse Treatment in Dogs

The final price for treating rectal prolapse will vary depending on what is needed to restore the intestines to their place. A manual repair costs less than a surgical repair that includes a rectal resection. Complete prolapses are often emergency situations, which can add to the cost. In general, treatment for this issue ranges from $300 up to $2,000. Diagnostic imaging and medication prescriptions will also increase the overall price.

Dog Rectal Prolapse Treatment Considerations

As with any procedure that uses general anesthesia, rectal prolapse treatment brings with it the risk of breathing difficulties or cardiac arrest. Due to the area that is being repaired in this treatment, the risk of infection is very high. The sutures alone increase the chance of a bacterial infection developing. It is not uncommon for dogs who have undergone this treatment to be incontinent. The surgical site can split open during the first week of healing, leading to serious complications. Dogs who receive rectal prolapse treatment may go on to suffer from further prolapses.

Rectal Prolapse Treatment Prevention in Dogs

Rectal prolapse can be difficult to prevent, however there are some measures you can take to protect your dog. Be sure to deworm all puppies, and include antiparasitic medication in your dog's routine healthcare. Regular exercise can help to strengthen the wall of the rectum, so be sure to take your dog on daily walks. These walks can also greatly benefit your own health. For optimum digestive tract performance, your dog's source of protein should be switched periodically. 

Supplementing your dog with fish oils can also help to reduce inflammation in the intestines. Your dog may be genetically predisposed to cancer, but annual check ups including blood work can help to identify it early on. Avoiding known cancer-causing agents can also help to decrease the odds of your dog developing the disease. 

Rectal Prolapse Treatment Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Lily
Shar-Pei
8 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Prolapsed anus

Im pretty sure my dog has a prolapsed anus. I just noticed it this afternoon, it looks like there’s a small, pink ball about the size of a ping pong ball popping out of her anus. It just looks like half a bubble sticking out. Does this require immediate attention?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1485 Recommendations
It would be best if this was seen as soon as possible as any subsequent attempts at defecation may cause straining and cause the prolapse to get bigger. Smaller prolapses are easier to manage and reduce; dietary changes to loosen the stool and a purse string suture may be enough to keep everything in place. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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