Rectal prolaps in dogs | Daily News


Rectal prolaps in dogs

What is rectum and anus?

Rectum is the later part of the digestive tract and anus in the opening of the digestive tract to the outside at its end. The anus is normally closed and opens when your dog want to defecate.

Rectal prolaps

Rectal prolaps in dogs happens when the inner layers of the rectum (the end region of the large intestine) push out and protrude from the anus. Usually this happens when dogs strain to defecate, urinate, or give birth. The condition most often appears in puppies under the age of six months old, though it can happen to dogs of any age.

This should be treated as an emergency situation and requires immediate veterinary care. If you see the signs of rectal prolaps in your dog, consult your veterinarian so they can diagnose it and begin treatment.

Types of rectal prolaps (Sub head)

Incomplete:- which means only a small portion of the rectal lining is visible when a dog poops, but it subsides shortly after.

Complete:- meaning a mass of tissue remains visible.


Hard stools, when the dog doesn’t like to drink water they can get rectal prolaps. Also when there is long term diarrhea the over movements of the rectal wall can be end up with rectal prolaps. The rectal prolaps can happen in dogs of any breed, age, or sex for several reasons, including digestive and urinary disorders. Over time, circulation to the rectum can become compromised, and the rectal tissue can easily suffer damage.

Parasitic infections are the most common cause of rectal prolaps in dogs, but there are several other possible causes. They are; constipation, straining to defecate, intestinal irritation or inflammation, bacterial or viral infection, enlarged prostate, rectal or anal tumors, bladder inflammation, stones in the urinary tract, abnormal labor or birthing, rectal deviation, anal sac disease, perineal hernia, rectal or anal narrowing (caused by scar tissue from injury or inflammation) etc.


The most obvious way to spot is by the pink tube of flesh protruding from the anus, especially after defecation or urination. If circulation to the rectum is compromised, the pink flesh may turn purple or black. Dogs who suffer from rectal prolaps will likely strain when trying to poop and may lick the prolapsed tissue.


Treatment for rectal prolaps in dogs depends on the cause of the condition and how damaged the rectal tissue is. If there is a bacterial, viral, or parasitic infection, a vet will need treat it, usually with antibiotics or anti-parasitic drugs. They will treat other underlying factors accordingly.

If the rectal tissue hasn’t suffered too much damage, the vet will likely attempt to manually push the rectum back into place and put a suture around the anus, which will stay in for about 48 hours. The vet may provide an anesthetic such as an epidural to relieve discomfort. The dog will still be able to defecate while the sutures are in.

Sometimes this procedure fails, in which case the vet may cut a part of colon and fix it to anus by surgery. This is a more invasive procedure where the vet surgically opens the abdomen and tacks the colon to the abdominal wall to stop the rectum from slipping out.

When the rectal tissue is too damaged to save or if other procedures have failed, vets may consider one final option. In these cases, vets may surgically remove the rectal tissue and anchor the intestine to the anus. This often results in complications such as incontinence, so vets will try to avoid it if possible.

(The writer is a Veterinary Surgeon and holds

B.V.Sc; M.Sc Poultry Science; Master of Public Administration and Management)

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