Prolapsed Rectum

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I love YOU!
Barked: Tue Jun 29, '10 4:32pm PST 
Mina's rectum prolapsed and then corrected it's self yesterday. It didn't come out super far, but it did look like a giant bubble and was quite gross, really. She scooted a few times and an hour later It was gone, but her poor bum looked really irritated.

We took her to the vet today and he said it's likely due to food, so we'll try switching food first even though her stools are decent on the food she's on, and see if that helps the irritation. Her anal glands were also quite full, so he said sometimes that can also cause irritation.

What else could cause a prolapse like that not involving food? What tests/procedures are done to figure it out if it turns out not to be her food?

The vet said if it happens again and doesn't go back in on it's own, she'll need to come in for emergency surgery - but I forgot to ask how long we should wait for it to go back in? A few hours, less than that? A day or two? Does anyone know?

Mommy's Little- Velcro Dog
Barked: Tue Jun 29, '10 4:35pm PST 
I had a cat who had this problem when he was up for adoption at the vet clinic I work at, although with his, his cecum prolapsed out of his rectum as well (sorry for the gross factor), we had to do emergency surgery on him, he was about 3 months old when it happened, we determined it was due to food intolerance/diarrhea (he had giardia)/straining to go poop so much, and rubbing his butt on the carpet, so put him on a limited ingredients diet and that helped immensely....I fell in love with the little guy so I adopted him. I do not know if he would have done it again as he passed away at 8 months due to cardiomyopathy. But it was scary when it happened, it was totally freaky!

Edited by author Tue Jun 29, '10 4:46pm PST


I'm a trilingual- dog!
Barked: Tue Jun 29, '10 4:37pm PST 
Hey, sorry this happened to you.. frown

A prolapsed rectum can also just be a dogs' individual body physiology.

Although a good food that doesn't require a ton of straining to defecate would probably help.

I'm not exactly sure but once I knew a dog with this problem and the vet put some pain killer in the dogs' bum and then a few days later made a few stitches to hold the rectum in place.

At least, that's what I remember. Hopefully a very smart GSD mum will stop by and give you some tips. hug

Bella and- Daisy CGC

I'm a Meanie
Barked: Tue Jun 29, '10 6:37pm PST 
In humans the surgery has to be done the same day if it doesn't go back in. So I'd say within a couple hours. Did he say anything about lubrication (if it comes out again) or if you can help push i back in gently?

The rectum is made to be moist and protected up in the body so when it prolapses it isn't protected. Not to mention it means it can't rhythmically contract to push feces out.

other things can prolapse like bladders and uterus too.

I love YOU!
Barked: Tue Jun 29, '10 9:24pm PST 
Thanks guys.

The vet didn't say anything about pushing it back in, but did say to keep a warm wet washcloth on it, if it pops out again, to keep it moist. We had so much going on today at the vets, Mina's bum, Dante's sheath infection and a recheck for mange that I didn't get in all of the questions I wanted to ask, because I forgot.

I just hope this doesn't turn into anything more serious than a food issue. She did well on Orijen, so we are going to switch her back and keep Dante on the Lamb and Rice we switched them both to, since he's doing well on it. 5 animals and 4 different foods in this house, yikes!

I too hope a very smart GSD mom pops in to give some thoughts on this - it's not something I'm familiar with at all.
Leah, CGC

All the Beauty- with none of the- Brains
Barked: Wed Jun 30, '10 2:59am PST 
Its always funny how work coincides with this board. We just had a very very prolapsed rectum puppy come in the other day.

OK Here is the deal
Prolapsed rectums can happen because
1) They are straining to hard to push out hard stool (usually in young pups)
2) They have intestinal parasites causing chronic diarrhea (Giardia is the most common one)
3) They have chronic diarrhea for another reason

Any pet with a prolapsed rectum should be dewormed: Its cheap and easy and rules out that issue.

If the rectum is prolapsed for more than 15mins your vet should be contacted or an ER vet. Wrapping in warm wash cloths or applying small amount of wet sugar/KY jelly mix is reccomended to maintain integrity or colon/rectum. The sugar helps reduce swelling. Remember that our digetive systems are alementary meaning there is a tube running through our centers. Stuff inside that tube NEVER actually enters our bodies so technically it is "outside" our bodies. When a prolapse happens the rectum/colon is attempting to turn itself inside out so the "outside" is what we are seeing. This outside piece contains healthy bacteria and other things important to its job. It must remain moist and have a healthy blood supply or you risk having to remove it which can be dangerous but not unheard of in dogs. It does however come with an incontinence possibility.

Surgical fix: If the rectum/colon is out and will not go back in on its own a surgical fix may be in order. Anesthesia is required in order to relax the muscles. Lubrication of the intestine occurs and some doctors like to use sugar as well. Then they basically work the intestine back into place. Once in place they sew in a stitch called a "purse string". This is a large looping stitch that holds the rectum in place, narrows the hole slightly but prevents the whole thing from prolapsing again. Purse strings usually stays in place for 3-5 days depending. Once a purse string is placed it is imperitive that the stool be soft so they can't pop it. Usually medication like lactulose or other stool softeners is given to help ensure this. If done incorrectly the purse string can prevent any stool from passing (IE makes the hole too small). If no stool or straining is seen contact your vet immedietly.

As previous posters mentioned straining can cause prolapses of other body parts as well which is why chronic straining should be cause for a vet visit. Bladders and Uteruses are common prolapsing organs.

For more info see --> Rectal Prolapse

I love YOU!
Barked: Wed Jun 30, '10 6:50am PST 
Thank you Leah!

Mina's stools are firm, but not rock hard to the point that she strains. They're softer at the end, but not overly soft - is that enough diarrhea to cause prolapse?

She's been thoroughly wormed and the pups were just recently within a month ago, treated for a bacterial infection, with meds that would also take care of giardia if it happened to be there - her stools haven't changed at all since then.

She didn't fully prolapse - just the bottom half of her rectum prolapsed. It also didn't come out very far at all.

Would you also recommend switching foods as the first step considering all of the above? Is there a danger in worming her again? If not I might get hubby to pick up a pill for her, just to rule out worms again.

Thank you so much for the tips on how long to wait, what to do, etc. I feel much better now that I know that.
Tanuk CGC

Sherpa Tanuk of- Everest
Barked: Wed Jun 30, '10 8:50am PST 
One of our cats went through this. Hers were caused by hard stools from raw food. It just wasn't ideal for her system. We stopped the raw and she hasn't had a prolapse since. Boy was it scary though. To try and prevent it with diet, I would keep your dog on a high fiber food. This will keep her stools nice and fluffy, might also help express her anal glands more naturally and painlessly. Good luck!

P.S. Yes, I would switch her food if this were one of my pets.

Edited by author Wed Jun 30, '10 8:54am PST

Leah, CGC

All the Beauty- with none of the- Brains
Barked: Wed Jun 30, '10 10:56am PST 
In my experience intestinal parasites are the number ONE cause of prolapses so yes I would deworm. I suspect you are talking about metronidazole (anti-bacterial for gut that is also one med for giardia too) - I would request a 3 or 5 day course of panacur - this is a dewormer for giardia too that also does several other intestinal parasites.

Small prolapses that just pooch out (under 1 inch) will sometimes recede on their own with a small amount of lubrication and sugar water. You could try this first and if it does not go back to normal within the hour then contact your vet.

I love YOU!
Barked: Wed Jun 30, '10 11:15am PST 
Thank you Leah! I'll ask for the Panacur - can't hurt to try it at the very least to rule it out. We do go to the park often and she does drink from the ponds/river - so Giardia is definitely a possibility. I'd rather do that first than risk a tummy upset from a food switch, last thing she needs right now is a bout of watery diarrhea.

It does seem odd to me that she's been on this food for over a month now, with no change in stools since the switch, and we'd just now be seeing irritation if it were her food.
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