All Pets Veterinary Clinic

Rectal Prolapse

Lucy, a young female farm cat, presented with a history of severe diarrhea.

Her diarrhea caused increased straining and an increase in the frequency
of bowel movements. As a result of the straining, part of her rectum everted
from it's normal position. This is called a rectal prolapse. The rectal tissue
becomes very inflammed and swollen when it is out of place.

To treat a rectal prolapse, the animal is first sedated to prevent additional
straining. The rectum is gently lubricated and returned to it's normal
position. A purse string suture is temporarily placed in the anal tissue to
prevent additional prolapses. This picture was taken after the prolapse was

Diagnostic testing revealed that the cause of the diarrhea was a severe
roundworm and coccidia infestation. Medication for diarrhea in addition
to medication for the identified internal parasites was started. A week
later the stitch was removed.

Rectal prolapses are common in pigs, cattle, and ferrets although any species can develop one.

Special thanks to Lucy's owners for allowing us to share this case.

Karen Blakeley, DVM, MPH
28 February 2003