Rectal Prolapse Treatment in Dogs - Conditions Treated, Procedure, Efficacy, Recovery, Cost, Considerations, Prevention (2024)

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.

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.

Rectal Prolapse Treatment in Dogs - Conditions Treated, Procedure, Efficacy, Recovery, Cost, Considerations, Prevention (3)

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Rectal Prolapse Treatment in Dogs - Conditions Treated, Procedure, Efficacy, Recovery, Cost, Considerations, Prevention (4)

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 in Dogs - Conditions Treated, Procedure, Efficacy, Recovery, Cost, Considerations, Prevention (2024)


How much does it cost to fix rectal prolapse in dogs? ›

Typically, treatment for rectal prolapse with reduction or resection can cost between $300 and $2,500. Manual reduction of a prolapse would cost less than resection due to the simplicity and ease of correction with a single purse-string suture made to hold everything in place.

What is the treatment for rectal prolapse in dogs? ›

In small animals, treatment includes prompt replacement of viable prolapsed tissue to its proper anatomic location, or amputation if the segment is necrotic. Small or incomplete prolapses can be manually reduced under anesthesia by using a finger or bougie.

What is the average cost of a rectal prolapse surgery? ›

Surgery cost for the repair of a prolapsed rectum
Patient pathwayInitial consultationMain treatment
Hospital feesN/A£5,350
Consultants fees from£200Included
Guide price£5,550

How much does a rectal prolapse cost? ›

On MDsave, the cost of a Repair of Prolapsed Rectum ranges from $5,039 to $8,126. Those on high deductible health plans or without insurance can shop, compare prices and save.

What happens if rectal prolapse is left untreated in dogs? ›

Mild prolapses may resolve on their own once the underlying cause is addressed. In the case of a complete prolapse, surgical intervention is required. Left untreated, the rectum will swell and begin to dry out and, eventually, the tissue will become necrotic (die). This may lead to sepsis, infection, or death.

Can rectal prolapse heal without surgery? ›

Surgery is the best option for severe rectal prolapse. Other possible forms of treatment may include: Lifestyle changes – including high-fibre diet, drinking plenty of water and getting regular exercise.

How to heal dog prolapse at home without surgery? ›

Can you treat prolapse at home? No, see a vet as soon as possible to get treatment. You cannot repair your dog's prolapse at home without seeing a vet first.

How successful is a rectal prolapse repair? ›

Less than 5% of people who get abdominal rectopexy have another rectal prolapse. But as many as 1 in 4 people have another prolapse after perineal rectopexy.

Does rectal prolapse always need surgery? ›

For most adults, surgery is used to repair the rectum because there is no other effective treatment. Children with rectal prolapse do not always need surgery, unless their prolapse does not improve over time. In infants, prolapse often disappears without treatment.

How much does prolapse surgery cost? ›

More recent studies examining racial disparities and operative techniques in prolapse surgery estimate inpatient hospital costs ranging from $6,719 to $12,483 per surgery, contingent on the presence of concomitant hysterectomy, but these studies did not evaluate surgeries in the ambulatory setting.

How many hours is rectal prolapse surgery? ›

A rectal prolapse can be treated by surgery called a perineal repair (Delorme's operation or Altemeier procedure). During surgery, the lining of the bowel, or the section of bowel that has prolapsed, is removed and stitched back together. The surgery takes about 1 hour and is done using a spinal or general anaesthetic.

How painful is recovery of rectal prolapse surgery? ›

Following your surgery, you will experience pain or discomfort in your rectal area. You may also experience constipation, difficulty urinating, and possibly some rectal bleeding. The following are some general guidelines for proper care after your procedure.

Can you still poop with a rectal prolapse? ›

Yes, you can poop with rectal prolapse. The bowel movements, however, may be difficult because the prolapse perturbs the normal continuity of the bowel structure. You may need to strain during bowel movements. There may be bleeding or pain during bowel movements.

Is rectal prolapse painful? ›

Rectal prolapse happens when part of the large intestine's lowest section, the rectum, slips outside the muscular opening at the end of the digestive tract known as the anus. While rectal prolapse may cause pain, it's rarely a medical emergency.

Does insurance cover prolapse surgery? ›

Prolapse surgical treatment cost and coverage

Most insurance plans, including Medicare, cover these procedures. Consult your insurance carrier to find out the specific criteria for coverage. The reimbursem*nt specialist at your physician's office may also be able to help you get answers.

Is rectal prolapse surgery worth it? ›

Rectal prolapse isn't a medical emergency, but it gets worse over time if it isn't fixed with rectal prolapse surgery. Your surgeon can put the tissue back where it belongs so you don't develop pain, problems with pooping (incontinence or constipation) or other serious complications.

Is a rectal prolapse easy to fix? ›

In children, treating the cause often solves the problem. For example, if the cause is straining because of dry stools, laxatives may help. If the prolapse continues, surgery may be needed. In adults, the only cure for rectal prolapse is a procedure that repairs the weakened anal sphincter and pelvic muscles.

How much does a vulvoplasty cost for a dog? ›

Veterinary Cost

Unfortunately, too many pet owners are stung by its price tag ($1,500 to $3,000) and delay in electing this procedure. Many end up spending significantly more than this sum in lifetime treatments, all the while incurring what some veterinarians term “reduced quality of life” costs.

How much does rectal tumor surgery cost for dogs? ›

This type of surgery is expensive and can range in price between $2,000 and $12,000 depending on the severity and spread of the tumors and the technique used (standard rectal pull-through or modified Swenson's pull-through).


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