General information on Rectal Prolapse
Rectal prolapse is the protrusion of anal tissue. In a complete rectal prolapse, the anal tissue that protrudes from the rectum can be a few inches long, appearing red or pink in color. In an incomplete, or mucosal, rectal prolapse, the lining of the anal canal is inflamed appearing as a red ring of tissue, but does not protrude completely out of the anus. Incomplete rectal prolapse looks very similar to hemorrhoids. The most common cause of rectal prolapse is straining while trying to pass stool. Other causes of rectal prolapse are constipation, diarrhea, obstruction of the anus, obstruction of the bladder, parasites, injury, and fecal impaction. Also, in females, the process of labor and delivery can also cause rectal prolapse. Rectal prolapse is more commonly seen in puppies than in adults. It is not uncommon for the underlying cause to not be diagnosed.
Symptoms of Rectal Prolapse
Some of the symptoms of rectal prolapse are: anal tissue that is red or pink in color protruding from the rectum area, a red ring of tissue visible around the rectum area, chronic constipation, diarrhea, straining while passing stool, pain or discomfort while passing stool, and excessive licking of the affected area.
Treatments for Rectal Prolapse
The treatment for rectal prolapse is aimed at the underlying condition. In cases of incomplete rectal prolapse, once the underlying condition is treated, it is common for the incomplete rectal prolapse to disappear on its own. In cases of complete rectal prolapse, surgery may be required to either suture the tissue or to remove the tissue if it is dead. In both types of rectal prolapse, a low-residue diet and stool softeners are recommended, and, if surgery is required, antibiotics and other medications to aide in the digestion process may be prescribed.