PROLAPSE of the Rectum or Oviduct

Prolapse of the rectum is usually the result of, or in association with, enteritis of some severity or duration, which produces straining. In some cases the pressure from an enlarged organ or an abnormal structure such as a retained egg, tumour, cyst, or a ruptured or distended abdominal wall is the cause of the straining. This may result in the cloaca being turned inside out and either the oviduct or rectum, or both, also being partly everted and visible. The treatment requires the services of a veterinarian and is usually surgical in nature.

Often the fact that the bird is egg-bound is first noticed when the egg is outside the pelvic girdle enclosed in the everted cloaca and oviduct. As before, a pair of lubricated forceps or a probe should be inserted in the cloacal orifice in order to locate the egg if it is not visible. Such a prolapse may hang down behind the bird like a pendulous growth. It is red because of engorgement of the blood vessels and gradually over a few hours becomes a blackish red. If neglected, even for a few hours, the prolapse dries to such an extent that gangrene and inseparable adhesions form between the oviduct and the eggshell. If veterinary attention cannot be obtained very quickly, then the owner should soak and bathe the prolapse with cold 1 per cent saline solution and cotton wool. Using an antiseptic cream as a lubricant, gentle pressure with the fingers over the swollen end of the oviduct may reveal a portion of shell which can be removed by gently enlarging the cloacal orifice. If this is not possible, however, veterinary attention must be sought and a small puncture is made in the visible portion of the shell. One jaw of the forceps is inserted into this and the other jaw slowly pushed between the shell and the wall of the oviduct. The forceps are then closed around the shell and by rotating them the shell can be collapsed around the jaws and easily withdrawn. The contents of the egg will flow out during this procedure. The flaccid prolapsed oviduct is then further lubricated and replaced by means of a clean glass rod or thermometer, this being held in the replaced oviduct for one or two minutes, after which the rod can be safely withdrawn.

Any tendency to further prolapse can be corrected by sewing up the vent with a purse-string suture around a glass rod: on its removal, a hole sufficiently large enough for passage of excreta remains. This procedure should normally be attempted only by a veterinarian. When kinking or valve-like folds occur in a prolapse and make it impossible to reach the egg by the method described, it is sometimes necessary for a veterinarian to cut down to the egg at the thinnest point of the prolapsed tissue and remove the egg through the incision. This leaves two wounds, one in the oviduct and the other probably in the cloaca. If these wounds are not instantly sutured (a difficult task in a contracting organ), peritoneal infection from the cloaca is likely to develop, impeding recovery. The alternative of an incision through the midline abdominal wall, opening the replaced oviduct and removing the egg, requires considerable surgical skill. Failures may often result from tearing the oviduct wall during or after suturing the incision. Eggs partially visible at the vent with a dry, blackish, discoloured oviduct or cloacal wall adhering to them are best removed as soon as possible by immersing the tail and abdomen in warm 1 per cent saline for 1 to 5 minutes before attempting to manipulate and remove the egg. For this type of impaction, oil should not be used for lubrication. Having succeeded in removing the cause of the prolapse, it can be completely replaced by careful manipulation. A soothing or anaesthetic cream should then be applied. If straining occurs, then the cloaca will have to be partially closed by a veterinarian using a glass rod and purse-string suture which must be removed within 24 hours or excreta cannot be passed and straining will re-occur. Twenty four (24) hours is usually long enough to allow most of the oedema and inflammatory swelling to subside in the replaced oviuct. These steps must only be followed by an experienced person or a vet.
More info on this problem can be found in the Reproductive System article.


E-Mail: berniehansen@sympatico.ca



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Hamilton & District Budgerigar Society Inc.