Rectal Prolapse

A rectal prolpase is protrusion of the rectal tissue through the exterior of the body. It usually begins as a small round area sticks out when the lamb lays down or coughs. In extreme cases, the intestines can pass through the opening and the disease can be fatal. There are many predisposing factors to rectal prolapses, including genetics, short tail docks, coughing, weather, stress, and feeding concentrate diets. Rectal prolapses tend to occur more in ewe lambs than wether lambs and more in black-faced sheep than white-faced sheep. The link between extreme tail docking and the incidence of rectal prolapses has been scientifically established. Usually, lambs with prolapsed rectums are prematurely slaughtered or sent to market. It is possible to repair a rectal prolapse by amputating the prolapsed part of the rectum.

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