Discussion created on 01/04/2008

Intestines protruding from rectum in pigs

Forum: Intestines protruding from rectum

We have a small farm in Pa. USA and have had several instances in young pigs were the intestines have protruded from the rectum. What are the most likely causes and is there any thing that can be done to fix the problem once it happens short of slaughter?

C.P. Foster
C.P. Foster
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Nicholas Adams Nicholas Adams
Global Mycotoxin Management Sales Director
January 4, 2008

Here are some comments that I received from a colleague of mine who has good levels of experience in the swine sector, I hope they help.

Sounds like a toxin problem to me. Rectal prolapse is a classic sign of mycotoxin contaminated feeds. Other probable causes could be: cold rooms (pigs piling and pushing rectum out), enteric challenge (I’ve seen subclinical ileitis cause pigs to “push” their rectums out due to a sore stomach), length of tail docking (shorter tail docking can damage nerves that serve the rectal area that can lead to rectal prolapse), genetics can play a part in rectal prolapses.

To correct the problem once the rectum is exposed requires immediate attention or intersticial fluids will accumulate in the protruding rectum causing it to swell making it virtually impossible to fix. Rectal tubes are available that can be ed into the prolapse and held in place with small elastic rings (elastrator rings). The protruding rectum will die off and intestine will heal effectively around the tube. I have also “stuffed” the protruding rectum back in the anus and sutured the anus preventing the prolapse from protruding again (no, you don’t suture the anus closed!!). The best way to restrain the pig for this procedure is to hang the pig by the hind legs while suturing – everything falls back in place and the pig will hang upside down peacefully, for a few minutes anyway. Advice the client to call their veterinarian.


Nick Adams

Nicholas Adams Nicholas Adams
Global Mycotoxin Management Sales Director
January 12, 2008

This is a common symptom in pigs exposed to zearalenone toxicity. Zearalenone is an estrogenic mycotoxin produced by various Fusarium fungi especially Fusarium graminearum. Other mycotoxins such as T-2 toxin may contribute to the problem by causing intestinal irritation.

Swamy, Alltech Inc.

January 13, 2008
Thank you for your response. I believe the situation may have been from overcrowding. While I was building a shelter I provided 2 calf hutches for them and of course they all piled into one! Thanks again for your response and now I can attempt a repair if it should happen again.
May 12, 2019

Swamy has given you an excellent answer to your question. I agree that Fusarium fungi is the cause. Do  the pigs show any unusual red, pea-sized dots on their skin? My guess is these pigs are defecating at much higher rate, and the stools are runny or loose because the pig is trying to excrete the toxins from his intestinal tract.

June 10, 2019
What do you do if the tube falls out?
jay king jay king
January 15, 2023
Tressa Buman um... i guess just... shove it back in?
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