There has been quite a lot phone calls this year reporting very young hedgehogs with injuries to their body and what looks like intestines hanging out. When told to have another look it usually turns out to be a Rectal Prolapse
• Associate with excessive straining, for example in individuals with diarrhoea due to a heavy burden of gastro-intestinal worms or with bacterial enteritis.
• Associated with road traffic accidents (RTA).
Physical Agent(s) • Non-specific physical trauma
• The rectum may be seen protruding out from the hedgehog.
• The protruded portion may become infected or traumatised.
If the rectum has become infected or been chewed before the hedgehog is presented for treatment then a poor prognosis must be given.
• A lubricated cotton bud may be used to gently push the prolapsed portion of the rectum back into position. Repositioning may require general anaesthesia.
• A temporary purse string suture may be required to keep the rectum in place.
o This must be placed carefully to allow the hedgehog to defecate normally.
Techniques linked to this disease
• General Anaesthesia (Gaseous and Injectable) Techniques of Hedgehogs
• Physical Examination of Mammals
• Necropsy of Mammals
Host taxa groups /species
• Erinaceus europaeus – West European Hedgehog