Merck Manual

Please confirm that you are a health care professional

honeypot link
Professional Version

Rectal Strictures in Pigs


Eric R. Burrough

, DVM, PhD, DACVP, Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University

Reviewed/Revised Sep 2021 | Modified Oct 2022

In growing pigs, rectal strictures are sequelae of severely traumatized rectal prolapses Rectal Prolapse in Animals Rectal prolapse occurs in a wide range of species and may be caused by enteritis, intestinal parasites, rectal disorders and other underlying conditions. Diagnosis can be made based on the clinical... read more Rectal Prolapse in Animals or of infections that interfere with rectal blood supply. The former cause sporadic cases; the latter may be epidemic. One cause is infection by Salmonella enterica Intestinal Salmonellosis in Pigs Enteropathogenic salmonellae cause inflammation and necrosis of the small and large intestines, resulting in diarrhea. Infection with certain serotypes may be accompanied by generalized sepsis... read more Intestinal Salmonellosis in Pigs serotype Typhimurium, which may manifest in an ulcerative proctitis that heals in such a manner that normal function is not restored. The stricture is reported to be the result of fibrosis of the rectal tissue due to persistent ischemia caused by infection in an area of limited blood supply.

Clinically, several bloated pigs in varying stages of emaciation are often seen within a group of growing pigs. Other clinical signs of rectal strictures, including prior outbreaks of severe debilitating diarrhea, are common but not always reported. An index finger rarely can be passed into the rectum without considerable resistance. At postmortem examination, the colon is grossly distended and the intestine is filled with gas and green feces. The predominant lesion is a narrowed rectal canal due to annular fibrotic ulcers or rectal strictures found 2–5 cm cranial to the anus. Early diagnosis and treatment of diarrhea is imperative for control. Good housing, management, and sanitation, with an “all-in/all-out” system, is the best method to prevent further outbreaks. Surgery is not typically economically feasible.

quiz link

Test your knowledge

Take a Quiz!