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Companion Animal Practice
Surgical diseases of the colon and rectum in small animals
  1. Kathryn Pratschke

    Kathryn Pratschke graduated from the Veterinary College of Ireland, University College Dublin, in 1994. Following an internship and a three-year residency in small animal surgery at Dublin, she spent four years as a lecturer in small animal surgery at the University of Edinburgh, specialising in soft tissue surgery. She currently provides a soft tissue surgery service in referral practice in Scotland and north east England. She is an RCVS specialist in small animal surgery and is board-certified by the European College of Veterinary Surgery.


COLORECTAL disease is a common problem in dogs and cats. As an umbrella term, it covers a wide range of conditions from congenital abnormalities, such as rectovaginal fistula, through acquired disease, such as megacolon, to neoplastic disease. This article reviews the relevant surgical anatomy and general principles of colorectal surgery before focusing on the clinical features and surgical approach to the more common and clinically relevant conditions involving the colon and rectum seen in small animals. Although some of these may be considered ‘routine’ cases, their surgical treatment and postoperative care can be challenging.

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