Pet Colopexy Surgery

Mixed breed large brown dog looks directly at camera with its tongue out

Learning that your pet needs surgery can be an overwhelming experience, especially if you are unsure of what the procedure entails. At Anicira, we work with pet parents to ensure that you are well-informed before your pet’s surgery. Our veterinary team provides compassionate care before, during, and after surgery to ensure that your pet is safe and comfortable.

What is a colopexy, and why does my pet need one?

A pet colopexy surgery, or surgical fixation of the colon, is a procedure performed to secure the colon (large intestine) to the abdominal wall to prevent its abnormal movement or twisting. Pets may require this surgery when they are experiencing recurrent rectal prolapse that has not responded to other treatments.

Pre-Surgical Instructions

Admission Time – Bring your pet to Anicira at 7 am.
Food – You may feed your pet a quarter of their normal breakfast no later than 6 am.
Water – Your pet may have water up until the time of the surgery.
Pre-surgical exam – Your pet must be in good health and show no signs of contagious disease such as coughing, sneezing, runny eyes, or diarrhea.
Medical records – Please bring proof of rabies vaccination if this has not already been provided. If your cat or dog has not been previously vaccinated or lacks proof of vaccination, we will administer a rabies vaccine on the day of surgery.
If you have not already sent your medical records, please bring all relevant medical records.

Colopexy Surgery

Before surgery, our veterinary team will perform a thorough pre-surgical examination to ensure that your pet is a good candidate for anesthesia. It is strongly recommended, and may be required depending on the circumstances, that your pet receives pre-anesthetic blood work to ensure that no health concerns go undetected.

The surgical team will prepare the surgical site by shaving and then cleaning the area to remove bacteria and decrease the chance of potential infection.

During colopexy surgery, the veterinarian will make an incision into the abdomen, identify the colon, and securely attach it to the inner abdominal wall with internal sutures.

Caring for Your Pet After Colopexy

Anesthesia takes 24 to 48 hours to wear off.

  • Your pet will be groggy during this time period.
  • Keep your pet confined in a secure, quiet, and comfortable space. We recommend a crate or a small room.
  • Isolate them from other pets and children during this time

Make sure your pet wears their Elizabethan Collar (E Collar / Cone)

  • Your pet’s surgical site will take 10 to 14 days to heal. During this period, they should wear an e-collar at all times.
  • Allowing your pet to lick their incision can lead to infection and scarring.

Post-surgical feeding

  • Offer ½ of their usual amount of food the evening after surgery
  • Canned food or moistened kibble is recommended for the first 5-7 days after surgery
  • If your pet is not interested in commercial diets within 24 hours of surgery, please offer a bland diet of 75% cooked white rice and 25% lean protein (chicken breast or lean hamburger meat). Other foods to help regain appetite may include meat baby food (ham or turkey is popular), canned chicken (found in grocery stores by canned tuna), or scrambled eggs (avoid butter or any seasoning).
  • For the first week please divide the daily amount of food into 3-4 meals spaced throughout the day.
  • If your pet is doing well after 5-7 days you may gradually transition back to your normal feeding routine.

Bowel movements

  • It may take up to 48 hours to see stool after surgery depending on how long your pet has been ill. Please monitor bowel movements and ensure that your pet passes stool at least once a day and that the color and consistency is continually improving.

Give all medications as directed

  • Your pet is being sent home with oral pain medication. Please follow the instructions on the label.
  • If possible, please give the pain medication with food. If your pet has no appetite please ensure that they still take the pain medication.
    OTC pain relievers such as Tylenol and Advil are toxic to pets. Please do not give these to your pet.

Check the incision daily for the first week for signs of redness, swelling, discharge, or excessive pain or heat.

  • Your pet’s surgical site will be healing for 10-14 days.
  • What you see on the day of surgery is what we consider normal
  • There may be moderate bruising.
  • If your pet is trying to scratch at the incision with back feet your may need to have your pet wear a cotton t-shirt or bodysuit to prevent self-trauma of the surgery site.

Limit your pet’s activity and keep them clean, dry, and warm for 10 days after surgery.

  • Ensure your pet is supervised around all potential hazards (including stairs)
  • Pets should be kept indoors so they can stay clean, dry, and warm.
  • No running, jumping, playing, swimming, or other strenuous activity.
  • Do not bathe your pet or have it groomed during the recovery period.
  • Dogs should be walked on a leash during the entire recovery period. Absolutely no off-leash activity outside to prevent the possibility of sudden movements that may damage either the external or internal incisions.

Rare, but serious surgical complications

  • Infection resulting from suture penetration of the colonic lumen
  • Bleeding
  • Recurrence of colonic issues despite surgery

Please contact Anicira, your primary care veterinarian, or an emergency clinic if any of the following occur:

  • No urine passed for more than 24 hours
  • Pale gums
  • Severe pain, depression or weakness
  • Vomiting or Diarrhea
  • Labored breathing
  • Decreased appetite for more than 24 hours
  • Lethargy lasting more than 24 hours
  • Abdominal pain and swelling