Surgical treatment of rectocutaneous fistula in a juvenile guinea pig (Cavia porcellus) using a rectal pull-through technique.
Background: Atresia ani - the lack of an anal opening - is a rare condition in small animals. In some cases a connection forms between the blind end of the rectum and the skin (rectocutaneous fistula) that allows passage of feces. Only three cases have been found in the exotic mammal literature: two guinea pigs and one rabbit. Case presentation: A 6-month-old female guinea pig was presented for vocalization and difficulties during defecation that started 2 weeks before. During physical examination an imperforate anus and an abnormal opening located ventrally to it were detected. The guinea pig was able to pass very small feces through the abnormal opening with apparent discomfort. Once the stools were produced, the patient would go back to its normal behavior. A type 2 atresia ani combined with a rectocutaneous fistula was diagnosed. Surgical reconstruction of the anal canal preserving the fistula by means of using a pull-through technique to create a nonpainful, ectopic anus was performed. Conclusions and clinical relevance: Surgical treatment of rectocutaneous fistula was effective in the guinea pig of this case report. Future studies including a larger affected population and with long-term follow-up are needed.