Prostate disease in dogs
DID you know that just like their human counterparts, male dogs can also get prostate disease?
Prostate disease in dogs usually affects older entire males, i.e. males which have not been desexed.
The prostate is a small gland found near the neck of the bladder and underneath the colon.
The prostate’s function is to produce some of the fluids found in semen.
When a dog has prostate disease, its prostate is often larger than normal.
This can cause issues with the dog’s ability to urinate and defecate, and in some cases there may even be blood present in urine.
Diagnosis of prostate disease usually involves a physical exam including rectal palpation of the prostate, examination of the urine, ultrasonography and taking samples from the prostate gland.
Prostate disease in dogs can come in various forms, with some forms much more serious than others. Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH) a common form of prostate disease. Almost all senior entire male dogs may have some degree of BPH.
Whilst it is not that well understood, BPH is thought to be due to increased sex hormones in the dog. Castration of the dog cures the condition, and is the preferable treatment.
If the dog is to be used for breeding, then medication can be used to manage the condition.
Infections of the prostate can also occur, often these dogs present to the clinic very unwell.
Dogs with prostatic infections are often painful in their back end, feverish, may vomit or be inappetant.
If this condition is diagnosed, it is treated with long courses of antibiotics, however in severe cases hospitlisation or surgery may be necessary.
Prostatic cancer can also occur, however treatment for this condition can sometimes be limited and the prognosis poor.