Diagnosis Of Prostate Cancer In Dogs
The symptoms of prostate cancer are often non-specific since they can also be associated with other types of prostate disease, as well as kidney or bladder infection. The veterinarian will complete a thorough physical examination, including rectal palpation, to check for signs of an enlarged or abnormally shaped prostate. Small samples of cancerous cells can often be found with urinalysis, so this is often an effective way of confirming suspected prostate cancer. Bloodwork will also be taken to evaluate for infection or systemic illness, which might suggest another cause for your dogâs symptoms.
Ultrasound of the abdomen will help to evaluate the size and shape of the prostate more accurately, as well as check for local metastasis. An ultrasound guided biopsy may be necessary to obtain a larger sample of the tumor and diagnose the type of cancer and the degree of malignancy, if possible. Further X-rays of the bones or lungs may be ordered to check for metastasis to these areas. About 80% of dogs with prostatic adenocarcinoma have some type of metastasis present upon diagnosis.
How Is This Cancer Diagnosed
Your veterinarian may feel an enlarged prostate during a physical examination. With this finding, your veterinarian may recommend certain diagnostics to determine why the prostate is enlarged and if it could be due to a tumor. This may include obtaining a sample of cells from the prostate either by catheterization or by performing an ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration of the prostate.
“Your veterinarian may feel an enlarged prostate during a physical examination.”
FNA involves taking a small needle with a syringe and suctioning a sample of cells directly from the prostate. The cells are placed on a microscope slide. A veterinary pathologist then examines the slide under a microscope. When a diagnosis cannot be made with either of these procedures, a surgical biopsy may need to be considered.
Bloodwork may also be recommended. This may show a higher than normal calcium level due to a protein produced by the tumor.
Types Of Prostatic Carcinoma In Dogs
There are two types of prostate cancer in dogs. One is adenocarcinoma or carcinoma, a cancer that forms in the prostate gland. The other is transitional cell carcinoma, which can also be seen in the bladder. Prostate cancer can metastasize into the lymph nodes, liver and/or lungs. It also can grow locally or spread into the urethra or backward into the bladder.
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An enlarged prostate can also be the cause of other problems. If the enlarged prostate is causing symptoms, the best treatment would be a natural remedy. In the meantime, there are treatments for a wide range of conditions that cause a man to experience pain. A common surgical procedure involves an electric loop, laser, or electro-stimulation. The procedure is a safe and effective option for treating enlarged or symptomatic BPH.
Prostate Cancer In Dogs Faqs
How long can a dog live after being diagnosed with prostatic adenocarcinoma?
The average survival time after diagnosis varies depending on whether or not treatment is performed. As disease is often advanced once a diagnosis is made, survival time is very short. If no treatment is pursued, euthanasia is usually performed within a month of diagnosis. Depending on the treatment used, survival times average around 7 months after diagnosis.
How aggressive is prostatic adenocarcinoma in dogs?
Canine prostatic adenocarcinoma is very locally aggressive and has a very high metastatic rate.
Is prostatic adenocarcinoma curable in dogs?
Prostatic adenocarcinoma is not curable, but it may be successfully removed with surgery in some cases.
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What Causes This Type Of Cancer
The reason why a particular pet may develop this, or any tumor or cancer, is not straightforward. Very few tumors and cancers have a single known cause. Most seem to be caused by a complex mix of risk factors, some environmental and some genetic or hereditary. In the case of prostate cancer, no specific risk factors or causes have been identified. Breeds that appear to be at increased risk include the Bouvier des Flandres, Doberman Pinscher, Shetland Sheepdog, Scottish Terrier, Beagle, Miniature Poodle, German Shorthaired Pointer, Airedale Terrier, and Norwegian Elkhound.
Benign growth of the prostate is seen commonly in older dogs that have not been castrated . It is related to effects over time of the male sex hormone, testosterone, from the testicles.
How Long Does My Dog Have
Dr. Demian Dressler is internationally recognized as the dog cancer vet because of his innovations in the field of dog cancer management, and the popularity of his blog here at Dog Cancer Blog. The owner of South Shore Veterinary Care, a full-service veterinary hospital in Maui, Hawaii, Dr. Dressler studied Animal Physiology and received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California at Davis before earning his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University. After practicing at Killewald Animal Hospital in Amherst, New York, he returned to his home state, Hawaii, to practice at the East Honolulu Pet Hospital before heading home to Maui to open his own hospital. Dr. Dressler consults both dog lovers and veterinary professionals, and is sought after as a speaker on topics ranging from the links between lifestyle choices and disease, nutrition and cancer, and animal ethics. His television appearances include Ask the Vet segments on local news programs. He is the author of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide: Full Spectrum Treatments to Optimize Your Dogs Life Quality and Longevity. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Hawaii Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Avian Veterinarians, the National Animal Supplement Council and CORE . He is also an advisory board member for Pacific Primate Sanctuary.
Here are some of these reasons:
And that is with chemotherapy!
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Do Dogs Have Prostates
Yes, male dogs have prostates, and male dogs can develop prostate problems.
Canine prostate cancer is more common in intact males. The effects of the hormone testosterone on the gland over time trigger the disease. Very often it leads to benign prostatic hypertrophy in older male dogs. Dogs over 8 years are prone to develop prostate cancer.
What Are The Treatments For This Type Of Tumor
The treatments for prostatic carcinoma are aimed at reducing the tumors size and the tendency for metastasis. Surgery may be considered as a palliative measure, though removal of the entire prostate or tumor is not typically successful without damage to the urethra. In pets with significant obstruction of the urethra, a surgical stent may be placed to allow for urination.
Treatments less invasive than surgery, such as radiation therapy, may be pursued. Targeted radiation therapy to the region of the prostate and affected lymph nodes or bone may be possible. Palliative radiation therapy may provide short-term relief for urinary obstruction.
“The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories such as piroxicam or carprofen, however, have been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of prostate cancer.”
The role of chemotherapy is not well understood. The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories , such as piroxicam or carprofen, have been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of prostate cancer. Bisphosphonates may also be helpful. These drugs are typically recommended with metastasis to the pelvic bone or lumbar vertebrae. They may reduce the active breakdown of the bone and reduce pain.
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Whats A Long Time When It Comes To Survival Times
I assume that from the vets perspective, the removal of the dogs spleen would indeed extend life for a long time.
But this is relative, right? What does that a long time mean, really? It depends upon your perspective.
Some animals only live a few days. Others live decades and a few live hundreds of years. A long time is different for each of these creatures.
For example, for a creature who is expected to live an average of two years, one year is half the lifespan. One year is not a long time for humans unless you are a five-year-old who wants to be six. But for the two-year-lifespan creature, thats definitely a long time.
Dogs have an average life expectancy of 12 years. So one year is 8.3% of life for dogs.
For perspective, humans on average have a life expectancy of 72.6 years. So for humans, 8.3% of their lifespan is 6 years.
Is that a long time? It depends upon your viewpoint. If Im a father looking at my little girl, and the doctor is telling me that she will probably live another 6 years, Im not thinking hey, great, thats 8.3% of her lifespan! No. Im thinking, shes only going to live to be 12?? Six years is not a long time in this scenario. At least, not to me.
But if Im looking at an elderly relative who is sick, and a doctor tells me he is probably going to live another 6 years, I might feel relief. Living close to the average lifespan of a human is often considered a long time when we near the end of our lives.
Older Dogs And Prostatic Enlargement
Prostatic enlargement is more common in older dogs where the organ starts to increase in size over a period of time. As the prostate becomes larger it starts to put more pressure on the rectum leading to problems when the dog attempts to defecate. It is not uncommon for a dog experiencing prostatitis to urinate in dribbles rather than a steady flow . If the dog is experiencing problems when attempting to poop a vet may prescribe a stool softener including Lactulose.
It is not uncommon for dogs with Prostatitis to develop urinary tract infections . For this reason it is important that dogs suffering from this condition have access to lots of fresh water.
This condition can be treated through castration of the affected male or through an injection of Stilboestrol. Prostatitis can also be treated through hormonal treatments . There is some evidence that the release of androgens can also cause enlargement of the prostate. As dogs get older the prostate has a tendency to become enlarged . As dogs get older more cells start to accumulate in the prostate glandular tissue which can lead to the condition developing. It is estimated that most dogs over the age of five years of age will exhibit some enlargement of the prostate.
It is also important that any medicines prescribed should be administered soon after a dog has urinated .
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The Initial Causes Prostate Cancer In Dogs Life Expectancy
One of the first symptoms of prostate issues is pain or tenderness in the groin or lower back. This can be the result of a noncancerous condition called enlarged prostatic tissue, or it could be an infection of the bladder. In either case, its important to see a doctor as soon as possible. If youre suffering from prostate pain, you may want to consider reducing your caffeine intake.
Another symptom of a potentially enlarged prostate is difficulty starting a stream of urine, leaking, or dribbling. These symptoms are not serious, but theyre still alarming. Most men put up with an enlarged prostate for years before seeking medical attention, but they typically seek treatment as soon as they notice symptoms. Even if you dont have symptoms, its worth getting checked to determine if you have any prostate issues.
If you experience nightly bathroom runs, you may be experiencing an enlarged prostate. You may be having difficulty starting a stream of urine, or you may even be dribbling or leaking during the day. These problems arent life-threatening, but can become a nuisance. You should not ignore these signs and seek treatment as soon as you notice them. If you feel any of these symptoms, you should consult a doctor.
Is Your Pet In Pain Or Anxious
Dogs and cats do experience pain or discomfort, but they cant tell us that they are in pain or discomfort. Their discomfort looks more like anxiety. In fact, anxiety is worse than pain in animals. Pets at a routine vet visit may be more anxious about being in the office than the ailment that caused the appointment. A trip to the vet clinic is temporary, so theyll likely be less anxious when they get back home.
Your veterinarians goal is to make your pet as comfortable as possible. Sometimes that pain and anxiety can be managed through a treatment plan, sometimes it cannot. If you can see they are in visible pain, this may also be an indicator that your pet senses the end is near.
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What Are The Treatment Options
- Surgery: a useful treatment for some bladder and prostate tumors. It is best if surgery can be combined with drug treatments .
- NSAIDs: drugs like piroxicam, Deramaxx® and Previcox have been shown to have anti-cancer effects. Your veterinarian may choose to use similar drugs, like carprofen or meloxicam. Average survival times with this treatment are about 6 months.
- NSAIDs plus Chemotherapy: The most common treatment for bladder and prostate cancer is a combination of an NSAID with injectable chemotherapy. Most of these chemotherapy drugs are well-tolerated by dogs, and given through an IV, once every 3 weeks. Average survival times with this treatment are about 10-11 months.
- NSAIDs plus Chemotherapy plus Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy is a new and exciting treatment available for bladder and prostate tumors. The average survival time in dogs treated with an NSAID plus chemotherapy and IM/IGRT is in excess of 20 months.
- Other options: some dogs with lower urinary tract tumors may benefit from procedures such as stenting, laser ablation, SRT or palliative-intent radiation therapy.
Diagnosis Of Canine Osteosarcoma
Diagnosis is based on clinical signs, imaging, and biopsy. The clinical signs for appendicular osteosarcoma range from mild lameness with some evidence of pain to pathological fractures. The signs for axial and extraskeletal osteosarcoma are site-dependent. Imaging includes survey radiographs, and may be supplemented by magnetic resonance imaging and/or computed tomography and nuclear scintigraphy. Imaging studies should include the primary tumor site and common sites of metastasis. Radiographic signs of osteosarcoma can range from severe lysis to severely sclerotic lesions with new bone formation. There is usually loss of trabecular detail and indistinct demarcation of the tumor, associated soft tissue swelling, lysis of the outer boundary , and exuberant periosteal reactions that form the so-called “Codmanâs triangle.” Although this is seen commonly, it is not always present and should not be considered the major determinant to make or rule out a diagnosis. Osteosarcoma rarely crosses joint space, except for an unusual type of necrotizing osteosarcoma of the tibia that is seen in Scottish Terriers and other smaller dogs.
The pathologist will define the cell type , grade , and verify the presence of tumor osteoid, which is diagnostic. Other confirmatory tests can include immunohistochemistry, staining for osteocalcin, osteonectin, and alkaline phosphatase .
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Treatment For Prostate Cancer In Dogs
If caught very early in the disease process, before metastasis has occurred, surgical removal of the diseased portion of the prostate may be considered. Surgery is often followed by radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
If metastasis has already occurred, then palliative care should be considered. The goal of palliative care is to relieve pain and any clinical symptoms that may be present, while also trying to improve your dogs quality of life for as long as possible.
If a urinary obstruction is present, a small tube called a stent may be placed within the urethra to keep it open so the dog can urinate. Surgery of the prostate is not often performed when advanced disease is present because of the high risk of complications. Radiation therapy may be considered in certain cases.
Your veterinarian may also recommend a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug to relieve pain. Any urinary tract infection that may be present will be treated with appropriate antibiotics. Chemotherapy may be considered, but long-term efficacy has not been established.
Answering Your Questions About Prostate Cancer In Dogs
Only 0.3 0.6% of all dogs get prostate cancer. Though rare, this cancer is highly aggressive. There are several types of cancers that affect a dogs prostate. Adenocarcinoma, leiomyosarcoma, and squamous cell carcinoma are examples of prostate cancer in dogs. Dealing with prostate cancer can be a harrowing experience for both dog and owner. With the right information, however, you can prepare yourself and your dog adequately for the tough journey ahead. We answer some of your biggest concerns about canine prostate cancer. Hopefully, this will help ease your mind and alleviate any worry you may experience.
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Is There Anything Else I Should Know
If your pet has been diagnosed with a prostate cancer and becomes unable to pass urine, this is an emergency. Please seek veterinary attention immediately. If your pet is experiencing pain, contact your veterinarian so that your pets pain management plan can be modified.
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Another type of prostate issue is chronic prostatitis, or chronic pelvic pain syndrome. This condition causes pain in the lower back and groin area, and may cause urinary retention. Symptoms include leaking and discomfort. In severe cases, a catheter may be required to relieve the symptoms. If the problem is unresponsive to other treatments, your doctor may suggest a surgical procedure. If these do not work, your symptoms could progress and become chronic.
An acute bacterial infection can cause a burning sensation. Inflammation of the prostate can affect the bladder and result in discomfort and other symptoms. This is the most common urinary tract problem in men under 50, and the third most common in men over 65. The symptoms of acute bacterial prostatitis are similar to those of CPPS. Patients may experience a fever or chills as a result of the infection.
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