Other Causes For An Enlarged Prostate In Dogs
Prostatitis â or inflammation of the prostate â is the second most common cause of an enlarged prostate following BPH, and almost always occurs as a result of an infection.
Prostate cancer is another possible cause of an enlarged prostate. Though neutering eliminates the occurrence of many prostatic diseases, prostate cancer can still occur in neutered dogs. Note: neutering does not increase a dog’s risk for malignant prostate disease.
What Causes Prostate Cancer In Dogs
The exact cause of prostate cancer in dogs is unknown. Cancer, in general, is the result of many triggers and risk factors working together. Here is a short overview of the potential causes of prostatic adenocarcinoma in dogs:
- Genetics. Genetics plays an important role in the development of prostate cancer in dogs. The fact that certain dog breeds are predisposed talks for itself. Dog breeds prone to prostatic cancer are Golden Retriever, Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Doberman Pinscher, Airedale Terrier, German Shorthaired Pointer, Miniature Poodle, Scottish Terrier, Bouvier des Flandres, Shetland Sheepdog, Norwegian Elkhound, and Beagle.
- Environment. As with all cancer types, prolonged or frequent exposure to carcinogen chemicals increases the risk of tumor development. Some of these chemicals are easily avoided, but exposure to others cannot be controlled.
- Lifestyle. Lack of physical activity and unhealthy nutritional choices lead to weight gain and obesity. Obesity is a known risk factor for certain types of canine cancer. Although there are no research studies linking prostate cancer with increased body weight, poor lifestyle choices are contributing factors.
- Hormonal status. Interestingly, castration is a risk factor for prostate cancer. Namely, compared to intact dogs, fixed males are more likely to develop prostatic adenocarcinoma, prostatic transitional cell carcinoma, and bladder cancer. In contrast, benign prostatic hyperplasia is more common in intact male dogs.
What Is The Outlook For My Dog
Benign prostatic hyperplasia usually responds very well to treatment, and in most cases can be completely resolved. However, in some cases there can be complications arising from the abnormal enlargement of the prostate, this can include:
- Chronic inflammation with infections of the prostate gland and urinary tract. There may not be typical symptoms of prostate enlargement, instead symptoms may be limited to recurrent urinary tract infections. Treatment of BPH is needed as well as treatment for the chronic infection.
- Prostatic cysts which are pockets of infection, walled off from the prostate. This type of prostate infection can occur more acutely and cause the dog to become more unwell with symptoms including a fever, lethargy and pain. In such cases more aggressive treatment is needed and may include surgery.
If you are concerned that your dog may be showing signs of prostate enlargement or is having difficulty passing urine or stools, then book an appointment with your vet.
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Why Does My Dog Have An Enlarged Prostate
Hearing the news that your dog has an enlarged prostate is bound to be alarming. However, enlargement of the prostate is a common occurrence in male dogs who are entire . Some studies estimate that up to 80% of dogs over six years of age have some degree of prostate enlargement.
How Are These Prostate Diseases Treated
Treatment goals are to decrease the size of the prostate, alleviate pain, and prevent complications such as inflammation or infection. Treatment depends on the diagnosis.
Castration is the first-choice treatment for most dogs with BPH, causing a rapid decrease in the size of the prostate by more than 50% in 3 weeks and 75% in 3 months. Treatment options include both surgical and chemical castration. Talk to your vet about which type of castration is recommended for your dog based on their age and any health risks.
Prostatitis , abscess or infection, and cancer require various treatments including pain management, castration and/or prostatic surgery, antibiotics, chemotherapy, and palliative therapy .
If your dog is diagnosed with a prostatic disease, you must give all medications as instructed by your vet. Follow-up appointments are important to make sure your pet is improving and to determine if adjustments to medication are needed.
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What Is An Enlarged Prostate In Dogs
Prostate disease, usually in the form of an enlarged prostate, is also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia . It may give you some relief to know that its often caused by normal aging of the prostate, which becomes larger as your dog gets older. Youll know if your dog is affected because it can cause discomfort or difficulty when he pees or poops.
Diagnosis Of Prostatomegaly In Dogs
Types Of Prostatitis In Dogs
Canine prostatitis can be acute or chronic. Acute prostatitis appears suddenly, with your dog experiencing discomfort, pain, and fever. Dehydration, septicemia, and shock may occur in more severe cases of acute prostatitis in your dog. If your dog develops chronic prostatitis, that means the disease progresses slowly over time, making it difficult to detect symptoms. Recurrent urinary tract infections are the most common symptom of chronic prostatitis. The onset of symptoms and the rapidity with which they develop differ between acute and chronic prostatitis cases.
Prostate Cancer Signs And Symptoms
The most notable symptom of dogs with prostate cancer is the presence of blood in their urine.
Other signs associated with the disease include:
- Difficulty in urinating
- Hind leg lameness
The enlarged prostate in dogs could be pressing on the colon, making it difficult for them to poop and a change in their stools shape. But in the early stages of cancer, they may not show any symptoms at all.
See a vet for a proper diagnosis and course of treatment once you see signs that your dog might be suffering from prostate cancer.
You may discuss additional testing to determine and plan the treatments that fit your pups needs. Talk about how large the cancer is and whether it has spread to other organs.
Regarding the treatment details, you may raise your concern about which options are recommended. You can also ask how soon you can start the treatment and the potential side effects.
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How Is Prostatitis In Dogs Treated
Antibiotics are required to treat bacterial prostatitis. Acute prostatitis in dogs usually necessitates hospitalization with intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration. Antibiotics are given to hospitalized dogs, and they are closely monitored in case sepsis or other complications develop.
Antibiotics are also used to treat dogs with chronic prostatitis. Antibiotics alone, however, are ineffective in the presence of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Castration is the most effective treatment for BPH. Some dog owners choose not to have their pets neutered . In these cases, a drug known as finasteride can be used to control the hormone changes associated with BPH.
If prostatic or paraprostatic cysts are discovered, surgery may be required. Piroxicam is a drug that is commonly used to treat prostate cancer.
Pathological Features Of Canine Spontaneous Bph
In spontaneous canine BPH, two principal pathological patterns have been documented. The initial hyperplasia begins as glandular hyperplasia, which is observed in dogs up to 4 years of age. This glandular hyperplasia appears as increase in size of alveoli and in degree of papillary infolding as well as increase in amount of secretory epithelium . In dogs older than 6 years of age, cystic hyperplasia, namely the complex form of hyperplasia, is usually observed . The typical pathological features in the complex form include a mixture of glandular hyperplasia together with foci of atrophic or attenuated secretory epithelium, and increase in stroma such as smooth muscle and collagen . According to DeKlerks observation, approximately one third of spontaneous BPH in beagles younger than 3 years represented the complex form, which increased up to 50% in beagles of 510 years . Lowseth et al. compared age-related changes in the prostate in beagles and found that all dogs of 6 years and older had evidence of complex form of BPH. In diffuse complex BPH, additional pathological findings may be observed, such as significant periglandular chronic inflammation composed primarily of lymphocytes and large mononuclear cells .
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What Exactly Is Prostatitis In Dogs
Prostatitis is a term used to describe prostate inflammation. The canine prostate gland is a reproductive structure only found in male dogs. It is responsible for the production of fluids found in the sperm and surrounds the bladder where it meets the urethra. When the prostate becomes inflamed, it can affect the surrounding tissues, causing urination and defecation issues. Prostatitis is typically caused by bacteria. Bacterial prostatitis manifests itself in two ways.
What Is An Enlarged Prostate
Male dogs and cats have a prostate gland just like human men. It is a small gland located just behind the bladder, surrounding the urethra and below the rectum.
A male pets normal gland size varies depending on breed, size, age and neutering status. Enlargement in pets can result from many causes, including the enlargement of epithelial cells, development of pre-cancerous cells, or inflammation in cells.
Since the urethra passes through the prostate gland, enlargement puts pressure on the urethra and makes urination uncomfortable. Complete obstruction is rare, but affected pets will spend a long time urinating and may only produce a weak stream of urine. Severe enlargement can also compress the colon, creating problems with bowel movements.
Your veterinarian can make a definitive diagnosis.
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Causes Of An Enlarged Prostate In Dogs
An enlarged prostate is a common issue that affects many aging intact male dogs. There are a number of causes of an enlarged prostate in dogs and in this blog post, we will explore some of the most common causes of an enlarged prostate in dogs. These include benign prostatic hyperplasia , prostatic cysts, prostate cancer and prostatic infections. We will also discuss treatment options and how to keep your dog healthy and comfortable.
How We Can Help
What is the prostate?The prostate is the only accessory sex gland in the male dog. The gland secretes a fluid that aids in the transport of sperm. It is located near the base of the bladder, just below the colon and surrounding the urethra. Your veterinarian is able to feel the prostate to assess its size, symmetry and texture while performing a rectal examination on your pet.
What is benign prostatic hypertrophy ?This is a condition that is commonly seen in older dogs. The cells in the prostate get larger and multiply. They may also form small pockets of fluid within the gland. Due to its association with hormones secreted by the testes, this condition is only seen in intact male dogs. BPH is a natural consequence of aging and many dogs have it without showing any clinical problems.
What is the treatment?The permanent treatment for this disease is castration. Studies have shown that the size of the prostate decreases 70% nine weeks post-castration. If castration is not an option, there are some medical approaches to manage the disease. However, many of these medications have significant side effects and are not permanent solutions or nearly as effective at decreasing the size of the prostate. Finasteride, a human drug for prostatic enlargement, is one effective treatment that does not impact fertility.
*This article may not be reproduced without the written consent of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.
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What Are The Diseases That Can Affect A Dogs Prostate
There are at least seven diseases affecting the prostate.
1. Benign prostatic hyperplasia . This is a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland. It is associated with the male sex hormone testosterone and is the most common disease of the prostate.
2. Squamous metaplasia. This is a non-cancerous enlargement of the gland caused by excess amounts of the hormone estrogen in male dogs. An estrogen-producing testicular tumor, called a Sertoli cell tumor, is the most common estrogen-producing tumor that causes squamous metaplasia.
3. Cystic hyperplasia. This condition is usually secondary to BPH or squamous metaplasia. It is caused by obstruction of the ducts that carry prostatic secretions to the urethra. This condition causes the development of numerous fluid-filled cavities in the prostate.
4. Paraprostatic cysts. These are fluid-filled cysts that develop adjacent to the prostate. They are abnormal tissue remnants from embryonic development . The cysts begin to develop shortly after birth but often do not cause problems until the dog is several years old.
5. Bacterial infection. Bacteria may enter and infect the prostate by traveling up the urethra or may travel down the ureter from an infection that originates in the kidneys or urinary bladder, respectively. A bacterial infection is usually associated with a pre-existing abnormality of the prostate, such as BPH.
How Do Vets Diagnose Prostatitis In Dogs
To diagnose your dog, your veterinarian may order several tests. When you first arrive at the veterinary clinic, the vet will conduct a physical examination of your dog. They will take careful note of all of their symptoms in order to narrow down the list of possible illnesses. If the vet suspects prostatitis, they will perform a rectal examination on your dog. The vet can use their finger to measure the size of the dogâs prostate. It will be enlarged in cases of prostatitis, with increased sensitivity and pain.
Blood tests will be performed to determine how things are working internally. If your dog has prostatitis, his blood work will show neutrophilia with a left shift as well as monocytosis. Toxic white blood cells may also be uncovered.
A urinalysis can be performed, and a sample can be sent for culture and sensitivity testing. This is because the material in the prostate and the urine frequently contain the same organisms. The ideal sample would come from the prostate itself, but extreme caution is required. When attempting to collect prostatic material, it is possible to inadvertently release microorganisms into the blood, resulting in septicemia.
An ultrasound may be performed by the veterinarian for more detailed diagnostics. They will be able to look for small pockets of fluid within the prostate as a result of this. Its presence confirms the vetâs suspicions of prostatitis. They may also request a radiograph to get a better look at the organs.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer In Dogs
The symptoms of prostate cancer in dogs are related to the urinary tract significant increase in urination frequency but with small amounts of urine production, urinary incontinence, blood in urine, increased thirst .
However, these symptoms become apparent in dogs with advanced disease. In its early stages, canine prostate cancer is asymptomatic. Also, many symptoms are non-specific, thus disabling early detection of the problem.
Here are some of the clinical signs pet owners can expect in dogs with prostate cancer:
- Pain in the lumbar spine .
These clinical signs are not exclusive to prostate cancer in dogs. However, they must be taken seriously. If your dog is showing one or more of these signs and symptoms, call your trusted veterinarian.
How Much Does It Cost To Neuter A Dog
While not as expensive as having a female dog spayedâwhich is a more complicated surgeryâneutering is still a surgical procedure and doesn’t come cheap. Neutering procedures can run anywhere from $35â$250 depending on your dog’s breed and age, where you live, and what type of veterinary clinic you visit.
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What Are The Signs Of Prostatic Disease
Enlargement of the prostate gland is common with most prostatic diseases. Since the urethra passes through the prostate, enlargement of the gland compresses the urethra and urination becomes difficult and uncomfortable.
Complete urethral obstruction rarely occurs with prostatic problems, but an affected dog will spend a prolonged time urinating and will often produce only a thin stream of urine. If the prostate is very enlarged, the colon, located just above the prostate, may also become compressed, causing difficulty with passing bowel movements. Dogs with prostatic enlargement often have a history of straining to urinate or defecate.
“A dog with prostatic enlargement often has a history of straining to urinate or defecate.”
In addition, some dogs with prostatic disease will have blood in the urine however, bloody urine is not specific for prostatic disease as this is a sign for other diseases affecting the urinary system.
Veterinary Treatment For Enlarged Prostate In Dogs
If your dog has an enlarged prostate and isnt neutered, most vets will recommend neutering. This isnt always the best idea because the assumption is BPH led to the enlarged prostate. So if you neuter your dog and the prostatic size doesnt shrink, then there is another reason for the enlargement and further testing and treatment is still needed!
Diseases associated with excessive hormone levels like BPH, are typically treated by neutering. The prostate is expected to return to its normal size within one month after surgery when hormone production reduces. Certain medications or hormone replacements, such as finasteride, megestrol acetate, and GnRH, may be used for specific prostate conditions.
If there is an infection that led to the enlargement, antibiotic therapy will be prescribed. Its difficult for most antibiotics to penetrate into the prostate gland, so several weeks to months of treatment is often necessary.
Antibiotic therapy includes drugs like enrofloxacin , erythromycin, ciprofloxacin, chloramphenicol, doxycycline, and trimethoprim-sulfonamides . These medications have varying side effects including, for chloramphenicol, deadly blood problems.. Most notable with any antibiotic use is the damage to the beneficial bacteria in your dogs microbiome and his immune system.
If there are paraprostatic cysts and prostatic abscesses, your vet will recommend surgery to drain and remove them.
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