Canine Prostate Cancer

Canine prostate cancer is cancer that occurs in the dog’s prostate gland, which is responsible for seminal fluid production. The prostate gland is located in close proximity to the rectum and the urinary bladder. This form of cancer is most common in older pets, and usually manifests itself in prostate gland cysts or enlargement. Canine prostate cancer is likely to develop in both castrated and non-castrated dogs, and most symptoms develop when the cancer is in an advanced stage.

Symptoms of Canine Prostate Cancer:

  • Urinary incontinence
  • Straining while urinating
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty walking
  • Change in posture while walking
  • Weight loss
  • Bloody urine
  • Discharge from the penis

Diagnosis of Canine Prostate Cancer

The preliminary test is a rectal palpitation. The vet will insert a finger into the pet’s rectum to feel the prostate gland for any changes in size or abnormalities present. An enlarged prostate gland might be an indicator of cancer. The vet will conduct an ultrasound or x-ray test to verify changes in the prostate gland. Although blood and urine tests don’t confirm prostate cancer, they are conducted to detect any changes in the body. Tumors or cysts that are detected in an ultrasound are subjected to a biopsy, which can provide a conclusive diagnosis. Additional tests might also be conducted to determine if cancer cells have spread to different organs in the body.

Treatment of Canine Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer that occurs due to hormonal changes is treated with hormone medication. However, this treatment might not benefit all pets. The treatment option in general involves chemotherapy and radiation therapy to slow disease progression and kill cancerous cells. Surgery is also performed if the tumor or cyst is accessible. The surgery will be followed by chemotherapy. Radiation therapy uses photons or gamma rays to penetrate the nucleus of the tumor and destroy the cells. It also helps reduce the discomfort and pain caused by the cancer. The vet will often use a combination therapy which involves chemotherapy and radiation therapy together.

Alternative Treatment

Dogs that are in the advanced stage of cancer might not benefit from surgery, and pet owners often choose herbal medication to help their pets. The most common herbal remedies include saw palmetto, gallium aperine, baryta carb and echinacea. These medicines don’t cure prostate cancer, but provide relief from the symptoms. They help to reduce prostate gland swelling and ward off infections by boosting the pet’s immune system. Gallium aperine provides relief from urinary problems and reduces internal inflammation.

Effectiveness of Treatment

Pet owners should talk to the vet to decide the treatment option that’s best suited to their dog. Most dogs treated with chemotherapy survive for one year and have a good quality of life. Since surgery is not be ideal for all dogs, pet owners should follow proper home care to keep the pet comfortable. Canine prostate cancer is mostly detected in the advanced stage, and pets succumb to the disease within a short period.

Pet owners should keep sick dogs in a comfortable home environment and provide them with nutritious food. All prescribed medication should also be administered on time.