Causes of Swollen Prostate in Dogs

A swollen prostate resulting from disease is prevalent in about 80 percent of male dogs that are not neutered and who are over the age of eight. However, unlike the corresponding problem in humans the resulting condition in dogs is rarely cancerous. The most important thing to remember in regards to the previous statistics is that it is reflective of dogs that are not neutered. A dog that has been neutered before puberty has set in has a significantly less risk of developing an enlarged prostate gland. The reason for this is that there is very little prosthetic tissue left after the neutering procedure is completed. The dog's testicles are the glands that produce the male hormone testosterone. When the production of testosterone is reduced or stopped the potential problem with the prostate is rectified. The prostate gland supports and provides nourishment to the sperm cells. Therefore, when the testicles are removed testosterone cannot be produced and the prostate gland does not develop.

Location of the Prostate Gland

The prostate is located within the pelvis area. It is situated behind the bladder just below the rectum.

Signs of a Prostate Problem

When your dog is experiencing a swollen prostate there are certain visible signs that will be noticeable. They include but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Painful or difficult urination - as a result of the prostate gland being located around the pelvis area if it becomes enlarged there will be a resulting narrowing or in some cases the urethra will become closed completely.
  • Pain when defecating - similarly to the above condition of painful or difficult urination, if the prostate has become swollen it will apply pressure to the rectum making it difficult for the dog to have a bowel movement. This will lead to a problem with constipation, which could be dangerous to the dog if the problem has not noticed or monitored properly. 
  • Abnormal walking - since the dog will want to alleviate the pressure placed on the area where the pain is located, he will appear to walk tenderly or awkwardly. It will appear as if the dog is "walking on eggs".
  • Discharge from the penis - the dog may experience discharge form the penis in the form of blood or pus.
  • Peritonitis - in rare case of a swollen prostate the dog may develop Peritonitis. Peritonitis is a condition where bacteria from the prostate leaks into the the abdominal cavity.

Treatment for a Swollen Prostate in Dogs

The treatment for an enlarged prostate gland in your pet will be long term and very expensive. The process normally takes into account a six to eight week term of administering oral medications, multiple injections, numerous insertions of catheters and the application of enemas. Even with all of the effort of the stages of treatment, surgery may be a needed procedure to rectify the problem. The rates will probably vary from vet to vet but, regardless, the treatment of an enlarged prostate is an expensive proposition. Fortunately, there is a high incidence of success.