Treatment Options for Dog Prostate Cancer

Dog prostate cancer is a rare disease that may appear in both castrated and non-castrated dogs. Older dogs are more susceptible to this disease, which is often fatal. However, several treatment options exist to try to combat this type of cancer.

Symptoms of Dog Prostrate Cancer and Detection

Prostate cancer in dogs may present with a variety symptoms that often go undetected until the later stages of the disease. A dog with prostate cancer may have lost weight, have blood in his urine, and be in pain. Kidney problems may also arise due to kidney failure in dogs or a dog urinary tract infection. A dog may also have problems passing stool.

A dog's gait (the way a dog walks) may also be affected as he develops weaknesses in the hind legs.

A vet will use contrast x-rays or a urine sample as initial tests for prostate cancer. Ultrasounds could also be conducted. The most definitive test to diagnose prostate cancer is a biopsy if the dog's rectal wall.

Treatment Options for Dog Prostate Cancer

Surgery, radiation and chemotherapy are the most common ways to treat dog prostate cancer.

Neutering is not a viable option if a dog's prostate growth is cancerous, because the size of the prostate will not shrink as testosterone is not related to the cause of the disease. Castration with the use of anti-androgen drugs, however, may help control the cancer if it is hormone responsive. The benefit of neutering a dog with prostate cancer is a possible reduction in the development of inflammation and infection.

Surgical removal of the prostrate is not recommended because of the complications that may arise, such as urinary incontinence.

Chemotherapy and radiation, even though they are common options, may not bring about the results desired. This type of tumor is not as responsive to chemotherapy and radiation as other cancers. These treatments can shrink the prostate, but usually does not give any relief from the discomfort the dog may be experiencing.

Many dog owners may look to natural or homeopathic remedies to help provide some form of relief to their pets. Herbs and natural supplements most likely will not cure the dog of his cancer, but can help boost his immune system.

Prognosis for Dog Prostate Treatment

The average life expectancy of a dog that has prostate cancer is thirty days after a diagnosis. With treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation with anti-inflammatory agents, a dog may live up to a year after receiving treatment.

Dog prostate cancer is a very invasive and aggressive disease. The prognosis for recovery is grim, but there are options one can review with their veterinarian to make a dog more comfortable.