Enlarged Prostate in Dogs

The enlarged prostate is a problem that can affect only male dogs, as only male dogs have a prostate. The prostate gland is essential for the ejaculation process, as it secrets a fluid that allows the sperm to be ejaculated. When the prostate is enlarged, the dog will have trouble urinating. Neutered dogs are less likely to suffer from an enlarged prostate.

Causes of Enlarged Prostate

The enlargement of the prostate gland in dogs is most frequently linked to an excessive production of hormones. The main causes of enlarged prostate include:

  • Prostatic hyperplasia
  • Prostatitis, an infection of the prostate caused by bacteria
  • An abbess in the prostate gland area
  • Cystitis
  • A cyst in the area
  • Polyps
  • A malignant or benign tumor

Symptoms of Enlarged Prostate

The most common symptoms of an enlarged prostate in dogs include difficulties in urination and constipation or difficulties when excreting feces.

Other symptoms that may not be present in all dogs include:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Pus in the urine
  • Blood in the feces
  • Discharges containing blood or pus from the penis
  • Difficulties when eliminating and even crying, as the elimination may be painful
  • Fever
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weight loss

The dog will experience more severe symptoms (i.e. blood in urine) if the prostate is seriously enlarged.

If the prostate is only a bit swollen, the dog may not present any symptoms.

Diagnosing Enlarged Prostate in Dogs

An enlarged dog prostate may be identified with a rectal exam, which may require anesthesia. The vet will establish if the prostate is larger than normal and may also establish how large the prostate is.

A test of the urine along with a complete blood count may also help finding the underlying causes of the enlarged prostate.

X-rays and ultrasounds can be performed if the vet suspects a tumor or cyst in the prostate gland area.

Treatment Options for an Enlarged Dog Prostate

The treatment for the enlarged prostate will depend on the underlying causes. Infections will be treated with a cure of oral antibiotics. Surgery may be needed to extract a cyst, tumor or polyp situated in the prostate gland area.

Some vets will recommend neutering the dog to prevent further complications.

The administration of synthetic hormones may also solve the hormonal imbalance and reduce the size of the prostate to normal.

Prevention of Dog Prostate Enlargement

The enlargement of the prostate gland in dogs may be prevented by neutering the dog as early as possible. If the dog is not sexually active, the prostate will less likely to have problems. Neutering your dog will also decrease the chances of prostate cancer.

Talk to your vet to determine the best time to neuter your pet. If the dog is in good health and is fully developed, the neutering can be performed as early as when the dog is 6 months old.