Prostate Disease in Dogs

Prostate disease in dogs is typically signaled by an enlarged prostate and an increased frequency of urination. The prostate is a gland that is only present in male dogs and may be affected by various problems such as infections or even cancer. The prognosis of prostate disease will depend on the diagnosis.

Prostate in Dogs

The prostate is a gland that is found only in male dogs and is located close to the urinary bladder. The prostate has the task of producing liquids which make up the semen of the dog.

Symptoms of Prostate Disease

Prostate disease is signaled by an enlarged prostate. If the gland is enlarged, this will cause urination problems, due to the fact that the urethra goes through the prostate. Some dogs will urinate more, while others may have difficulties eliminating urine. Some dogs may experience total urethral obstruction, so urination will not occur. Other symptoms may include:

  • Urinating in several sequences and smaller amounts
  • Straining to urinate
  • Difficulties during defecation, as the colon may also be affected by the enlarged prostate
  • Blood in the urine, especially if the dog is affected by an infection

Types of Prostate Disease

Prostate disease is a broad term that may cover a number of conditions such as:

  • Prostatic hyperplasia, which causes the gland to enlarge and may be caused by a fluctuation of the testosterone levels.
  • Squamous metaplasia, caused by high levels of estrogen.
  • Cysts that affect the prostate area and may lead to the obstruction of the urethra; this condition often accompanies hyperplasia or squamous metaplasia.
  • Infections caused by bacteria, which can come from the urethra or the urinary bladder.
  • Abscess of the prostate, which may be a more advanced infection; the ducts of the prostate may be obstructed and pus may accumulate.
  • Prostate tumor, which is most frequently malignant and is believed to be caused by the high level of hormones that are produced by the testes, adrenal glands and pituitary glands.

Diagnosing Prostate Disease

The enlarged prostate may be diagnosed by performing an x-ray and ultrasounds. The vet may also palpate the dog's abdominal area to see if the prostate looks enlarged. To find the exact disease that affects the dog, the vet will perform a number of tests such as:

  • Urine test
  • A test on a prostatic fluid sample
  • Aspiration or biopsy for prostatic cells
  • Blood tests to detect infections or any other abnormalities that may point to cancer or infections

Treatment Options

The treatment of a prostate disease will depend on the main cause of the prostate enlargement. If the dog has an infection, antibiotics will be used. A cure of several weeks will be needed to eliminate the bacteria causing the prostate disease. Hormonal treatment may be necessary if the dog is affected by prostatic hyperplasia, cysts or metaplasia. Cancer may require neutering and also removing the tumor, if possible.