Treating Prostate Cancer in Dogs with Chemotherapy

Prostate cancer in dogs is a very serious disease that can affect male dogs both neutered and unaltered. This type of cancer can begin with no known cause and is often fatal. Generally speaking, a non-cancerous dog tumor will begin to grow inside the prostate. No symptoms may be present and as such, the tumor will continue to grow and may rapidly become cancerous. Cancer cells may spread quickly to other portions of the body, such as the lungs, lymph nodes and bones. There are several treatment options for this type of canine cancer, with chemotherapy being one of them.


Chemotherapy might be the first option we think of for treating prostate cancer in dogs. Most of us are familiar with this term, but we may not be exactly sure what it entails. Chemotherapy is the treatment of cancerous cells with chemicals that are designed to kill the cells which are dividing rapidly. When this process is successful, the cancer is stopped from spreading and potentially cured. Unfortunately, chemotherapy doesn't always work the way it's intended, and there can be some serious side effects, which can lead to a low quality of life for your dog. Additionally, the cancerous cells may return in a few months to a year, leading you to the consideration of treatment options once again.

Treatment of Prostate Cancer in Dogs

While chemotherapy may be one of the options for treating prostate cancer in dogs, it may not always be the best. Careful research and consideration of the probably results should play an important role when making this decision. Surgery may be the best option as this will attempt to remove the cancerous mass from the body. However, by the time symptoms have been discovered and a diagnosis has been made, often the disease has progressed. If the cancer has already spread to other parts of the body, surgery may be too risky or may have a lower probability for success. In this case, chemotherapy should be considered along with other treatment options, such as radiation treatment, traditional medication, homeopathic or alternative remedies.

Factors to Consider

Prostate cancer in dogs has a bleak survival rate, even with surgery or chemotherapy treatments. A number of factors come into play when determining a probable rate of survival. If the dog is experiencing other health problems, such as canine kidney failure, obesity, diabetes or other serious diseases, you may decide the invasive procedures of surgery or chemotherapy are not worth risking the potential side effects. Financial considerations may come into play, but also consider the quality of life for your dog. Efforts to prolong an existence filled with pain, suffering or daily medication may be more unfortunate for the dog and for your family. Consider your dog's age, general overall health, professional prognosis and other factors involved to help you come to a decision for treatment.