Prostate Disease

Posted on June 12, 2015

One of out every forty dogs in the United States suffers from some type of prostate disease.  Although it is more commonly seen in non-neutered dogs, it can also affect neutered dogs and is more likely to exhibit itself in older dogs.  Deterioration and shrinkage of the prostate can often lead to a long line of complications and is associated with blood in the urine, weight loss, fever and even depression.

An initial digital rectal exam can be very helpful in identifying the problem.  Follow up diagnostic tools may include blood work, urine analysis and radiography.  Veterinarians may also biopsy the prostate or prostatic fluids to aid in cytological findings.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia or more commonly known as BPH, can be seen in sexually active dogs and is classified as the enlargement of the prostate gland due to aging.  BPH often leads to difficulty in urination; urethral discharge and infertility in some sever cases.  Castration is the only known long term and quick treatment for this condition.

Much like the mechanism involved in pyometra, bacteria originating from the lower parts of the urinary tract can lead to bacterial prostatitis.  Once inflicted, the animal may experience recurrent episodes of urinary tract infection and suffer from such symptoms as fever, weakness, and loss of appetite.  Antibiotics are a very common and effective treatment method and can save the animal’s life by prohibiting the entrance of the infection into the bloodstream.

Prostatic cysts are another form of prostate disease and are categorized into true and paraprostatic cysts.  Defined by their presence on the prostate gland itself or the surrounding issue, these cysts are often targeted with antimicrobial treatment.  In more advanced cases, Marietta veterinarians may resort to surgery or castration.

The most severe and fatal of prostate diseases are prostate cancers and can quickly advance to surrounding tissues and organs, and even the lymph nodes.  The metastatic nature of prostate cancers makes it difficult not only to diagnose but also to manage.  While some animals, as seen in the Marietta Vet Clinic, are responsive to chemo and radiation therapy, others tend to experience poor prognosis.  Early detection and correct selection of the treatment options are key factors in improving prognosis.