Prostate Diseases in Dogs
We've highlighted the importance of foreseeing prostate diseases in men. It may be hard to believe, but the same applies to dogs.
Our four-legged friends can also get prostate diseases as they get older. Early diagnosis and treatment will allow them to feel more comfortable at this stage.
The prostate is a gland that functions on sex hormones. It’s located at the base of the bladder and its size depends on the breed and age of the dog.
What symptoms will your dog show if it has a prostate disease?
There are many symptoms, including those related to the urinary system. Your dog will find urinating difficult. They will want to urinate more frequently, but in small amounts. There could be the presence of blood in the urine, incontinence or blood on the penis; you should even be aware if your dog doesn’t urinate.
Walking problems could also indicate prostate disease in your dog. When the prostate becomes enlarged, it puts pressure on the nerves, causing your dog to limp or walk stiffly.
Difficulty and pain in defecating, as well as flattened stools, can be caused by the pressure of the prostate on the intestine. Symptoms such as depression, decreased appetite, weight loss, and fever, among others, may also occur. If these symptoms show, a vet will do necessary tests for a proper diagnosis.
The most common prostate diseases for dogs
- Abscesses: These are pus-filled sacs in the prostate, indicating a bacterial infection. Prostate abscesses must be surgically drained before peritonitis occurs. The dog may have difficulty urinating and defecating, fever, lack of appetite and pain.
- Prostate enlargement: This is one of the most common prostate diseases, and is more likely to increase with age. This is when the number of prostate gland cells increases, leading to the prostate increasing in size.
This illness is frequent in animals over eight years old, and can cause your dog to find defecating difficult. Your dog will need an ultrasound, palpation and a fluid analysis for a good diagnosis.
- Prostatitis: This is when the prostate becomes inflamed, and can be either bacterial or hormonal. If it’s hormonal, then castration is recommended; if it’s bacterial, then your dog will need a course of antibiotics until the infection disappears.
Your dog may have a lack of appetite, vomiting, secretions or blood in the urine, and pain when urinating. Your pet will need blood and urine tests to diagnose prostatitis.
- Prostate tumors: a small number of dogs with prostate disease can develop tumors. If they do, most of the time they’re malignant. Your dog can suffer from pain, weight loss, lack of appetite, and difficulty with urinating and defecating.
A biopsy is one way to check if a prostate tumor is malignant or not. On the other hand, surgery is the way to tackle this problem, but it has side effects for your dog’s urinary system.
Activities to relieve your dog’s symptoms
There are activities we can do with our dog if it already has a prostate disease. We need to make him feel as comfortable as possible with any treatment the vet recommends.
- Oat bran is recommended to alleviate constipation problems common in dogs with these conditions. Fiber is known to help with removing feces more easily and with less pain. If the problem is more serious, vets can prescribe laxatives to help regulate intestinal functions.
- Exercise is also recommended for constipation. Your dog will probably be in pain, so gentle walks are best.
- Making sure your dog drinks plenty of water will make the urine more diluted, which will help reduce the chance of infection. Taking it out more often to urinate will also help him feel more relieved; this way he will feel less rushed.
- Castration is the only method that can prevent prostate disease in your pet. But if you don’t want to castrate your pet, then you need to go to the vets for regular checkups. Ultimately, an early diagnosis of any prostate condition will mean a better quality of life for your dog.