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The prostate gland is a part of the mammalian reproductive system, from humans to dogs. Many people don't know that almost all male dogs display an enlargement of the prostate gland as they grow older. This applies to neutered dogs too. Fortunately, the enlargement of the prostate is not a problem in itself, but you should pay more attention to it as your dog gets older. Here are some conditions you need to know about:Common prostate issues in dogs
- Benign Hyperplasia – This refers to the simple enlargement of your dog's prostate gland. The level of enlargement will be the same in both lobes. It is not cancerous and does not cause any discomfort to the dog. However, if the enlargement is sudden and significant, the prostate can end up obstructing the pathway to the rectum or put pressure on the urethra. In such cases, you may notice that your dog strains while urinating or defecating, suffers from fecal impaction or constipation, has a yellow or bloody discharge from the penis and has blood in the urine.Treatment – The most effective treatment is neutering. Other possible treatments include anti-fungals and estrogen therapy. Although it seems counter-intuitive to use anti-fungal medication, you should know that it blocks the secretion of hormones that could make the condition worse.
- Bacterial infection – This happens when bacteria enter the prostate through the blood or urinary tract. It can be a sudden onset infection or chronic, where the initial symptoms go overlooked for a long time. Symptoms include difficulty urinating or defecating, depression, lethargy, fever, loss of appetite, bloody discharge from the dog's penis, and stiff walking. Chronic infections may exhibit no external sign and can be hard to treat. In certain cases, the bacteria get trapped in the prostate and leads to the formation of an abscess.Treatment – Your dog will receive IV antibiotics and might require hospitalization. In case your dog suffers from an abscessed, ruptured prostate due to inflammation, surgery is necessary.
- Paraprostatic cysts – These cysts are fluid-filled pockets that develop adjacent to the prostate in large and medium breed dogs after birth, but present a problem only after the dog is a few years old. When they become large, they put pressure on the urethra and end up displacing the rectum and colon. Symptoms include loss of appetite, lethargy, painful urination, constipation, abdominal enlargement or pain, blood in the urine, rectal pain and stiff walking.Treatment – Castration will solve the problem and prevent any future occurrence. Depending on the size, the cyst may need to be removed surgically or drained.
- Prostate cancer – Although it is rare, it is life-threatening when it occurs since it can spread through the dog's body pretty fast. Symptoms include loss of appetite, ribbon-shaped tool, abdominal pain, difficulty urinating and breathing, and fever.Treatment – There is no known cure for prostate cancer in canines. However, you can achieve short-term relief and remission through radiation therapy.