Does Neutering Dogs Prevent Prostate Disease
When talking about neutering, vets often list a series of diseases that neutering can help prevent. Prostate disease is often near the top of that list but is it true? What are the impacts of neutering on prostate disease in dogs? Our vet blogger Sian has been digging into the science in this, the first of our Neutering Week posts.
Signs Of Prostate Problems In Dogs
Prostate problems can affect dogs of any size or breed, but they mostly occur in middle-aged and older dogs. Knowing how to spot the symptoms of prostate problems in dogs can be crucial in getting your pooch the adequate help, so lets take a look at the most common signs of dog prostate issues.
1. Difficult or Painful Urination
This is one of the most recognizable symptoms of enlarged prostate in dogs. While difficult or painful urination as a symptom is more prominent in humans, most dogs with prostate issues will also experience this. The affected dog may spend too much time urinating and often come up with a thin urine stream.
2. Difficult or Painful Defecation
Unlike urination problems that affect some canines with prostate issues, difficult or painful defecation is a standard sign of an enlarged prostate in dogs, affecting the majority of patients. The reason lies in the fact that enlarged prostate in dogs usually pushes up on the pet’s rectum, which also leads to ribbon-shaped stools.
3. Penis Discharge
Another common symptom of prostate problems is bloody discharge from the dogs penis. You may notice a pus discharge too. However, blood in urine can also signal other health issues.
4. Abnormal Walk
Dogs with prostate issues will often have a stiff walk or walk abnormally otherwise. You may notice that your dog seems to walk like he is walking on eggshells. However, there are also many other reasons for your dog’s behavior and odd walk.
5. Other Symptoms
Recovery And Management Of Prostate Cancer In Dogs
If disease is detected early, before any spread has occurred, then more definitive treatment may be performed to extend survival time. Once the cancer has spread, management of clinical signs is often performed until the disease progresses too far to control.
Overall prognosis for prostatic adenocarcinoma is poor. Euthanasia may be required once quality of life has deteriorated or clinical signs cannot be controlled.
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What Types Of Prostatic Disease Are There
Ive teased you by mentioning there are several types of prostatic disease. For the sake of completeness they are listed here, but some are much more common than others are, and its these we will then take at look at in detail.
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia
You veterinarian will want to make a diagnosis, because each condition requires different therapy.
Treatments For Enlarged Prostate In Dogs
The treatment for enlarged prostate in dogs depends on the cause of the condition.
For benign prostatic hyperplasia, treatment usually includes neutering, which forces the prostate to shrink on its own and reduces symptoms. If cysts have appeared, they may be drained surgically.
Bacterial infections are usually treated with antibiotics. If the infection is chronic, treatment may include injections, enemas, and surgery because medications often cannot penetrate the barrier between the blood and prostate gland. Abscesses will have to be surgically drained.
Prostate cancer is very difficult to treat, and there is no cure. Radiation therapy may help relieve pain and some symptoms, and it is possible for the cancer to go into remission. You should discuss treatment options with your veterinarian and determine what is the best course of action for your dog.
Have you neutered your dog to reduce the risks of prostate conditions? How do you keep your male dog healthy? Let us know in the comments below!
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What Are The Signs Of Bph
As the prostate gland enlarges it compresses the urethra. This makes it difficult for the dog to urinate normally. They strain to pass urine, often passing small amounts of urine with great effort. The urine may contain blood or drops of blood may be seen around urination because of the straining. Fortunately, complete obstruction of the bladder is rare.
A significant increase in size of the prostate gland also causes compression of the rectum. This causes difficulty passing faeces, the dog will become constipated and produce small amounts of flattened faeces.
What Exactly Is The Prostate And What Does It Do
The prostate is a gland, which lies close to the neck of the bladder in the male dog , has two lobes which sit either side of the urethra. The urethra is a duct which takes urine out of the body from the bladder. The prostate gland is responsible for producing some of the fluids present in semen.
The most common condition which causes prostate enlargement is known as benign prostatic hyperplasia . The prostate becomes enlarged due to the effects of the male hormone testosterone, and as the name suggests, is benign in nature.
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Types Of Prostate Diseases In Dogs
- Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia : Also known as prostatic enlargement, prostatomegaly, or cystic BPH. It often occurs in older intact male dogs as a normal aging process. BPH usually isnt painful, but it can lead to prostatic cysts, acute or chronic prostate infection, and abscess.
- Acute Prostatitis is a sudden infection of the prostate caused by bacteria.
- Chronic Prostatitis is an ongoing infection of the prostate caused by bacteria which can lead to bladder inflammation, inflammation of the testicles, and inflammation of the testicular tube where sperm is stored.
- Prostatic Abscess is an area of fluid and pus within the prostate, which often develops when a dog has chronic untreated prostatitis.
- Prostate Cancer: There is an increased risk for certain breeds including the Bouvier des Flandres, Doberman Pinscher, Shetland Sheepdog, Scottish Terrier, Beagle, Miniature Poodle, German Short-Haired Pointer, Airedale Terrier, and Norwegian Elkhound.
Have A Dog Prostate Gland Related Question For Our Editors Or A Story To Share
Do you have a dog prostate gland related question for our veterinarian? We will answer it for free!Please include related information such as age, sex, breed, medical history, symptoms, diagnosis, diet, changes in behavior, diet and medications.We will do our best to get back to you quickly . If you do require an immediate response we suggest using this online dog veterinary service that is available now.In addition to specific therapies recommended by your veterinarian, consider adding a homeopathic product such as Prospet Drops, which are formulated to support prostate health.
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What Is The Prostate Gland In Dogs
The prostate is a gland in the abdomen of the male dog. It is an accessory sex gland as it produces seminal fluid. This fluid mixes with sperm produced by the testicles to make semen. The fluid passes into the urethra, the tube that joins the bladder to the penis. The prostate surrounds the urethra and sits above the urinary bladder and below the rectum.
Neutering of the male dog usually means surgical castration. Both testicles are removed in this procedure. Hormone treatments can be used to chemically castrate a dog but these treatments must be repeated to prevent testosterone production as the testicles are not removed.
Blood In Urine Or Dripping From The Penile Tip
Just like when you scratch an itch and make your skin bleed, so an inflamed prostate gland can seep blood. Because of its intimate anatomical relationship with the urethra, the blood tends to drain away into it and is either flushed out when the dog pees, or it drips down under gravity. You might notice this as drops of blood staining your dogs bed, or the occasional drop of blood hanging from the tip of the dogs sheath.
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How Is An Enlarged Prostate Diagnosed
A history of straining to urinate or defaecate may make your vet suspicious that the prostate is enlarged. In many cases the enlarged prostate can be felt by the veterinary surgeon during a rectal examination. Further tests such as an x-ray or ultrasound may be needed to give further information about your dogs condition. In some cases, samples may need to be taken from the prostate to allow a definitive diagnosis and rule out other problems such as infections.
How Is Bph In Dogs Treated
If your dog develops an enlarged prostate and isn’t neutered, proceeding with neutering is the treatment of choice for BPH. Approximately one month after the castration procedure, your vet will be able to determine during a rectal exam if your dog’s prostate has shrunk. This treatment route avoids extensive diagnostics and can discover if the underlying cause of the prostate growth was, in fact, BPH.
When mild benign prostatic hyperplasia in dogs exists with no signs and the dog is being used for mating, monitoring alone may be chosen. If you have plans to breed your dog, benign prostatic hyperplasia responds very well to medical therapy with finasteride. This medication blocks testosterone’s effect on the prostate, and in approximately two to three months, it can trigger a marked reduction in the gland’s size.
Keep in mind that if your dog stops taking finasteride, BPH will return. Additionally, you shouldn’t handle this drug if you’re pregnant or are looking to become pregnant.
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How Are Diseases Of The Prostate Diagnosed
Diagnosis starts with your vet gathering a thorough history and performing a physical exam, including a digital rectal exam. A digital rectal exam involves your vet wearing a disposable exam glove with lubrication and placing their finger in your dogs rectum to evaluate the size of the prostate, any associated pain, and if the gland is shaped normally. Your vet will often recommend sedation as this can be uncomfortable or painful in affected dogs.
Depending on your dogs symptoms, bloodwork tests and a complete urinalysis, x-ray or ultrasound will determine a diagnosis so that appropriate treatment can begin. In some cases, a surgical biopsy of the prostate is needed for an accurate diagnosis.
Dogs diagnosed with infectious prostatitis should be tested for Brucella canis, also called brucellosis. This is a bacterial infection that can be transmitted from dogs to people. Dogs with brucellosis can have symptoms similar to those listed above. Always wash your hands after handling your dog to help prevent transmission.
What Causes Prostate Cancer
Doctors dont know exactly what causes prostate cancer. However, they do know that certain risk factors may increase your risk for the disease. Those risk factors include:
- Older age. Men of any age can get prostate cancer. However, its most common in men older than 65 years of age.
- African-American men are more likely to develop prostate cancer than Caucasian men.
- Family history. Men who have had a father or brother with prostate cancer are at increased risk of developing the disease.
- Obesity. Obese men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer are more likely to have an advanced or aggressive cancer.
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Prostatic Diseases In Small Animals
, DVM, MBA, PhD, DACT, Oregon State University
When prostatic calculi occur , there is usually some other prostatic disease as well. Radiopaque prostatic calculi are rare incidental findings on abdominal radiographs.
Depending on the disorder, clinical signs may include:
tenesmus during defecation
recurrent urinary tract infections
caudal abdominal discomfort
However, many intact males with benign prostatic hyperplasia are asymptomatic or present with signs of hemospermia and/or infertility only. Additional nonspecific signs, such as fever, malaise, anorexia, severe stiffness, and caudal abdominal pain, can be seen with acute bacterial infections, abscesses, and neoplasia. Prostatic adenocarcinoma with bony involvement of the pelvis and lumbar vertebrae may cause hindlimb gait abnormalities. Less commonly, prostatic diseases may cause urinary incontinence. Prostatic adenocarcinoma may cause complete urethral obstruction.
Prostatic massage may produce septicemia in dogs with acute bacterial prostatitis or a prostatic abscess. Neoplastic cells are often not recovered in specimens obtained by ejaculation or prostatic massage.
What Causes Enlarged Prostate
Enlargement of the gland is common in intact male dogs, but less common in cats and other pets.
The most common related disease in intact male dogs is benign prostatic hyperplasia . It is frequently seen in unneutered dogs after the age of 5. BPH can worsen and improve cyclically, especially if females in heat are nearby.
Bacterial prostatitis, abscesses, cysts and cancer are much less common, but these forms of canine prostate enlargement can also be found in neutered males.
Causes of enlarged prostate:
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia or cystic hyperplasia
- Prostatisis – bacterial infection and inflammation
- Cancer rare in dogs typically, either an adenocarcinoma that originates in glandular tissue or a transitional carcinoma that spreads from the urinary tract. To confirm cancer, a biopsy is done.
- Paraprostatic cysts – large fluid filled sacs that form outside the gland and connect to it by a thin stalk
- Squamous metaplasia enlargement of the gland caused by excessive exposure to estrogen
- Abscess a pocket of infected fluid develops within the gland
- Prostatic neoplasia tumors of the gland
- Squamous metaplasia benign changes in the lining of the gland
- Sarcoma cancer of the connective or support tissue or soft tissue
- Hormonal imbalances
When a male pet is neutered, most of the prostate gland is removed. As a result, enlargement problems seldom occur in neutered pets.
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What Is Prostate Disease
Similar to humans, the hormones in a dogs body change as they get older and it is common to see an enlarged prostate gland because of too much of certain hormones. Prostate disease does not usually cause pain but it can make urination and defecation difficult. The four most common types of prostate disease are infection , prostatic cysts, benign prostatic hyperplasia , and cancer .
Since this condition is so common, your veterinarian can usually discover an enlarged prostate at your dogs annual examination, which is why it is so important to see your veterinarian regularly. Most types of prostate disease are harmless and do not need treatment, but it is better to be on the safe side in case there is an infection or if it is cancerous.
Prostate disease is an enlarged prostate gland and it is the number one disorder seen in male dogs that have not been neutered. As a matter of fact, prostate disease affects 60% of male dogs over five and close to 95% of male dogs before they are 10 years old. Neutering your dog before puberty will almost eliminate the chances of prostate disease. The dogs prostate gland size is regulated by the amount of sexual hormones released from the testicles.
Prostate Disease Average Cost
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How Is Prostate Disease Treated
Treatment depends on the diagnosis, and the type of disease that is present.
Diseases associated with excessive hormone levels are typically treated by neutering the dog. Because testosterone and estrogen are both formed in the testicles, neutering is generally an effective treatment. The prostate will return to its normal size within one month after surgery. Certain medications or hormone replacements, such as finasteride, megestrol acetate, and GnRH, may be used to treat specific prostatic conditions.
Paraprostatic cysts and prostatic abscesses require surgery to drain and remove them.
Diseases involving primary or secondary bacterial infections are treated with aggressive and prolonged antibiotic therapy. Because it is difficult for antibiotics to penetrate into the prostate gland, treatment for several weeks to months is usually necessary. Antibiotics that can penetrate the prostate include enrofloxacin, erythromycin, ciprofloxacin, chlorhamphenicol, doxycycline, and trimethoprim-sulfonamides each having varying pros and cons. Since the prostatic infections are typically secondary to another disease, treating the prostatic infection is only part of the overall treatment.
“Because it is difficult for antibiotics to penetrate into the prostate gland, treatment for several weeks to months is usually necessary.”
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Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms
Intermittent pre-putial bloody discharge without urination is one of the most common clinical signs. Haematuria may occur mostly towards the end of urination . Unlike in humans, dysuria is uncommon in dogs. In men, dysuria is caused by an increase in pressure on the urethra due to concentral hypertrophy of the prostate. In dogs, prostatic hyperplasia is diffuse and the enlarged prostate will change position by moving into the abdominal cavity. Urinary retention in dogs is reported when large cavities and neoplasia are present in the prostate.
Diagnosis Of Dog Prostrate Problems
Source: Washington State University
If your dog has symptoms of prostate problems, you should takehim to the vet for an evaluation. Most vets will perform a prostateexam as part of a yearly physical for all un-neutered males. The vetinserts a finger into the rectum and palpates the prostate gland,feeling its size and shape. If anything abnormal is detected, an x-rayor ultrasound may be ordered. Most prostrate problems in dogs are notcancerous, but if this is suspected, a biopsy may be taken. Withouttaking a biopsy, it is impossible to know for certain what is causingthe prostate problem.
Visit our guide on Canineprostate cancer to learn more about this disease and treatmentoptions.
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Heart Disease And High Blood Pressure
One in five men dies from heart disease before the age of 75. It claims more mens lives than any other disease. Heart disease runs in families, so you have a greater chance of developing it if your family has a history of the disease. Other risk factors include:
- an unhealthy diet with too much fat, particularly saturated fat
- lack of exercise