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Male Dog Prostate Cancer Symptoms

What Can I Do To Prevent Prostate Cancer In Dogs

Virginia Tech’s therapy dog diagnosed with prostate cancer

Sadly, there is no conclusive answer on how to prevent cancer in dogs. This is because the exact cause of prostate cancer in dogs is poorly understood.

As a pet parent, the best thing you can do is take proper care of your pet provide a high-quality diet, ensure physical activity, use health-boosting supplements, and practice regular veterinary checkups. Considering the incidence of prostate disease in older dogs, seniors need more than one annual veterinary visit.

Last but not least, it is a good idea to invest in a reliable pet insurance plan. Our top pick is OneVet. With OneVet, you get 24/7 access to licensed veterinarians, up to $3.000 in emergency funds, and equal conditions for insured pets regardless of pre-existing diseases.

What Are The Treatments For This Type Of Tumor

The treatments for prostatic carcinoma are aimed at reducing the tumors size and the tendency for metastasis. Surgery may be considered as a palliative measure, though removal of the entire prostate or tumor is not typically successful without damage to the urethra. In pets with significant obstruction of the urethra, a surgical stent may be placed to allow for urination.

Treatments less invasive than surgery, such as radiation therapy, may be pursued. Targeted radiation therapy to the region of the prostate and affected lymph nodes or bone may be possible. Palliative radiation therapy may provide short-term relief for urinary obstruction.

“The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories such as piroxicam or carprofen, however, have been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of prostate cancer.”

The role of chemotherapy is not well understood. The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories , such as piroxicam or carprofen, have been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of prostate cancer. Bisphosphonates may also be helpful. These drugs are typically recommended with metastasis to the pelvic bone or lumbar vertebrae. They may reduce the active breakdown of the bone and reduce pain.

Is There Anything Else I Should Know

If your pet has been diagnosed with a prostate cancer and becomes unable to pass urine, this is an emergency. Please seek veterinary attention immediately. If your pet is experiencing pain, contact your veterinarian so that your pets pain management plan can be modified.

Contributors: Debbie Stoewen DVM, MSW, RSW, PhD Christopher Pinard, DVM

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What Are The Stages Of Prostate Cancer

Your healthcare provider uses the Gleason score and Grade Groups to stage prostate cancer based on its projected aggressiveness. To get this information, the pathologist:

  • Assigns a grade to each type of cell in your sample. Cells are graded on a scale of three to five . Samples that test in the one to two range are considered normal tissue.
  • Adds together the two most common grades to get your Gleason score .
  • Uses the Gleason score to place you into a Grade Group ranging from one to five. A Gleason score of six puts you in Grade Group 1 . A score of nine or higher puts you in Grade Group five . Samples with a higher portion of more aggressive cells receive a higher Grade Group.

Treatment Of Canine And Human Prostate Cancer

Prostate Problems in Dogs  Hypertrophy, Prostatitis, Cancer &  Cysts

Without treatment, the prognosis for dogs with prostate carcinoma is poor. These tumors are highly metastatic and, as noted previously, most dogs are diagnosed at advanced stages. One study reported a median survival time of approximately 21 days for a group of 17 dogs with prostate carcinoma, including 15 receiving no treatment . Another study reported very low median survival times for 76 dogs with prostate carcinoma . Most of the dogs were

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Causes Of An Enlarged Prostate In Dogs

An enlarged prostate is a common issue that affects many aging intact male dogs. There are a number of causes of an enlarged prostate in dogs and in this blog post, we will explore some of the most common causes of an enlarged prostate in dogs. These include benign prostatic hyperplasia , prostatic cysts, prostate cancer and prostatic infections. We will also discuss treatment options and how to keep your dog healthy and comfortable.

Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer

Once a tumor causes your prostate gland to swell, or once cancer spreads beyond your prostate, you may have symptoms including:

  • The need to pee often, especially at night
  • Trouble starting or stopping a stream of urine
  • A weak stream or one that starts and stops
  • Leaking pee when you laugh or cough
  • Not being able to pee standing up
  • Pain or burning when you pee
  • Blood in your pee or
  • Pressure or pain in your rectum
  • Pain or stiffness in your lower back, hips, pelvis, or thighs
  • New trouble getting an erection

These arenât symptoms of the cancer itself. They happen because the cancer growth is blocking your prostate.

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Prognosis And Survival Rate

Even with early detection, the prognosis of dogs with prostate cancer remains poor due to the rate of metastasis. Survival time is short whether or not a definitive treatment is performed.

The disease advances too far to control, with an average survival rate of 6 weeks to 1 year.

Doctors usually do euthanasia once the quality of life starts to deteriorate or when they can no longer manage the clinical signs.

Recovery Of Prostate Cancer In Dogs

Dogs Could Detect Prostate Cancer With 98 Percent Accuracy

The chances of recovery can vary quite a bit based on the aggressiveness of the tumor and the time of diagnosis. If the cancer is found early, before metastasis is present, chemotherapy and radiation treatment may be effective. If significant metastasis has already taken place, the veterinarian may recommend against this type of treatment, and will manage your dogâs illness symptomatically as long as possible. The best way to deal with prostate cancer is to monitor your dog closely, especially as he ages. Diagnosing prostate disease in the precancerous stages can help give your dog the highest chance of effective treatment.

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Treatments Of Prostate Cancer In Dogs

Surgery to remove the diseased portion of the prostate may be an effective method of treatment for dogs with prostate cancer, followed by radiation therapy or chemotherapy.

However, prostate cancers are non-amenable to surgery due to their location. It is risky and only possible if the disease has not spread to other areas of the body.

So, surgery is not always helpful because cancer has often spread by the time it is discovered.

The other options available are chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Doctors often use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve pain. These medicines are supporting tools to keep your dog comfortable and improve its quality of life for as long as possible.

A combination of chemotherapy, NSAIDs, and radiation therapy may increase survival time by an average of 20 months, but still not a guarantee.

Radiation tends to harm the surrounding tissues, and most chemotherapy drugs and protocols have no long-term efficacy established.

Prostrate cancer in dogs is difficult to treat, as the methods mentioned are only palliative measures rather than curative.

Luckily, prostate cancer is rare. Veterinary check-ups may lead to finding prostate cancer early.

If your pet is showing any unusual signs or symptoms, always call your vets office for their advice and best recommendations.

Diagnosis Of Prostate Cancer In Dogs

Even if your pet is showing the signs mentioned above, dont automatically presume he has cancer.

Diagnosis of prostate cancer in dogs may not be easy since its symptoms share much in common with kidney and urinary tract infections.

This condition can go undiagnosed until it reaches an advanced stage and starts to metastasize.

Canine prostate cancer is diagnosed through a combination of clinical signs, advanced diagnostic imaging, and obtaining cells from the prostate for cytology.

Especially in older males, the veterinarian will start performing a thorough physical examination of your pet to check prostate health.

Abdominal and rectal palpation may follow to detect irregularities in the prostate gland or masses in the abdomen.

An enlarged prostate in dogs can be detected through further tests, including urinalysis, contrast X-rays, ultrasound scans, and biopsy of the rectal wall.

X-rays help identify metastasis, while ultrasound determines if the prostate is swollen or has polyps, cysts, or tumors.

The doctor may obtain a sample of cells either by catheterization or by performing a fine needle aspiration of the prostate gland.

When a diagnosis cannot be made with either of the procedures, a biopsy may need to be considered.

Removal of a tissue sample confirms whether the tumor is cancerous, as not all enlarged prostates are cancer.

If found to be a case of malignancy, the examination will tell the vet to diagnose cancer.

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Diagnosis And Treatment Of Hemangiosarcoma In Dogs

Diagnosis of hemangiosarcoma can sometimes be difficult. It starts with a physical examination of the dog, checking for pale gums and abdominal swelling, among other things. The next step is performing x-rays of the abdominal region and checking for tumorous masses to see if any other organs are affected by the tumor. Blood tests, urinalysis, thoracic radiography, and ultrasonography may also be required. A definitive diagnosis of hemangiosarcoma is done by biopsy.

The treatment of hemangiosarcoma depends on the location of the tumor. If the tumor is located in the skin, surgical removal is the best treatment. If the surgeon was not able to remove the tumor completely, or if he suspects that some cancerous cells have spread to the nearby area, chemotherapy may be required. If the tumor is located in the internal organs of the dog, the standard treatment becomes a combination of surgery and chemotherapy.

Prostate Cancer In Dogs Neutered And Non

Use these natural remedies to help male dogs with prostate problems ...

You will be learning about Prostate Cancer in Dogs including information regarding the Cure for Prostate Cancer Dogs. This informative piece is a response to those asking Can a Dogs Prostate be Removed? Prostate cancer develops in dogs but its occurrence is rare and it is very deadly as it can easily metastasize and spread to other body areas including the lungs, bones, and lymph nodes. Ensure you read through to the end especially if you want to learn about Neutered Prostate Cancer in Dogs.

Post Contents

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Sudden Weakness Or Collapse

While weakness can arise from a number of factors, sudden collapse is an alarming but common symptom of hemangiosarcoma, a cancer of the cells lining the blood vessels.

Hemangiosarcoma is a rapidly spreading form of malignant cancer that most frequently targets the heart, skin, spleen and liver.

This form of cancer is most common in the German Shepherd, Golden Retriever and other large breeds.

Since dogs usually show only mild warning signs, cases of hemangiosarcoma may not be detected until the cancer has reached an advanced stage.

Unfortunately, one of the most common initial signs of hemangiosarcoma involves sudden collapse due to massive internal bleeding, usually from a ruptured spleen.

Detection Of Prostate Cancer

When a veterinarian examines the prostate for any cancer ormalignancies it will feel firm, irregular, and cause some pain. It willalso be immovable within the pelvis. Canine prostate cancer is one ofthe few cancers that affect dogs that have been castrated. In fact,many believe that castrated dogs have a higher incidence of thedisease.

Helpful tests to confirm a cancer in dog prostate includex-rays , biopsy viafine needle aspirates, cytology, and histology. On x-rays thedog prostate will look enlarged.

Unfortunately, canine prostate cancer is usually diagnosedlate in the diseases progression. After diagnosis, most dogs only live30 days. Human treatment options such as antiandrogens are noteffective since the cancer is not dependent on hormones. Also unlikehumans, tests that screen for prostate cancer are also not reliablesuch as human PSA tests. Canine prostates need to be tested for CPSE.

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Other Causes For An Enlarged Prostate In Dogs

Prostatitis â or inflammation of the prostate â is the second most common cause of an enlarged prostate following BPH, and almost always occurs as a result of an infection.

Prostate cancer is another possible cause of an enlarged prostate. Though neutering eliminates the occurrence of many prostatic diseases, prostate cancer can still occur in neutered dogs. Note: neutering does not increase a dog’s risk for malignant prostate disease.

Treatment For Enlarged Prostate In Pets

My dogs journey through prostate cancer.

Treatment will vary depending on the underlying cause. Your veterinarian will prescribe treatment options including medications or surgical procedures best suited to your dogs individual needs.


Preventive measures ideally begin with neutering pets at an early age, usually before puberty, to prevent the normal growth of the gland. If your pet is neutered later in life, the gland will shrink after the testosterone is removed.

Dogs with benign enlargement caused by excess hormone levels may undergo surgical castration to relieve symptoms. BPH responds very well to hormone therapy. Testosterone and estrogen form in the testicles, so neutering is usually effective. After neutering, the prostate typically returns to its normal size within a month after surgery. If not treated, BPH can lead to infertility and serious infections.

Bacterial infections

Abscesses or cysts can be surgically drained.


Prostate cancer is rare and usually occurs only in neutered male dogs. Both adenocarcinoma and transitional carcinoma have poor prognosis and are life-threatening. Surgery is not usually an option, and medicine may only help briefly. These types of canine cancers are confirmed via biopsy. Ultrasound-guided biopsy can be used instead of more invasive surgical procedures. In dogs with prostatic carcinoma, external beam radiotherapy may help relieve pain.

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What You Need To Know About The Prostate Male Dog Prostate Cancer Symptoms

A enlarged prostate can also cause blockages in the urethra. A blocked urethra can also damage the kidneys. A patient suffering from an enlargement of the prostate may have pain in his lower abdomen and genitals. If pain is present, a digital rectal examination will reveal hard areas. A doctor may prescribe surgery or perform an endoscopic procedure. If the enlarged prostate is not completely removed, it will shrink.

While the size of an enlarged prostate will influence the extent of urinary symptoms, men may experience a range of urinary symptoms. Some men have minimal or no symptoms at all. Some men will have a very enlarged prostate, whereas others will have a mild enlargement. Generally, the symptoms can stabilize over time. Some men may have an enlarged prostate but not notice it. If they have an enlarged colon, their physician can perform a TURP procedure.

Prostate Gland Cancer In Dogs

I periodically force myself to write about one of a handful of diseases I truly despise, and canine prostate gland cancer definitely falls into this category. Why do I dislike this disease so much? There is no cure for it and, for as long as Ive been alive, there remains no effective treatment that consistently keeps it at bay for a significant length of time while preserving quality of life.

The only good news about prostate gland cancer is that it is relatively rare, accounting for 0.67% of all reported malignancies in dogs. And, it is far less common than the other far more treatable forms of prostate gland disease such as bacterial prostatitis, cystic disease, and benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Behavior of prostate gland cancer

The most common form of cancer within the prostate arises from its glandular cells and is called adenocarcinoma. Transitional cell carcinomas are less common than adenocarcinomas. They arise from transitional cells that line the urinary tract.

Prostate gland cancer is a disease primarily of middle-aged and older, large breed dogs. It occurs most commonly in neutered male dogs. This is a bit counterintuitive and we used to believe just the opposite, so I will state this fact again. Prostate gland cancer is more likely to occur in dogs who have been neutered.


There are often no symptoms whatsoever until the prostate gland becomes significantly enlarged and/or painful. Common symptoms include:

Straining to urinate

Hind end/back stiffness

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What Are The Clinical Signs

Given the location of the prostate, the most common clinical signs include blood in the urine, a change in urination habits, inability to urinate, and excessive drinking. The colon, located just above the prostate, may become compressed, making it difficult to pass bowel movements. Pets may strain to urinate or defecate, and the stools may become flattened or ribbonlike. Other signs may include lethargy, exercise intolerance, reduced appetite, weight loss, and pain . The pain may be significant in pets that have evidence of metastasis to the bones of the lower back and pelvis.

What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider

What Are The Signs Of Prostate Cancer In A Dog : Symptoms Of Prostate ...

If you have prostate cancer, you may want to ask your healthcare provider:

  • Why did I get prostate cancer?
  • What is my Gleason score? What is my Grade Group? What do these numbers mean for me?
  • Has the cancer spread outside of the prostate gland?
  • What is the best treatment for the stage of prostate cancer I have?
  • If I choose active surveillance, what can I expect? What signs of cancer should I look out for?
  • What are the treatment risks and side effects?
  • Is my family at risk for developing prostate cancer? If so, should we get genetic tests?
  • Am I at risk for other types of cancer?
  • What type of follow-up care do I need after treatment?
  • Should I look out for signs of complications?

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Prostate cancer is a common cancer that affects males. Most prostate cancers grow slowly and remain in the prostate gland. For a small number, the disease can be aggressive and spread quickly to other parts of the body. Men with slow-growing prostate cancers may choose active surveillance. With this approach, you can postpone, and sometimes completely forego, treatments. Your healthcare provider can discuss the best treatment option for you based on your Gleason score and Group Grade.

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