The prostate is a gland that is a part of the reproductive system in most mammals, including humans and dogs. One of the most common problem seen in unneutered or intact male dogs as they age is the enlargement of the prostate. This can also be seen in neutered dogs as well.
The prostate gland is a bi lobed structure located within the pelvis and behind the bladder and below the rectum. In a medium sized dog, it is about one or two inches in length. The prostate gland is categorised as an accessory sex gland which means it is important in successfully siring puppies but is not directly responsible for producing sperms. Their main role is to nourish the sperm cells and produce a greater amount of liquid during ejaculation making their movement towards fertilisation easier.
Prostate enlargement in dogs does not cause a major problem until serious symptoms show up and as they grow older. So, you need to monitor your dog and consult the vet once you notice any change in their condition. Here are a few conditions that you must be aware of.
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
This causes a simple enlargement of your pet’s prostate. The level of enlargement will be the same for both the lobes. It usually does not cause any discomfort to your dog and is fortunately non-cancerous. But if the enlargement is massive then it can cause obstruction to the rectum and pressurise the urethra.
So, if you notice your dog straining while passing motion or urine, blood in urine or stools and if you notice any yellow discharge from their penis then you must take them to the vet and have them professionally checked.
Treatment is recommended when your dog shows signs of discomfort and the most effective way to treat the issue is by getting your pet neutered. Apart from this your vet will probably prescribe certain medicines to treat the problem.
- Bacterial infection
This infection occurs when bacteria enters the prostate through the urinary tract or blood. There are two kinds of conditions; acute due to a sudden onset and chronic when the primary symptoms have been overlooked.
An acute infection is usually diagnosed once your pet shows symptoms like difficulty defecating or urinating, fever, abdominal pain and bloody discharge from the penis. Chronic infection is quite dicey as there are no noticeable symptoms making treatment difficult. Sometimes, the bacteria may just get trapped in the prostate and forms an abscess.
Dogs suffering from bacterial infection are usually treated with a dose of antibiotics through IV and may require hospitalisation. If your dog suffers from a ruptured and abscessed prostate due to a possible inflammation then surgery is highly recommended.
- Paraprostatic cysts
The fluid filled pockets of cysts form adjacent to the prostate in medium and large breed of dogs right after their birth. They usually do not cause a problem until your dog is older. As the cysts grow in size they will put more pressure on the urethra or cause problem to the rectum or colon. Your dog may show symptoms like lethargy, constipation, loss of appetite, fever, abdominal pain, stiff walking and bloody discharge from the penis, painful urination and rectal pain.
Castrating your pet can help to resolve the problem and prevent further complications. Also, depending on the size of the cyst it can be drained or surgically removed.
- Dog prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is actually rare in dogs. If it does occur then it can turn quite serious and life threatening as cancer slowly spreads throughout the body. The symptoms of prostate cancer include ribbon shaped stool, loss of appetite, weight loss, discomfort while passing urine, abdominal pain, fever or breathing difficulties.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for prostate cancer. Though you can help your pet receive short term remission through radiation therapy and certain drugs.
You can always post your queries at www.tailslife.app.link/queries for further professional advice.