What is Prostate Inflammation?
Prostate inflammation due to prostatitis is more likely to occur in cats that have not been neutered. Castration is an excellent way to prevent diseases of the prostate from occurring or recurring.
Inflammation of the prostate, known as prostatitis, is a rare condition in male cats that can occur by itself or as a symptom of another disease. This condition can be mild to severe and may cause breeding problems. Prostatitis can lead to the formation of abscesses filled with pus in the prostate gland. If treatment is delayed, these abscesses can grow large and threaten the cat’s overall health.
Symptoms of Prostate Inflammation in Cats
In some cases, your cat may not show any symptoms at all. Though this condition is rare in cats, you’ll want to ensure you seek immediate veterinary attention if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Lethargy and weakness
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Blood present in the urine
- Difficulty urinating or defecating
Causes of Prostate Inflammation in Cats
The primary cause of prostatitis in cats is a sudden bacterial infection within the prostate.
Prostatitis may also be a symptom of another, more serious disease, including benign prostatic hyperplasia, prostatic neoplasia, and squamous metaplasia. These diseases are typically characterized by growths in the prostate gland. Prostatic neoplasia occurs when these growths are cancerous. These cancerous growths usually originate in another part of the body, typically in the bladder or other parts of the urinary tract, and spread to the prostate.
Due to the nature of these diseases, the immune system of the affected cat becomes weakened, making the cat more vulnerable to bacterial infections that cause prostatitis. These diseases tend to be very rare in cats and are more common in older dogs. Even so, you’ll want to seek immediate veterinary attention to eliminate these as potential causes of prostatitis.
Diagnosis of Prostate Inflammation in Cats
Your vet will first ask you for your cat’s detailed medical history. Be sure to inform them of the duration and extent of your cat’s symptoms in addition to any medications they may be taking.
In the event that your cat has never undergone anesthetization, your vet may use blood tests and urinalysis in order to determine whether or not they are healthy enough to be anesthetized or sedated using other methods.
The vet will then sedate your cat in order to perform a thorough rectal exam. However, this is only a tentative diagnostic method, and further testing is often required for a definitive diagnosis. Your vet may use X-rays, ultrasounds, fine needle aspiration, urine cultures, biopsy, and prostatic massage.
Treatment of Prostate Inflammation in Cats
Treatment will depend on the underlying cause of the prostatitis.
Prostatitis caused by bacterial infection usually requires a six to eight-week course of antibiotics. If your cat has significant trouble defecating, an enema may be administered. If the prostatitis is severe, your cat may be kept in the hospital and given intravenous medication until its condition has stabilized.
Pus-filled abscesses located in the prostate gland must be drained; this requires surgery or fine needle aspiration. Depending on the size of the abscesses and their overall effect on your cat’s health, hospitalization may be required.
Certain underlying conditions in which prostatitis is symptomatic can only be treated by castration. For example, benign prostatic hyperplasia develops as a result of hormones secreted by the testicles, and must be treated by castration. For cancerous causes, surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatment are usually the most effective courses of treatment.
Neutering is almost always recommended as a way to prevent further prostate conditions. Your vet will discuss this with you in regard to your cat’s specific needs.
Recovery of Prostate Inflammation in Cats
Make sure you provide your cat with a warm, safe place to rest during recovery. Don’t allow your cat to engage in excessive levels of activity. Always administer antibiotics for the entire duration of the recommended treatment period. Failure to do so could result in a recurrence of a bacterial infection and further prostate problems.
During the recovery period, you’ll want to ensure that your cat doesn’t irritate the surgery site. An Elizabethan collar may help with this. You’ll need to check the surgery site regularly. If you notice any swelling or pus near the surgery site, consult your vet immediately.
If your cat is suffering from prostate cancer, you’ll need to discuss treatment options with your vet regarding your cat’s specific needs. The vet may prescribe pain management medication, diet changes, and other forms of palliative treatment and management.
Your vet will likely schedule one or more follow-up appointments to assess your cat’s progress. If castration has not yet been performed, the vet will discuss this with you during this appointment.