What is Prostate Inflammation and Abscessation?
Your dog’s prostate is right under the colon and behind the bladder and it is all around the urethra (where urine exits the body). There are two sides exactly the same (lobes) and when it begins to grow larger it moves from the pelvic duct to the abdominal area. Since there are two types of prostatitis (i.e. chronic and acute) the symptoms may be completely different. As a matter of fact, the chronic type of prostatitis usually has no symptoms at all until an abscess occurs from infections that continue to go unchecked. There may be one or many abscesses with chronic prostatitis depending on how long the illness has been going on. These abscesses can be small or large, but the first and largest abscess comes from a cyst (sac of fluid on the prostate) that becomes infected.
Prostate inflammation (prostatitis) and abscessation are two of the most common prostate disorders in dogs. Prostatitis can be chronic (comes on slowly with mild symptoms) or acute (happens suddenly with severe symptoms) and can produce abscesses in or around the prostate. Chronic prostatitis can go unnoticed for a long time because there are no real symptoms and is almost always accompanied by abscesses and enlarged prostate. Acute prostatitis causes high body temperature, pain, and general listlessness. Both of these types of prostatitis can be caused by many things such as urinary tract infections, cysts, cancer, injury, benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate) and squamous metaplasia, but the most often cause is bacterial in nature.
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Symptoms of Prostate Inflammation and Abscessation in Dogs
Detecting chronic prostatitis usually only happens after one or more abscesses have developed and start causing symptoms. Your dog may have several episodes of urinary tract infections that either do not get treatment (because there are no obvious symptoms) or get treated but do not completely heal. This can be caused by not continuing the medication after the symptoms go away so always be sure to give your dog all of the medication even after the infection seems to be gone. The most common symptoms of chronic prostatitis with abscesses and acute prostatitis are:
Chronic Prostatitis with Abscesses
- May be no symptoms at all
- Difficulty urinating and defecating
- Extreme sleepiness
- Pain in the abdomen
- Fluid seepage from the penis
- Comes on quickly
- Mild fever
- Appetite and weight loss
- Discharge from the penis (may be tinged with blood)
- Walking strangely (stiff gait)
- Chronic prostatitis is usually mild and comes on so slowly you may not notice any symptoms at all
- Acute prostatitis is much more noticeable with more severe and sudden symptoms
Causes of Prostate Inflammation and Abscessation in Dogs
The causes of both chronic and acute prostatitis are the same, although the chronic type of prostatitis is caused by the acute infection happening more than once and it happens most often in dogs that are not neutered. The most common causes are bacterial and are caused by:
- Escherichia coli
- Mycoplasma spp
Some of the other causes are:
- Cysts in the prostate
- Rectal fistula
- Urinary tract infections
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia
- Too much estrogen
- Prostate cancer
Diagnosis of Prostate Inflammation and Abscessation in Dogs
As with any trip to the veterinarian, you must be prepared to give a detailed explanation of your dog’s symptoms, any recent injury or illness, vaccination record (if the veterinarian does not have it on file), and any changes in behavior. The veterinarian will perform a complete physical examination, which will include weight, body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and palpation of the abdomen. After this, the veterinarian will need to run some tests to rule out any illnesses such as cancer or diabetes. These tests will include semen sample examination, rectal exam, blood tests (i.e. complete blood count, chemical and clotting profile) urinalysis, and sensitivity of the urine. Digital radiographs (x-rays) of the abdomen will also be done followed by an MRI, CT scan, and ultrasound if necessary. It may also be necessary to do an x-ray of the urethra with a contrast dye injection or an exploratory surgery to obtain a sample for biopsy.
Treatment of Prostate Inflammation and Abscessation in Dogs
The veterinarian will probably treat your dog with IV fluid therapy because for dehydration, especially for acute prostatitis. Pain medication and strong antibiotics (i.e. trimethoprim, clindamycin) will also be given for acute prostatitis. Chronic prostatitis is not severe enough to stop the blood-prostate barrier so antibiotics (i.e. enrofloxacin, erythromycin) are an excellent treatment. It may take several rounds of antibiotics or the veterinarian may decide to put your dog in the hospital for IV antibiotics if the infection is being stubborn.
The veterinarian will need to surgically remove the abscess or abscesses after draining them. This may be done on an outpatient basis if the removal is not too complicated. If there are several abscesses or if the abscesses are in an area that is hard to reach, your veterinarian will admit your dog to the hospital for the surgery and keep him overnight for observation. Your veterinarian may suggest neutering your dog if he thinks it is necessary, especially with chronic cases of prostatitis.
Recovery of Prostate Inflammation and Abscessation in Dogs
Your veterinarian will want to see your dog again about one or two weeks after treatment to do bloodwork, urine culture, and prostatic fluid examination. Be sure to follow your veterinarian’s instructions and finish giving your dog all of the medications until they are gone.