What are Prostatitis?
Prostatitis in dogs can occur suddenly or can develop silently over time without you realizing it. Both forms are dangerous for your dog and need medical attention. In some cases, your dog will show obvious signs of discomfort. However, in some cases, you may never even know he has prostatitis. This is why it is so important for you to take your dog to the clinic for an annual checkup, especially if he is older. If diagnosed with prostatitis, he will need to be put on antibiotics and possibly other therapies as well. If diagnosed and treated properly, prognosis of a full recovery is good.
Prostatitis can be a very serious condition for your dog. If you notice your companion is not acting like himself, seems to be in some sort or pain, or is straining when trying to urinate, take him to see his veterinarian.
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Symptoms of Prostatitis in Dogs
Symptoms of prostatitis can vary in each case. Symptoms may include:
- Unexplained discomfort
- Weight loss
- Urethral discharge: material may be purulent or hemorrhagic
- Enlarged prostate gland
- Straining to urinate
- Blood in the urine
- Recurring urinary tract infections
- Stiff gait
- Abscesses within the prostate
Prostatitis in dogs can be acute or chronic. Acute prostatitis develops suddenly with your dog quickly developing symptoms of discomfort, pain, and fever. In more severe cases of acute prostatitis, your dog may develop dehydration, septicemia, and shock. If your dog develops chronic prostatitis, it means it develops slowly over time making it sometimes difficult to see the symptoms. In most cases of chronic prostatitis, the only symptom that develops is recurring urinary tract infections (UTIs). Acute and chronic cases of prostatitis vary by onset of symptoms and rapidity of development of said symptoms.
Causes of Prostatitis in Dogs
In some cases of prostatitis there are certain microorganisms that are to blame. Organisms like Mycoplasma spp., Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, and Escherichia coli have been diagnosed as the culprit in some cases. In chronic cases, prostatitis is secondary to a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
Diagnosis of Prostatitis in Dogs
There are a variety of tests your veterinarian may want to run in order to diagnose your dog. When you first arrive at the veterinary clinic, she will begin by performing a physical exam on your dog. She will note any and all of his symptoms in order to narrow down her suspected illnesses. If she suspects prostatitis, she will perform a rectal examination on your dog so she can check the size of his prostate with her finger. In cases of prostatitis, it will be enlarged with increased sensitivity and pain.
Blood work will be performed in order to see how things are functioning internally. If your dog has prostatitis, his blood work will indicate neutrophilia with a left shift and monocytosis. Also, toxic white blood cells may be seen.
A urinalysis may be performed and a sample may be submitted for culture and sensitivity. The reason for this is, in many cases, the material in the prostate and the urine contains the same organisms. The ideal sample would come from the prostate itself, but caution must be taken. When trying to collect prostatic material, it can inadvertently release microorganisms into the blood and lead to septicemia.
For more detailed diagnostics, the veterinarian may want to perform an ultrasound. This will allow her to look for small pockets of fluid within the prostate. If present, it will confirm her suspicions of prostatitis. She may also request to take a radiograph for another view of the organs.
In chronic cases, the prostate may feel normal upon palpation. In these situations, the best material to collect and test is not from the prostate but actually a specimen of ejaculate.
Treatment of Prostatitis in Dogs
Intravenous fluid therapy will be started for your dog relatively quickly, especially if he is dehydrated or if shock is a concern. Antibiotics will definitely be prescribed for you to give your dog at home. It will be a long course needing to be given for 3 to 4 weeks or sometimes even longer. Once the course of antibiotics has been completed, the veterinarian may want to redo blood work to ensure the infection is completely gone. If the infection is still present, your dog will need to remain on antibiotics for a longer period of time.
If your dog develops abscesses in his prostate, multiple small ones can actually coalesce into one large one. Treatment for this is surgical drainage or placement of omentum to improve drainage.
Castration is the best form of treatment you can offer your dog in both acute and chronic cases of prostatitis. It will completely resolve the problem at hand. If you want to breed your dog, there is a medical treatment known as finasteride you can discuss with your veterinarian to see if your dog is a candidate for it or not.
Recovery of Prostatitis in Dogs
If the infection is able to be eliminated, this will significantly help your dog’s recovery process. This is why a check-up appointment after he has completed his antibiotics is so crucial. Then, once castration has been performed, your dog should recover well without any problem. If caught and treated properly, prognosis of a full recovery is good.
Prostatitis Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
Our 5 y/o shih tzu had been confined due to Ehrlichiosis. He wasnt able to walk for almost 2 weeks then he got better. His RBC still isnt in normal range but is improving. His wbc is through the roof. Through all of this, he was didnt lose his appetite. He was being given a can of AD per day. Eventually, he was allowed to go with us and continue his medication at home. On that night he started whimpering because of abdominal pain. This is every other minute. His abdomen would cramp and he’d cry because of pain. He didnt want to eat. But is still drinking water. We sent him back to the animal hospital. He was forced fed with AD mixed with water. He vomitted yellow sputum. Those are his 2 main symptoms now. Abdominal pain and he’d vomit yellow sputum. Any idea on what this could be?
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My 1 year old Olde English Bulldogge is being treated for prostatitis. The vet said to possibly consider neutering him. Does that mean he absolutely has to be neutered? Will he always have this problem if he’s not neutered? I’m just wondering if its absolutely necessary. If we choose not to can he have a normal recovery and is it possible that this will never happen again?
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My dog was diagnosed with prostate infection and was given antibiotics on Sunday. His voice was squeaky and he was lethargic prior to Sunday. Now he doesn't have a bark at all and he is still lethargic. Is this normal?
My 11 yr old dog was nuetered a month ago now he's got prostrate cancer how could that happen
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