What is Prostatectomy?

Prostatectomy is defined as the partial or complete removal of the prostate gland. Dogs that require a prostatectomy have a prostate tumor. A tumor is a buildup of cells that have started rapidly dividing in a localized area for unknown reasons. The tumor can be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous), but the veterinarian may choose to have the mass removed even if the tumor does not possess a cancerous nature. The most common type of prostate tumor in dogs is the malignant prostate carcinoma that has risen from the urothelial or ductal tissue. 

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Prostatectomy Procedure in Dogs

Prior to conducting a prostatectomy, the canine will have diagnostic tests run on him to ensure he is healthy enough for anesthetic and the procedure. Common health assessment exams for a prostatectomy include a complete blood cell count, urinalysis and biochemistry profile. 

  1. An injectable pre-anesthetic will be administered. 
  2. An endotracheal tube will be placed to allow a gas anesthetic and oxygen to be given to the canine throughout the procedure. 
  3. The canine’s fur will be shaved over the prostate gland and the area will be scrubbed with an antimicrobial solution. 
  4. The patient will be draped before an incision is made in the abdomen and around the tumor. A scalpel blade will be used to either remove the tumor itself and surrounding tissues, or the complete prostate gland. 

Efficacy of Prostatectomy in Dogs

A dog’s prognosis following a prostatectomy procedure is guarded, as the likelihood of recovery depends on the dog’s specific condition. A canine that required a total prostate removal, or one that has had the cancerous cells reach accompanying organs, will have a less than positive prognosis. 

Prostatectomy Recovery in Dogs

Following a prostatectomy, your dog will require a period of time in hospitalization for proper monitoring and pain management. If the prostate gland was removed completely, your canine may require a week or more in hospital care, as adequate care cannot be received at home. The canine will require reevaluation of his condition on a scheduled date. 

Cost of Prostatectomy in Dogs

The cost of a prostatectomy in a dog varies depending on the size of the tumor as well as any biopsies that were required. Removal of a small sized tumor of the prostate gland could cost a dog owner around $150, whereas a large sized tumor could cost an average of $350 to have performed. The total removal of the prostate gland, including the tumor, can run about $700 - $1,000 in a canine. 

Dog Prostatectomy Considerations

Your canine will need to be placed under anesthetic for the duration of the prostatectomy procedure, as well as for any biopsy from the prostate that was completed prior to the surgery date. The removal of a prostatic tumor will completely remove the fast growing, potentially fatal tumor from the canine’s body, however, recurrence is possible. It is important to discuss the potential outcome of the prostatectomy surgery in your dog with the veterinarian. 

Prostatectomy Prevention in Dogs

Prostatectomy cannot be prevented, as prostate cancer is common in both castrated and intact males. In fact, castrated males have a higher occurrence rate for prostatic neoplasia than intact male dogs. Like all forms of cancer, the development of a cancerous growth has no direct cause and veterinary experts do not fully understand how to prevent this form of disease.