In dogs, prostate cancer is not a common occurrence, but when it happens, it is a matter of concern, as it is difficult to detect. Also, if left untreated, it can cause be fatal for your pet. Here’s more…
Behind the bladder, in between the pelvis and below the rectum, lies the prostate gland in dogs. Its main function is to supply fluid that will help in the transportation of the sperms. Prostate problems start developing as age advances. As dogs become old, they suffer from various prostate problems. In most cases, the actual cause cannot be detected. But it is mostly observed in unaltered male dogs than neutered male dogs.
There are many symptoms, carcinoma being the most common type. This type of cancer is extremely dangerous, and it can spread to the lymph nodes, lungs, and bones very rapidly and easily. In most cases, by the time the cancer is diagnosed, it has reached the advanced stage.
Straining while urination, and urinating very often, are the first indications of this illness. The presence of blood in the urine is also, a symptom of prostate cancer, along with fever and lethargy. Other than these, the dog might also suffer from other urinary tract infections. Also, constipation and straining to defecate is also a sign of the issue. Leaking of pus or blood from the penis is a strong indication that the dog is suffering from prostate cancer. One might also observe open sores in the dog, that do not heal easily.
Change in the dog’s behavior would be observed. If the dog experiences problems while walking, and if he takes small and short steps with the rear legs being stiff, then you can be sure that it might be suffering from prostate cancer. The dog’s eating habits will change, and he will lose interest in eating food, which will lead to reduction in weight. Prostate cancer will also give rise to swelling in the abdomen of the dog. Persistent stiffness and lameness will also be experienced. One might also observe an enlarged prostate.
Not much can be done for treating prostate cancer in dogs. Castration can decrease the risk of development of prostate cancer. Another treatment is chemotherapy. Radiation may also help to some extent. It can be done to shrink the prostate of the dog. However, it is not effective every time, and can cause the animal some discomfort. Most of the time, dogs suffering from prostate cancer also experience an obstruction in the urethra. In such cases, in order to drain the urine, a tube can be put into the bladder of the dog from the side. Some people also opt for homeopathic medicines, and these can prove to be effective. Although these medicines are ineffective in destroying the tumors, they definitely strengthen the immune system.
If you observe any of these symptoms in your dog, immediately consult your vet, as it can be fatal. Taking the dog for regular medical checkups, feeding him with healthy food, and making him exercise regularly might help to a great extent as a preventive measure, not only against this disease, but many other ailments too.