If you notice any of these signs in your dog, it would be best for them to see your vet. Your vet will fully examine your dog and can palpate your dog’s prostate gland to see if it is enlarged. They will also take x-rays or ultrasound the prostate gland to see if it is enlarged. They will also check your dog’s lungs, liver, spleen, and other internal organs for signs of metastasizing, if cancer has spread
There are certain breeds that seem to be at a more increased risk of developing prostate cancer. These breeds are:
- Bouvier des Flandres,
- Doberman Pinschers,
- Shetland Sheepdogs,
- Scottish Terriers,
- Miniature Poodles,
- German Shorthaired Pointers,
- Airedale Terriers, and
- Norwegian Elkhounds
If your vet suspects that the prostate gland is enlarged, they can take a small sample of the prostate with a needle and look at these cells under the microscope to see if there are any cancer cells. Older intact dogs can have benign enlargement of the prostate gland called Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH) that can resemble prostatic cancer and can be very hard to distinguish without a fine needle aspirate (FNA).
Treatment of prostate cancer in dogs
If your dog is diagnosed with prostate cancer, there are many different ways to treat this disease.
A veterinary surgeon who has done extra training in learning how to do more difficult procedures can remove the prostate gland. Many general practice veterinarians do not do this procedure and would have to be done at a specialty hospital. That means that this surgery is more expensive.
This can be a more risky surgery, too, since there are many important surrounding structures that surround the prostate. A common issue that is seen after removing the prostate is incontinent. This is when your dog will have trouble holding their urine in their bladder and may dribble urine when they walk or during their sleep. If cancer has metastasized or spread, the surgery will be ineffective.
The most common way to treat prostate cancer is medical treatment. This involves a combination of Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), Chemotherapy, and Radiation.
Chemotherapy and Radiation
Chemotherapy and radiation will be done at a veterinary specialty clinic to help shrink the prostate tumor and help treat the masses that may have spread to other locations. Radiation will also damage the surrounding tissue and can cause other unwanted side effects. Chemotherapy has also not shown an increase in a dog’s lifespan. The pros and cons of these procedures can
Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
NSAIDs will help decrease the pain and inflammation as well as certain NSAIDs also have anti-cancer properties. These medications can be given on an everyday basis to help provide your dog comfort and decrease their pain
Prognosis of Prostate Cancer in Dogs
The prognosis of prostate cancer in dogs is poor. Most dogs are euthanized due to metastasize or the prostate gland obstruction urine outflow. If your dog can ever not urinate, this is a medical emergency and will need veterinary care right away.
If your dog is diagnosed with prostatic cancer, there are many things that you can do to help them live as long as possible while dealing with this disease. Many times, by the time that you notice that they have prostatic cancer, it has already spread to other organs making treatment a little difficult. Discuss with your veterinarian the different treatment options and how you can keep your dog comfortable for as long as possible.