Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH) in Dogs - Page 1

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Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH) in Dogs

By: Dr. Douglas Brum

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Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), or cystic hyperplasia, is an age related change of the prostate where the prostate increases in size. This increase in size, or hyperplasia, is a non-cancerous change that generally does not cause clinical problems. BPH is the most common disease of the prostate, and occurs in almost all intact male dogs as they age.

The increase in size is caused by hormonal changes in the ratio of androgens, like testosterone, and estrogens. Most dogs act normal, but if there is a very large amount of prostatic hyperplasia, a dog might become symptomatic.

What to Watch For

  • Straining to defecate
  • Intermittent or persistent bloody urine
  • Intermittent bloody or clear yellow discharge from the penis

    Even if a dog is showing symptoms, he usually feels fine.


  • History and physical exam including digital rectal exam
  • Urinalysis
  • Culture and sensitivity
  • Cytologic (microscopic) evaluation of seminal or prostatic fluid
  • Abdominal radiographs (x-rays)
  • Clotting profile
  • Abdominal ultrasound with or without prostatic aspiration – inserting a needle and syringe into the tissue and obtaining a small sample for cytologic analysis – or biopsy


  • No treatment is needed if the dog is asymptomatic
  • Neutering
  • Estrogen therapy
  • Ketoconazole (Nizoral®)

    Home Care and Prevention

    If your pet is asymptomatic, that is he has no clinical signs, observe for symptoms associated with an enlarging prostate. If he's neutered, any clinical signs previously present should improve significantly within a few weeks.

    If the treatment involves neutering, the incision should be monitored for any swelling or discharge.

    If medical management is attempted, careful monitoring of clinical signs and blood tests will be needed.

    The only prevention for BPH is having your dog neutered.

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