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Prostatic Abscess in Dogs

By: Dr. Douglas Brum

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A prostatic abscess is a localized walled off pocket of infection within or adjacent to the prostate gland. The contents of an abscess contain white blood cells, bacteria, and cellular debris. Abscesses may form within the prostate gland in cases of chronic (long term) prostatic bacterial infections.

Prostatic cysts may become infected and lead to large abscesses within or next to (but connected to) the prostate. They may get to be quite large and cause compression of both the colon and urethra.

Prostatic abscesses occur rarely in dogs and never in cats. They occur more commonly in intact (not neutered) male dogs, and older dogs are at greater risk than younger dogs. All breeds may be affected.

The clinical signs associated with a prostatic abscess vary from subtle to severe.

What to Watch For

  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Anorexia
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Straining to urinate or defecate
  • Fever
  • Discharge from the penis
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Collapse

    Diagnosis

  • History and physical exam including digital rectal exam
  • Complete blood count
  • Biochemical profile
  • Urinalysis
  • Culture and sensitivity of the urine
  • Cytologic (microscopic) evaluation of seminal or prostatic fluid
  • Prostatic massage and wash for cytology, and culture and sensitivity
  • Abdominal radiographs (X-rays)
  • Distention retrograde urethrocystography
  • Abdominal ultrasound with or without aspiration
  • Surgical exploratory

    Treatment

  • Intravenous fluids and intensive care support
  • Intravenous antibiotics are given initially, then followed by long term oral antibiotics
  • Urinary catheterization
  • Analgesic (pain medications) therapy
  • Ultrasound-guided prostatic abscess aspiration
  • Exploratory surgery for surgical drainage of the abscess
  • Castration

    Home Care and Prevention

    Recheck examinations 7 to 14 days later are strongly suggested, as follow-up examination and prostatic palpation is prudent. Abnormal blood tests should be re-evaluated. The urine or a sample of the prostatic fluid may need to be re-cultured at this time.

    Cultures of urine and or prostatic fluid might be recommended after finishing the antibiotics. Abdominal ultrasounds may need to be followed postoperatively to ensure the resolution of the abscess.

    Your pet should continue to improve on therapy at home, but relapses may occur. If there is any deterioration in his condition, or recurrence of clinical signs, notify your veterinarian.

    Neutering a dog before reaching sexual maturity may decrease the incidence of prostatic abscess formation.

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