Overview of Prostatitis (Inflammation of the Prostate) in Dogs
Prostatitis is a bacterial infection of the prostate gland. Infection of the prostate may be caused by disease of the urethra, which is the small tube where urine flows from the bladder through the penis, other urinary tract infections, or may be secondary to other forms of prostatic disease.
It occurs more commonly in intact (not neutered) male dogs, and older dogs are at greater risk than younger dogs. It occurs in both acute (sudden) and chronic (long standing) forms of prostatitis, but animals with the acute form are generally more debilitated than with the chronic form. It is not a significant clinical disease in cats.
Clinical signs of prostatitis vary with the severity of the infection and whether the disease is acute or chronic.
What to Watch For
Symptoms of Prostatitis in dogs may include:
Diagnosis of Prostatitis in Dogs
Treatment of Prostatitis in Dogs
Home Care and Prevention
Recheck examinations 7 to 14 days later are strongly suggested, as follow-up prostatic palpation is recommended. Abnormal blood tests should also be re-evaluated; the urine or a sample of the prostatic fluid may need to be re-cultured at this time.
Make sure the urine color is becoming more clear if it was abnormal when your pet was ill. Your pet should continue to improve on therapy at home, but relapses may occur, especially with chronic disease. If there is any deterioration in condition, or recurrence of clinical signs, notify your veterinarian.
Cultures of urine and or prostatic fluid might be recommended after finishing the antibiotics.
Neutering a dog before reaching sexual maturity may decrease the incidence of prostatitis.
In-depth Information on Canine Prostatitis
The most common cause of prostatitis is believed to be ascending infection from the urethra. The prostate can also become infected from infections in the bladder, kidneys or blood. If other forms of prostatic disease are present, such as cysts, neoplasia or squamous metaplasia, the prostate may be predisposed to developing a secondary infection. E. coli is the most common bacterium that causes infection.
There are actually two different clinical presentations of prostatitis in the dog: acute and chronic. These two forms of the disease often present very differently, and require a different work-up and different therapy. In acute prostatitis, animals are usually quite ill and may even require emergency care. Animals are usually febrile and may have significant abdominal pain. Some dogs may even present with a critical blood infection (septicemia). On the other hand, dogs with chronic disease are generally much more stable or and have no clinical symptoms.
Signs of chronic prostatitis are may be subtle and include: chronic intermittent urinary tract disease, intermittent discharge from the urethra, weight loss, and infertility in the breeding animal. Chronic prostatitis may develop after acute prostatitis is treated. Many times the diagnosis of the chronic disease is difficult to confirm and a prostatic biopsy is required for definitive diagnosis.
Other diseases that may cause similar clinical signs as prostatitis include: