Canine And Prostate Cancer – If You Have Pet You Must Read This

October 22, 2011 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer

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Canine and prostate cancer is interestingly not as uncommon as most people put it down as – most people don’t even know that the pets that they keep in their homes may suffer from the disease. But they may; and when they do it is often very brutal and very fatal. Dealing with the condition might take some ingenuity, but certainly a lot of knowledge about what steps to take in order to save the poor dog’s life.

Canine prostate cancer has various signs and symptoms that like in humans may resemble those of prostate enlargement. It’s because the swelling that results from the growing tumor in the dog’s organ causes it to press against the wall of the urethra, making it very difficult for your dog to urinate.

As a result the dog may suffer from weight loss, general pain, blood in the urine, blood or pus dripping from the penis, weakened hind legs, difficulty and straining while urinating, constipation or difficulty passing stool, frequent urination, an arched back while walking abnormally, fever, and lethargy.

It is a lot of suffering for an animal that cannot speak the words to express it, so that it becomes important for the owner to be close enough to the animal to observe these changes early and do what they can about it. Diagnosing the condition in canines requires urine tests, ultrasounds and contrast x-rays. Dogs don’t get the PSA test because they don’t generate prostate specific antigens. This however toughens the diagnostic process, especially when it comes to and determining if the cancer originated in the prostate or elsewhere in the body; but with a biopsy of the rectal wall, the diagnosis can be confirmed or refuted.

Treating prostate cancer in canines is not a very versatile procedure but chemotherapy and radiation therapy are generally the best options, many times combined for full effect. A canine radical prostatectomy is considered to be a complex procedure that can be sufficiently dangerous to the animal to constitute complications like urinary incontinence in the dog.

Hormonal therapy may work though, especially anti-androgens which fight the cancer from within. The problem is just that most dogs do not respond too well to these drugs, causing them to have little positive effect, if at all.

In the disease prevention arena, neutering the dog can largely decrease the risk of developing most prostate problems like infections and inflammation; but contrary to popular belief, it does not assure that the dog will not develop prostate cancer. Whether or not the dog is castrated, he can develop the disease; and because most people cannot even guess that their dog suffer from the condition, the canine may live no longer than 30 days after diagnosis die to delayed detection and diagnosis.

By the way, canines are the only animal species that develops spontaneous prostatic cancer with a certain degree of frequency; cats don’t.

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