Canine Prostate Cancer – Is Your Dog At Risk?

July 18, 2009 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer

Do dogs have a prostate? ? Yes. Naturally it should only make sense that it be possible they would have prostate cancer as well as most of the other disorders that affect the prostate; perhaps not as much or as noticeable as they are in humans, but most definitely. Interestingly, the disease actually happens to occur more in castrated dogs than in dogs that have not been castrated, according to certain findings, but there are those in the veterinarian community who veto this claim.

Like in humans, an enlarged prostate is a natural symptom of aging, but it also occurs when prostate cancer has had the chance to advance to some degree, just before it starts to metastasize out of the prostate gland. As a result, it is often necessary to carryout certain tests in order to determine if the enlarged prostate is a result of a benign tumor, or if actually it is prostate malignant tumor.

The symptoms of prostate cancer in dogs aren’t too different from those that are observed in men either. They suffer from dysuria, heamaturia, dyschezia, incontinence, and weight loss.

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Dysuria is a condition in which the dog finds it difficult to pee, which is often accompanied by painful urination; heamaturia is blood in the urine; dyschezia is difficulty in making bowel movements, and incontinence is the inability to hold bowel and bladder movements when they are there.

Diagnosing the condition in dogs may require first an office examination, an x-ray, ultrasound tests, and FNA tests, which are typically similar to a regular human prostate biopsy. Whereas humans may be tested for the prostate specific antigens, dogs instead secrete a different protein (or esterase) called CPSE. The main problem is that dogs don’t speak, so for the most part the disease may not be observed for a long time until it is far advanced.

A noncancerous tumor (BPH) in dogs may not require any treatment except if symptoms were suddenly to appear, in which case neutering the dog to stop the enlargement process. This should cause the organ to shrink. Megace is a drug that may be used as an alternative should the first option be inapplicable. It however may increase the risk of diabetes in the pet.

For the treatment of canine prostate cancer, surgery, radiation and chemotherapy are about the most common interventions. Neutering may not work, and chemotherapy may only have a limited performance in this regard because some types of tumor are not as responsive as other types of cancers. There are herbal medicines too that may be explored for their potential, such as saw palmetto, cleavers, echinacea purpurea, and baryta carb (30C); all helpful, but to a limited degree because herbs generally don’t cure canine prostate type of cancer. See that your vet doctor is well informed about everything you try.

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