Prostatitis In Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatments

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Prostatitis in dogs refers to inflammation or an infectious disease of the prostate. The prostate is a gland that is responsible for the production of seminal fluids in male dogs. Prostatitis is more common in male dogs that have not been neutered. The condition can either be acute, meaning severe symptoms appear suddenly, or it can be chronic and develop over time, in which case symptoms may not be detectable at all in some dogs. There are many factors that can be responsible for causing prostatitis in dogs, including bacterial infections, parasites, and some cancers. Prostatitis can lead to difficulty urinating and defecating, as well as pain and illness. If you see the signs of prostatitis in your dog, you should contact your veterinarian immediately for a proper diagnosis and treatment. Here is what you should know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments for prostatitis in dogs.

Symptoms Of Prostatitis In Dogs

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(Picture Credit: Arterra/UIG via Getty Images)

The symptoms of prostatitis in dogs can vary depending on the cause, severity, and whether the condition is acute or chronic. Symptoms of acute prostatitis appear suddenly and are usually quite severe, while symptoms of chronic prostatitis often come on gradually and may not be detectable at all for some time. If you see the following signs of prostatitis in your dog, consult your veterinarian right away.

  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Signs of unexplained discomfort
  • Straining or difficulty while urinating or defecating
  • Pus or mucus in feces or urine
  • Fever
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Abdominal pain
  • Unusual gait
  • Blood or discharge coming from the urethra
  • Recurring urinary tract infections
  • Abscess in the prostate
  • Enlarged prostate

Causes Of Prostatitis In Dogs

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There are several conditions that can cause inflammation or infection associated with prostatitis in dogs. Although all male dogs are at risk for developing the condition, the risk is higher for dogs that have not been neutered and dogs that are between 7 and 11 years of age. Here are some of the possible causes of prostatitis in dogs.

  • Age-related
  • Trauma to the urethra
  • Parasitic, viral, or bacterial infection (can migrate from urinary tract, site of a wound, or elsewhere in the body)
  • Prostate cancer
  • Prostate cysts
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Long-term antibiotic exposure
  • Compromised immune system

Treatments For Prostatitis In Dogs

A veterinarian performs a sterilization surgery on a dog in mobile modules at Las Golondrinas neighbourhood in Mexico City, on January 10, 2013. The local government started a sterilization campaign for stray dogs and cats. AFP PHOTO/Alfredo Estrella (Photo credit should read ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)

(Picture Credit: ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)

Treatment for prostatitis in dogs varies based on the cause and severity of the condition. In cases of acute prostatitis, dogs may need to be hospitalized and given intravenous fluids. If the prostatitis is chronic and symptoms are mild, dogs may be treated as outpatients and prescribed at-home care and follow-up vet visits.

Antibiotics may be prescribed if the cause is bacterial. Usually these antibiotics must be given to dogs over the course of three to four weeks and possibly longer if blood work reveals that the bacteria isn’t completely gone. Amoxicillin is one of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics for prostatitis

If an abscess has formed in the prostate, surgical intervention may be needed. One of the best overall treatments and forms of prevention for prostatitis in dogs is neutering. This can correct hormonal imbalances that may cause prostatitis, and dogs that have been neutered are less at risk for developing the condition in the first place. The prognosis improves greatly for dogs that are neutered.