Dog Manual

Prostate Gland Trouble

An inflammation of the prostate gland is prostatitis. This gland is a small structure located at the neck of the male bladder, and its secretion, which is poured into the urinary tube, is largely responsible for the odor of the semen. Prostatitis occurs mainly in old dogs and it must be tended to by a veterinarian, not only because it is not amenable to treatment with household remedies, but also for the important reason that it may lead to secondary disturbances of a serious and sometimes fatal nature.

The symptoms of prostatitis vary with the degree and nature of the inflammation of the gland. The most constant feature characterizing the disease is the expression of pain. The animal may arch its back, walk or jump cautiously especially when going up or down stairs, and may occasionally howl for no apparent reason. Since stool in the rectum exerts pressure on the inflamed prostate, there will often be evidence of delayed or painful defecation. The swollen glands may press upon the urinary tube (urethra) leading from the bladder to the outside, and this may result in frequent, short, and painful urinations. In inflammations of greater severity there may be dribbling of urine, straining, or no passage of urine at all. Where there is no passage of urine, this should be considered an emergency symptom for, if the animal is not treated promptly, urinary products may become absorbed into the blood and lead to uremia and death. Where the disease occurs in younger animals there may be excessive ejaculations of semen. Dogs have had as many as a dozen spontaneous orgasms in a single day as a result of this condition.

In treating the disease, the pain manifestations are relieved with suitable sedatives. In certain types of inflammations the administration of stilbestrol, either in tablet or in-jectable form, is quite specific and often effects dramatic cures. In some other types, stilbestrol has been effective even when the theoretical reasons for its use have been uncertain. Since stilbestrol is a synthetic form of female hormone, it has a tendency to "feminize" the dog, thus suggesting that prostatitis may often be due to excess masculinity.

Where there is impairment or stoppage of the urine flow, the treatment is surgical.