Prostatic disease

Enlargement or hypertrophy of the prostate gland is associated with older dogs and results from hormonal stimulation. The gland pushes upwards, causing pressure on the rectum and consequent faecal tenesmus. The gland may become infected by ascending infection from the urethra, which runs through the centre of the gland. The patient may show signs of cystitis and, in severe cases, pyrexia, anorexia and weight loss. Cysts and neoplasia may also develop inside the prostate gland. Diagnosis is confirmed by rectal palpation, radiography and the use of ultrasound.

Treatment usually includes castration, which will reduce the size of the gland. Chemical castration by the use of delmadi-none acetate may give an indication as to whether surgical castration will produce a permanent response. If infection is present it should respond to antibiotics. Surgical removal of tumours is difficult and rarely justified, as the tumour metastasizes readily. Radiotherapy may relieve the symptoms for a time.

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