Hyperplasia In Aged Male Dogs
Hyperplasia of the prostate gland is a benign expansion due to an increase in how many cells within the gland and happens in about 2/3 of aged male pet dogs. However, only a small percentage of these puppies ever show any recognizable signs of the abnormality. The main cause is unknown but is thought to be an imbalance of the hormones generated in maturity testicles. As the prostate is located directly below the rectum, the enlarged gland may press up against the rectal walls and cause difficulties and suffering while defecating, straining, and constipation. Unlike man, there is rarely any pain or problems in urinating.
Treatment with an estrogen injection usually prevents the symptoms, reduces the size of the prostate within five or six days, and will keep it that way for several months, in most cases, and occasionally for several years. Some few pet dogs respond poorly, or not at all, and can be helped only by castration, which causes a permanent shrinking of the prostate.
Should your dog need this operation, he will be home from the hospital in just a few days, but you should keep him quiet and resting for at least one week. A low-bulk diet may be advised for several days. He will probably walk cautiously at first, experiencing some slight suffering each time he moves a rear leg. This may prompt him to lick or bite at the stitches. Restraint collars or tranquilizers may be used for a short time until the operation is healed and the stitches can be removed.
Most cancers of the prostate is rare in puppies and fortunately so, because by the time any noticeable symptoms develop, the tumor has almost always spread to other parts of the body, making it inoperable. Severe loss of weight, lameness in one or both rear legs, pain and problems during urination, blood at the beginning of urination, and low back pain may be present in addition to difficult defecation and constipation. Castration or estrogen therapy offer temporary relief of symptoms, but the tumor continues on its destructive course. A recent breakthrough discovery holds out hope that immunotherapy may be successfully used to treat prostatic cancer but such research is still in its infancy.
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