Canine Prostate Cancer Treatment Options

Summary:

"Canine prostate cancer treatment options usually consists of a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and possibly natural supplements. The cancer can occur in both castrated and non-castrated dogs and can start without any other known cause."

Overview

Although the disease may occur in both castrated and non-castrated dogs, there are some studies that suggest it may actually occur more frequently in castrated dogs. Testing is necessary to determine if the enlarged prostate is benign (not cancer) or due to cancer. Since symptoms do not often appear in the early stages, unfortunately prostate cancer is often not diagnosed until later stages. Once the disease is identified, your veterinarian will discuss treatment options and recommendations for your dog.

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Symptoms of Canine Prostate Cancer

Dogs with canine prostate cancer include the inability to pee (dysuria), painful urination, blood in the urine (haematuria), incontinence, inability to have a bowel movement (dyschezia), and weight loss.

Diagnosis of Canine Prostate Cancer

In addition to an office examination, X-Rays, ultrasound tests, and FNA tests (use of a thin needle to take sample cells) are used. Human PSA tests cannot be used since dogs with prostate problems have elevated levels of a different esterase called CPSE.

Diagnosis often occurs after the disease is far advanced.

Treatment of Canine Prostate Cancer

If the cause of prostate enlargement is benign prostatic hyperplasia (non cancerous growing tumor), treatment is not necessary unless symptoms are present. If there are symptoms then if you neuter your dog, the stimulus for enlargement should stop. After your dog is neutered, the prostate will start to shrink. If neutering is not an option then there is a drug (Megace) that will decrease prostate size but it can increase the chance of diabetes.

For canine prostate treatment options, surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy are common approaches to treating this type of cancer. Neutering is not one of the canine prostate treatment options in this case, since it does not result in a reduction in prostate size, as testosterone does not cause the disease. Chemotherapy is also used, although this type of tumor is not as responsive as with other cancers.

See our guide on canine prostate cancer for more on canine prostate cancer treatment options.

Natural Support Options for Canine Prostate Cancer

While no herbal remedy can cure cancer, there are several herbs that could possibly help. Consult your veterinarian, particularly if using any of the following supplements with other treatment options. Herbal supplements to look for include:

  • Sabal Serrulata (Saw Palmetto): effective against the symptoms of an enlarged prostate. In human trials Saw Palmetto has been shown to be as effective as prescription drugs at reducing symptoms but without the negative side-effects. Saw Palmetto contains natural substances for reducing inflammation of the prostate gland.
  • Galium aperine(Cleavers): use helps to expel toxins from the body. Clinically, it is most useful for conditions involving inflammation and swelling of glands (glandular fever, tonsillitis, mumps and prostate swelling) and for problems involving the urinary system.
  • Echinacea purpurea: is the best known and researched herb for stimulating the immune system. Over 500 scientific studies have documented the effectiveness of this herb. Echinacea is a ideal herb for reducing prostate inflammation as well as preventing all types of infections of the prostate including bacterial prostatitis - another cause of prostate and urinary symptoms in dogs.
  • Baryta carb (30C): is a homeopathic ingredient effective in reducing prostate enlargement, frequent urination as well as burning on urinating.

A good commercial source to explore is ProsPet for pet prostate problems.

Sources

U - Nephrology & Urology
Diagnosis and Management of Canine Prostatic Disorders
Professor Peter Holt
University of Bristol
Department of Clinical Veterinary Science
Langford House
Langford, Bristol BS40 5DU, UK


Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook
James M. Giffin, MD
Liisa D. Carlson, DVM