Benign prostatic hypertrophy
Benign prostatic hypertrophy means prostatic enlargement and is the most common prostate problem in dogs. It is estimated that by the age of 6 years over 60% of intact males have enlarged prostates and the incidence keeps increasing from then onwards. Prostatic disease may both affect the dog’s health and fertility.
Initially dogs show no symptoms. As the condition progresses, the signs of prostatic hypertrophy will typically be constipation and frequent urination of small amounts at a time. A small stream of urine is voided instead of a strong stream, together with dripping of urine and small specs of blood visible at the prepuce at the end of urination. The semen may also be blood-tinged. It is important to determine what the nature of the dog’s prostate problem is. If breeding is no longer desired, castration is the treatment of choice. If a breeder still wants to breed with the affected stud dog, medical treatment can be attempted. Lifelong medical management is required using a drug which blocks the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. As is the case with humans, this drug can cause reduced libido in susceptible individuals. It is probably best to treat the stud dog until the dog has reached the end of its reproductive career, and then castrate them.