BPH in dogs will affect almost every male dog without exception as they begin to age.
It is by far and away the most common condition to affect older male dogs, but in the vast majority of cases, it is considered to be benign.
It will also be what is referred to as asymptomatic, meaning there will be no serious symptom in the majority of dogs.
However, if it does become symptomatic, your dog may have to be neutered, or castrated.
There are other forms of treatment when the problems become symptomatic, but they not are any near as effective and can be dangerous.
BPH in dogs is also known by two other names; benign prostatic hypertrophy or cystic hyperplasia.
It occurs in only two species, men and dogs, and when it occurs in dogs it is almost always age related.
It is a situation where your dog’s prostrate increases in size, also known as hyperplasia.
Unlike the condition where it can easily become cancerous in men; it is extremely rare for it to cause cancer in your dog.
The increase in the size of your dog’s prostrate is caused by hormonal changes of what is referred to as androgen's, and most specifically testosterone and estrogen's.
The majority of dogs will show very little change in their personality or habits, unless it does develop into a symptomatic problem.
This occurs when there is a very large amount of prostatic hyperplasia that develops in your dog.
A dogs prostrate is located right behind their bladder, and it has two main parts, also referred to as lobes.
As your dog starts to age, both their testosterone and estrogen levels begin to change, and this causes their prostrate to start to enlarge.
When this occurs, the prostrate cells also become larger and usually begin to form several very small cysts that will run throughout their prostatic tissues.
All of these functions combine to gradually cause the prostate to increase and this also causes a symmetrical enlargement of both of their lobes.
There are some breeds of dogs, especially Scottish terriers, that naturally have larger prostrates than other dogs.
However, the good news with this condition is that most dogs will show no symptoms at all. If they do show symptoms, they are usually very slight.
BPH in dogs, unlike the same condition in men, usually does not cause any difficulty in your dog in regards to urination.
However, it can affect defecation, and this is where you will begin to notice the first symptoms that your dog is developing BPH.
If their prostrate grows large enough, it will begin to place pressure on their colon as it compresses its diameter.
This affects defecation, or producing a bowel movement, and their stools may start to appear as flat and long.
They may also start to appear like a ribbon, as the pressure on the colon is affecting the diameter and causes it to become flattened.
This pressure may also cause an increase in your dog’s prostatic blood vessels and this in turn increases the blood supply.
As a result of this, the next symptom you may see is intermittent blood in their urine.
If the pressure is increasing, it will slowly turn into a persistent blood supply in their urine.
However, there is one other symptom associated with BPH in dogs that will really catch your attention; a bloody discharge from their penis.
When this occurs, there will usually be a blood discharge combined with a clear yellow discharge from your dog’s penis, and even though this may be quite alarming, it is usually not serious.
At this point your dog is still feeling quite normal, even if you are not. However, when this symptom does occur, it is definitely time to have your dog examined.
BPH in dogs should still be taken very seriously, although it is not a real threat to your dog.
However, the main reason you should have it checked by your veterinarian immediately, is that there are several diseases that emulate the same type of symptoms as BPH.
Because of this it is very important to have them ruled out.
The first disease that needs to be ruled out is referred to as prostatitis. This is a bacterial infection of your dog’s prostate gland.
When this infection occurs, your dog, unlike BPH, will become very ill.
Their prostate will also be very sensitive to any type of palpation, but it will show the same basic symptom of blood in the urine.
The next disease to rule out is referred to as a prostatic abscess.
This is a walled off pocket of infection that contains bacteria, white blood cells, and what is called cellular debris.
They can become very large and can cause compression of both your dog’s colon and urethra.
It will also cause your dog to strain in urination as well as defecation.
The major difference is that it will also cause them to become very ill.
However, there are two other diseases that emulate BPH and are extremely dangerous to your dog.
The first is cancer of the prostrate, and this causes your dog to become extremely ill and start to rapidly lose weight.
This form of cancer is almost always malignant and is very dangerous.
Squamous metaplasia is a change in your dog’s prostate gland due to an elevated estrogen level, and it will also cause your dog to become very sick.
There is one common theme with all of these very dangerous disease that will emulate BPH in dogs, they make your dog ill; BPH in does not.
Even if become systematic, your dog will still not become ill.
In the vast majority of cases with BPH in dogs, there will be absolutely no need for any type of treatment if it is asymptomatic.
However, it is still very important to have your dog examined as there are several options you can chose from if the symptoms to become worse.
If the symptoms do become worse and it appears your dog is having trouble defecating, by far and away the most effective treatment is castration.
When castration is done, the source of hormonal stimulation that is affecting your dog is immediately removed. Once this occurs, the prostrate will very quickly become to shrink.
In fact, with two to three weeks it will be as much as 50 percent smaller and your dog’s symptoms will just as quickly subside.
Estrogen therapy is also an option, if castration is not. Low doses of estrogen will interfere with the hormonal stimulation of your dog’s prostate gland and will also reduce its size.
It will not be a rapid or as dramatic, but it is still very effective.
However, there is one major drawback with this treatment; it can lead to several very dangerous side effects.
They include squamous metaplasia as well as bone marrow suppression.
This should be weighed very carefully and discussed in length with your veterinarian.
BPH in dogs is a natural process that all intact dogs will go through as they get older.
It is something to be aware of but in most cases it is something that will not harm your dog or cause them any real pain.
You should always have it checked at least twice a year just to be on the safe side, but understanding what it is will prepare you for the day when it starts to develop.