Common canine prostatic disorders include benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), prostatitis, prostatic cysts, and prostatic adenocarcinoma. BPH is a spontaneous and age-related disorder of intact male dogs, which occurs in more than 80% male dogs over 5 years of age. With age, the gland may begin to enlarge. The enlargement of the prostate gland stretches and distorts the urethra and so obstructs the urine flow. Affected animals may have a weak or interrupted urinary stream and experience difficulty starting the urine flow. A very early symptom is an increased need to urinate at night. Involuntary discharge of urine, straining related to urination, and dribbling of urine after urination are common early signs followed by a bloody urethral discharge.
Diagnosis is based on prostatic enlargement and confirmed by a transabdominal biopsy. Benign prostatic hypertrophy is both prevented and treated by castration. The prostate gland will usually be normal or smaller than normal in size following this surgical procedure. Clinical studies have shown that finasteride can be used to reduce prostatic size in dogs with BPH without adversely affecting semen quality or serum testosterone concentration. BPH often occurs concurrently with prostatic infection, abscessation, cysts and neoplasms. Treatment with finasteride may be beneficial in treatment of all of these conditions except neoplasms.
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