Almost all types of prostate cancer in dogs are malignant in nature (fast spreading), and may be primary or secondary. They either develop in the prostate which is referred to as a primary type of cancer or is a secondary type, which means that it spread from or metastasized from other organs, particularly from the urinary tract.
Adinocarcinomas are the most common type of malignant canine prostate cancer. These types of cancer may develop in prostate gland itself, followed by uncontrolled and proliferative growth.
Transitional cell carcinomas and some unidentified types of cancers may invade the canine prostate from other organs, especially from the urinary bladder and other lower urinary tract organs.
A benign (slow spreading, less dangerous type of tumor can also occur, with few benign tumors being cancerous. Benign prostate hyperplasia is one such common example.
Clinically, canine prostate cancer resembles other common canine prostate diseases. Severe problems in urinary tract physiology and operations are noted, including difficult urination, pain due to urinary obstruction or blockage, and an affected dog may urinate smaller volumes of urine, with greater frequency.
Different stages and metastases of cancer can spread to other parts of body, especially to bones . Additional related signs include an abnormal gait, pain in the joints and shaft of the bones when touched and progressive pathologies of the muscles (muscle coordiantion problems). Eventually dog may appear ataxic, a condition where the muscles appear uncoordinated.
Like many other cancers, prostate cancer is initially misunderstood or confused with other pathological conditions, as symptoms resemble with other diseases. Thus, symptoms which are recurring and appear incurable should be suspected for prostate cancer.
Detailed laboratory examination and biopsy can confirm the presence of dog prostate cancer, while x-rays can help in identify the status of the prostate gland and adjacent organs. As dog prostate cancer is usually metastatic or fast spreading in nature, a biopsy of adjacent lymphatic tissues, the urinary tract and bones is recommended to not only handle the testing properly, but also to make a precise prognosis.
Due to metastases and rapid developments in the diseases pathology, it is impossible to cure canine prostate cancer. It is highly recommended that cases of prostate cancer in dogs should only be treated by a qualified veterinary oncologist. Surgically, complete prostatectomy or removal of the prostate gland is never recommended, as severe urinary incontinence is often the result, which makes the symptoms more severe and it has worsens the dog's condition. Thus, surgical options of treatment are least preferred. Any attempts to repeat surgeries may cause severe fibrosis and then seizure of the urinary tract.
Chemotherapy on other hand is slightly effective, but due to the reason of incompatibility and severe side effects, it is not preferred for treating prostate cancer specifically, but primary or secondary urinary bladder cancers may be treated this way.
Support and care can help to reduce any symptomatic effects. Extensive nursing, supplementation and the use of herbal remedies such as ProsPet can not only improve a dog's quality of life, but also strengthens the physiology of the prostate gland and the lower urinary tract.