Prostate Cancer (Adenocarcinoma) in Dogs

Prostatic Adenocarcinoma in Dogs

The prostate gland is an important part of the male reproductive system. It contains many valuable and essential enzymes, including calcium and citric acid,and also plays an important role in the protection and motility of sperm. The liquid secreted by the prostate gland aids in the liquefaction of semen after ejaculation, and in the protection of sperm in the vagina.

Adenocarcinoma is a malignant tumor originating in the glandular tissue, in this case the tissue of the prostate gland, with the capability for growing and metastasizing rapidly to other parts and organs of body, including the lungs, bones, and lymph nodes. Prostatic adenocarcinoma is seen in both intact and neutered dogs, representing about one percent of all malignant tumors found in dogs. This disease can develop in any breed, but it most commonly affects large breeds, and like most carcinomas, it affects older dogs between the ages of 9-10 years.

Symptoms and Types

In adenocarcinoma of the prostate, the symptoms may vary depending upon the presence, extent, and location of metastasis to other parts of the body. Following are the symptoms commonly seen in adenocarcinoma of prostate:

Causes

  • Idiopathic – the exact cause is still unknown
  • Hormonal imbalance is suggested as one possible cause

Diagnosis

You will need to give a thorough history of your dog’s health, including a background history of symptoms. Your veterinarian will perform a complete physical examination on your dog, including blood tests and a biochemistry profile. Urine tests are an important part of the diagnostic process. The urine will be examined for the presence of white blood cells, infection, and malignant cells. Abdominal radiographs and ultrasonography will also be performed to view the symmetry, size, and outline of the prostate gland. Prostate tissue will also be taken by prostatic biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.

prostate gland

The gland around the urethra that secretes the fluid to allow sperm to move about

semen

The white fluid produced by males in the testicles for reproduction

urethra

A tube found between the bladder and the outside of the body; used to assist in urination.

sperm

The sex cell of male animals; created in the testicles

lymph nodes

Small structures that filter out the lymph and store lymphocytes

biopsy

The process of removing tissue to examine it, usually for medical reasons.

defecation

The exiting of excrement from the body; bowel movements.

intact

Denotes an animal that is still able to reproduce or is free of cuts and scrapes

adenocarcinoma

The result of a malignant growth of the tissue of the epithelial gland.

malignant

Something that becomes worse or life threatening as it spreads

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