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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Condition Overview

Prostatitis is a bacterial infection of the prostate gland. This disease can become chronic, with periodic flare-ups. Chronic prostatitis is a significant cause of male infertility.


Signs of acute prostatitis are fever, depression, vomiting, diarrhea, and painful urination. The dog may have an arched back or a tucked-up abdomen. Blood-tinges or purulent secretions may drip from the prepuce. The prostate gland is enlarged, swollen, and tender.


This disease is usually preceded by a bout of cystitis.


The diagnosis of prostate enlargement is made by digital rectal examination, during which the size, position, and firmness of the prostate gland is assessed. Ultrasonography provides additional information and may be helpful in guiding a needle into the prostate to obtain a biopsy - a procedure indicated when cancer is suspected.


Your veterinarian may want to collect prostatic secretions for culture and cytology. Once the diagnosis is made, the dog is placed on an oral antibiotic selected on the basis of culture and sensitivity tests. Antibiotics have difficulty penetrating the swollen prostate, so long-term administration is necessary.

Following treatment, the prostatic fluid should be recultured to ensure that the infection has been eliminated. Neutering helps to resolve symptoms and decreases the likelihood of recurrent prostatitis.

Prostate surgery may be necessary for dogs with serious complications, such as prostatic abscess.


There is no prevention for this condition.


Please contact your veterinarian with questions regarding this condition.

Show Sources & Contributors +


Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook

Publisher: Wiley Publishing, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Authors: Debra M. Eldredge, Liisa D. Carlson, Delbert G. Carlson, James M. Giffen MD

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