Ailments of the urinary system

There is an organ in dogs which, when enlarged, can impact on the animal’s ability to urinate.  This organ (gland) is the prostate.  Because of the ailing prostate’s influence on the voiding of urine, we will have to include this organ in the discussion of ailments of the urinary system.  Prostate problems in dogs are relatively common, but we will only deal with those which impact on the functions of the urinary system.

Enlarged prostate

The prostate is an accessory sex gland in males found at the base of the bladder.  It partly surrounds the urethra, the tube leading the urine from the bladder to the penis (vagina).Prostatic enlargement occurs in many dogs over five years of age, but few show any ill effects from it; my experience is that those that do usually are elderly.  An enlarging prostate gland often expands backwards into the rectal area.  When large enough, it can push forward and exert pressure on the outlet of the bladder causing changes in the voiding pattern (frequent urination, dribbling and loss of control).  The enlargement of the prostate gland can be associated with abscesses, cysts and cancers.  Some bacterial infections of the prostate can lead to a swelling as well.


The outstanding sign of prostatic enlargement is abdominal discomfort when the animal is defecating.  The animal is in obvious pain.  The faeces may appear flat on one side, or ribbon-like.  Blockages do occur (faecal impactions).  Oddly, one sign of faecal impaction is soft stool.  It is due to liquid faeces forcing its way around a solid lump.  Some dogs may walk rigidly with a stiff back.  A limp, or posterior weakness affecting one or both hind legs, may occur when the ailment has become chronic and the disease has reached an advanced stage.

Over the many years of having to confront prostatic problems in dogs, I have observed that prostatic ailments are often associated with recurring urinary tract infections and blood in the urine.


If your dog is having difficulty emptying his rectum, you may refer to a previous TPC on this subject.  You may have to digitally (with your gloved fingers) help remove the impacted faeces (your vet will show you how this simple procedure is effected).
Additional nonspecific symptoms such as fever, losing weight, severe stiff and compromised hind leg movement and abdominal pain are often present when prostate problems emerge.

Medical treatment involves the administration of estrogen, the female hormone.  The exact dosage is important to prevent complications.  It should be prescribed by a veterinarian.

Castration is the surgical treatment of choice.  It results in shrinkage of the gland.

Cancer of the prostate gland is uncommon in the dog.


Acute prostatitis is a bacterial infection of the prostate gland.  The signs are fever, an arched back or a tucked-up abdomen, pain on urination and difficulty in voiding.  Infected-looking secretions may drip from the penis.  The disease can become chronic with periodic flare-ups. It is one cause of sterility in the male.


Prostatitis should be treated by a veterinarian.Appropriate antibiotics are employed, based on cultures of prostatic secretions.  They must be continued for four to six weeks.  Castration is often recommended when there is a lack of response to antibiotics.

Now that I have touched the maladies associated with the prostate gland in dogs and how they can be connected with ailments of the urinary system, (which is our current focus), it has become clear that, at some later date, we must deal with prostate problems more comprehensively.

Happy Caricom Day!

Please implement disease preventative measures (vaccinations, routine dewormings, monthly anti-heartworm medication, etc) and adopt-a-pet from the GSPCA’s Animal Clinic and Shelter at Robb Street and Orange Walk, if you have the wherewithal to care well for the animals.  Do not stray your unwanted pets, take them to the GSPCA’s Clinic and Shelter instead. If you do not wish your pet to have puppies or kittens, you may exploit the GSPCA’s free spay and neutering programme. If you see anyone being cruel to an animal, or if you need any technical information, please get in touch with the Clinic and Shelter by calling 226-4237.

More in Local News

Sir Garry Sobers (middle) poses with captains of the respective teams, Brian Lara (left) and Carl Hooper prior to the start of the game.

Stars converge to celebrate Sir Garry

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados,  CMC – A galaxy of former West Indies stars converged on Kensington Oval for a celebrity game here Thursday night, to mark the 80th birthday of cricket legend Sir Garfield Sobers.

default placeholder

Power outage after excavator causes trees to fall at Ithaca

An excavator being operated by the Mahaica, Mahaicony, Abary-Agricultural Development Authority (MMA/ADA) came into contact with trees within close proximity of GPL’s transmission and distribution system at Ithaca causing some trees to fall onto the Network.

default placeholder

Twenty communities identified for anti-crime measures under IDB programme

Twenty communities in five regions of the country and including large parts of the capital city have been identified for anti-crime measures under an IDB-funded programme.

Obina Hendricks

Man sought over drug trafficking at airport

Obina Hendricks ‘aka Hiney’ is wanted by the police for questioning in relation to ‘Trafficking in Narcotics’ on July 11, 2016, at the Eugene Correia International Airport, Ogle, the police say.

Carlton Chaitram, Tameshwar Jagmohan and Jairam Chaitram, 17, being escorted out of the Mibicuri Police Station.

Cops to charge trio over Black Bush murders

Police are preparing to charge a farmer, his teenaged son and an employee with last week’s  brutal Black Bush triple murder.

default placeholder

Over 100 passport applications received from NY weekly

Over 100 passport applications are being received from New York alone on a weekly basis and this has placed pressure on the Central Immigration and Passport Office, Minister of Citizenship Winston Felix says.


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: