Rosco is a 10-year-old mixed breed male dog who weighs about 100 pounds, 20 of which is hair, according to Willa, his caretaker. He has recently had issues with his urination habits, and it has now reached the point where Willa is very concerned.
About a month ago, Willa started to notice Rosco having to go outside to urinate more frequently. She was not too concerned initially, but when he started to wake her up several times in the middle of the night to go outside, that changed.
Willa decided to follow Rosco on one of his nocturnal outdoor adventures, and this particular time, he stopped and entered into his normal urination posture six or seven times with each attempt producing but a trickle of urine. The last two attempts appeared to have blood in the urine produced. The next morning, she made an appointment for Rosco to see his veterinarian.
Rosco was diagnosed with an enlarged prostate gland, as palpated by his veterinarian, and a urinary tract infection. He was placed on antibiotics, and it was recommended that Rosco be castrated. Willa has seen no major improvement with the antibiotic treatment and has scheduled Rosco’s surgery; however, she is concerned that there may be other possible problems she read about on the Internet that might be causing Rosco’s symptoms.
The Internet, while providing a wealth of information, can be scary when it comes to situations like Rosco’s. That said, there are other possible concerns here that should be ruled out. Increased urinary frequency with decrease production can indeed be caused by an enlarged prostate. The enlarged prostate squeezes down on the urethra, the tube leading out of the bladder, disallowing normal urine flow.
Blood can show up in the urine primarily because as the prostate enlarges, as is common in older, un-neutered male dogs – termed prostatic hypertrophy – the prostate can bleed with the blood ending up in the urine. The enlargement is caused by testosterone from the testicles stimulating hypertrophy of the prostate. This will resolve with castration.
Other possible considerations for Rosco’s symptoms included severe urinary tract infection, urinary tract stones – either in the bladder or further up the urinary tract in the kidneys – and a tumor of the urinary tract or kidney(s).
Rosco was placed on antibiotics and Willa reported no improvement in his condition. This does not rule out a urinary tract infection, as the bacteria causing the infection could be resistant to the antibiotic being used. His urine needs to be cultured for bacteria, and if bacteria are grown, they need to be identified and tested to see which antibiotic kills them. Bladder and/or kidney stones can be ruled out with radiographs, and ultrasound can be used to detect a possible tumor issue. These procedures should all be accomplished before the castration surgery.
Hopefully, Rosco is simply dealing with prostatic hypertrophy and his upcoming castration surgery will prove curative, allowing both Rosco and Willa to get a good night’s sleep.
Jeff Kahler is a veterinarian in Modesto. Questions can be submitted to Your Pet in care of LifeStyles, The Modesto Bee, P.O. Box 5256, Modesto 95352.