Stanley is a 2-year-old male neutered Terrier mix. He has rescued from Paws Chicago as a puppy and has been healthy since he was rescued. In January on a Sunday, Stanley’s owner noticed that he was having trouble defecating. She rushed him into Veterinary Specialty Center where the emergency veterinarian found an enlarged prostate which had obstructed urethra so he couldn’t urinate. Thanks to his owner’s quick thinking, Stanley had emergency surgery to drain the cyst and repair his urethra.
Prostate disease is rare in neutered dogs. Enlarged prostates (called benign prostatic hypertrophy) usually occur in older un-neutered male dogs and can be associated with cysts. Signs include straining to poop and blood in the urine. Neutering will usually “fix” the issue by removing testosterone and causing the prostate to shrink. Prostatic cysts can also lead to infection and abscess and sometimes need to be removed or drained in older dogs. Because Stanley is already neutered, we do not know the underlying cause of his cyst but suspect a congenital problem.
A rectal examination is the first step in evaluating the prostate. Rectal exams are done at least yearly to make sure that we aren’t missing anal gland or prostate disease. Once an abnormality is detected, scanning X-rays are used to evaluate the bladder and rest of the abdomen. Ultrasound is the most sensitive to actually see inside the prostate and bladder. In Stanley’s case, his owner’s fast action and the veterinarian’s quick assessment led to a diagnosis.
Unfortunately, since Stanley couldn’t pee, emergency surgery was needed to relieve the pressure. A board-certified surgeon performed Stanley’s surgery. Stanley’s cyst was cultured to ensure no bacterial infection and he was started on an antibiotic to prevent this. The cyst was also sent out for a biopsy to ensure that it was benign (luckily, Stanley’s was!!!).
Stanley recovered well and is doing great at home!!! His owner monitors his urination and defecation closely (as there is a risk that the cyst could recur) and Dr. Williams checks rectal examinations every 3-6 months. Emergency surgery saved Stanley’s life and he is back to being a healthy and happy little terrier!
Dr. Williams DVM