Pet insurance companies call it a pre-existing condition. I call it prostatitis.

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Dog Insurance

Canine Prostatitis

Prostatitis is a bacterial infection of the prostate gland and can occur in an acute (sudden) or chronic (long standing) form.

It is more common in male dogs that have not been neutered.


Prostatitis can be caused by disease of the urethra (the small tube where urine flows from the bladder through the penis), or by other urinary tract infections.


Symptoms vary, depending on whether the disease is acute or chronic. Dogs with the acute form will be weaker than those with the chronic form.

Signs you may notice include:

  • Cloudy or bloody discharge from the penis
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Stiff gait
  • Weakness
  • Straining to urinate or defecate
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss


Diagnosis is based on your dog's medical history and the following exams:

  • Urine and blood tests
  • Digital rectal exam
  • Abdominal x-rays and ultrasounds
  • Evaluation of seminal or prostatic fluid
  • Prostatic massage and wash


Antibiotics are typically given as treatment.

Intravenous fluids may be required in acute prostatitis cases, along with pain medications.

Neutering may also be recommended.


Neutering a dog can help prevent prostatitis.

To prevent relapses:

  • Bring your dog for a recheck a week after finishing the medication. Your veterinarian may recommend urine and prostatic fluid cultures to be sure that the infection is no longer in the body.
  • Make sure the urine color is becoming clearer if it was an abnormal color when your pet was ill.


Although animals are sicker with the acute disease, it is generally easier to achieve a complete cure than with the chronic disease.

The chronic disease is difficult to cure. Dogs with chronic prostatitis are more likely to have continued problems despite therapy.

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