Prostatitis in dogs is a health condition that every pet owner should be aware of. It affects the prostate gland in male dogs and can have significant implications for their well-being. In this article, we'll explore what prostatitis is, shedding light on this important topic to help you ensure the best possible care for your furry friend.

Key Takeaways:

  • Prostatitis in dogs is inflammation or infection of the prostate gland, more common in intact males, and can have varying symptoms.
  • Bacterial infections can cause acute prostatitis, while chronic prostatitis may be linked to an enlarged prostate or prostate cancer.
  • Prevention includes regular vet checkups, neutering intact males, maintaining a healthy weight, and providing proper exercise and diet for your dog.

What is Prostatitis in Dogs?

Prostatitis in male dogs is caused by inflammation or an infection of the prostate gland, more common in intact males. The prostate gland is a small, walnut-shaped organ located just below the bladder in male dogs.

Prostatitis can occur in dogs of any age but is more common in older males. There are several different types of prostatitis in dogs, each with its own set of symptoms, such as:

  • Acute prostatitis can be diagnosed when there is a sudden onset of symptoms and is typically caused by a bacterial infection.
  • Chronic prostatitis is a long-term condition that develops over time and is often caused by an underlying health condition such as an enlarged prostate or canine prostate cancer.

Similarly, pyometra in female dogs is an infection of the uterus.

What Causes Prostatitis in Dogs?

The root cause of acute prostatitis in dogs is usually a bacterial infection. In contrast, chronic prostatitis, a condition that evolves over time, is often linked to underlying health issues such as an enlarged prostate or canine prostate cancer. It's particularly important to note that intact males are at a substantially higher risk of developing prostatitis.

Symptoms of Prostatitis in Male Dogs

Symptoms of prostatitis in dogs can vary depending on the type and severity, but common symptoms include:

If your dog is showing any of these symptoms, you should consult with your veterinarian immediately.

If your dog has a fever or is having difficulty walking, this may be an indication that they may have an advanced case of prostatitis and may need emergency treatment.

How is Prostatitis Diagnosed?

The diagnosis of prostatitis in dogs typically begins with a physical examination and a review of your dog's medical history.

A blood test may also be performed to check for an infection or other underlying health conditions.

In some cases, a urine test may be performed to check for the presence of blood or bacteria in the urine.

A biopsy of the prostate gland may also be performed to confirm the diagnosis of prostatitis and to determine the cause of the inflammation. In some cases, imaging tests such as an ultrasound or X-ray may also be performed to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment for Prostatitis in Dogs

Treatment for prostatitis in dogs will depend on the severity and cause of the condition.

Bacterial infections are typically treated with antibiotics, while chronic prostatitis may require long-term treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs or other medications. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove an enlarged prostate or to treat cancer in dogs.

In addition to medical treatment, dogs with prostatitis may also require supportive care such as a special diet, physical therapy, and pain management.

It's important to keep your dog comfortable and to prevent them from straining or becoming constipated.

Preventing Prostatitis in Your Dog

Prevention of prostatitis in dogs is important, and it can be done by:

  • Having your veterinarian regularly check your dog's prostate gland
  • Keeping them healthy and at a healthy weight.
  • Neutering intact males drastically reduces the incidence of prostatitis
  • Regular exercise and a balanced diet can also help to keep the prostate gland healthy.
  • Vet wellness checkups can also help detect any problems early on and prevent them from becoming severe.


In conclusion, prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland that can affect dogs of any age, but it's more prevalent in older males. This condition comes in various forms, each with unique symptoms and causes, and the severity of symptoms can vary widely.

Diagnosing prostatitis typically involves a physical examination and a thorough review of the dog's medical history. The treatment plan is determined by the type and cause of the condition. Prevention is key in managing prostatitis, and it involves regular wellness checkups by a vet and maintaining a healthy weight for your dog. These routine vet visits can help catch any potential issues early, preventing them from escalating into severe problems.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do dogs have prostates?

Yes, male dogs have prostate glands. The prostate gland is a small, walnut-shaped organ located just below the bladder in males. 

Do dogs get prostate cancer?

Yes, dogs can get prostate cancer, which again highlights the need for regular wellness and sick exams for your pet to diagnose and catch prostate issues early.