Canis ISSN: 2398-2942
Prostate gland: clinical examination
Contributor(s): Jeanne Barsanti, Autumn P Davidson, Delmar Finco
Intrarectal digital palpation
- Intrarectal digital palpation + pressure applied transabdominally.
- Normal prostate is bilobed, smooth and firm; about 3-5 cm wide, 1.5-2.5 cm caudocranial length.
- Small in castrated dogs.
- Enlargement: potentially neoplastic.
- Enlargement expected with age in intact males - should be symmetric, non-painful.
Semen collection and evaluation
- Semen collection and evaluation Semen: evaluation.
- Prostate gland is the only significant source of seminal plasma.
- Occasional neutrophils and very few bacteria on the semen smear.
- Sperm numbers and morphology should be normal.
- Hemospermia may be present with benign hyperplasia.
- Increase in the neutrophil and bacteria population.
- Many gram-negative or gram-positive bacteria will be seen.
- Standard culture for: common causes, eg E.coli, Staphylococcus aureus.
- Sperm motility often compromised.
- Special culture for: Mycoplasma spp may be involved requiring special culture media.
- Urethral quantitative culture may be indicated to differentiate normal flora.
Prostatic washes/'brush' technique
- If dog will not ejaculate because of pain or psychological reasons.
- Obtain prostatic secretion after massaging the prostate per rectum.
- Simple but are more costly and time consuming than semen collection.
Collect urine beforehand to exclude concurrent cystitis and other urinary tract infections.
- Ultrasound-guided transabdominal aspiration.
If a prostatic abscess is sampled -> seed along the sampling tract -> peritonitis; if neoplasia, sampling can -> metastasis (unlikely clinically).Ultrasound-guided aspiration very useful.
- If neoplasia, a prostatic cyst or a large prostatic abscess is suspected.
- Non-neoplastic and neoplastic structures can be sampled more accurately and safely.
- Metastasis of prostatic adenocarcinomas can also be assessed.
- Recent references from VetMedResource and PubMed.
- Kamolpatana K, Johnston G R & Johnston S D (2000) Determination of canine prostatic volume using transabdominal ultrasonography. Vet Rad Ultra 41(1), 73-77.
Other sources of information
- Feldman E C & Nelson R W (1996) Prostatitis. In: Canine and Feline Endocrinology and Reproduction.London: W B Saunders, Chapter 28. (A recent review of prostatic disease.)
- Barsanti J A & Finco D R (1986) Canine prostatic disease. In: Reproduction and Periparturient Care.Ed: C A Johnson. Veterinary Clinics of North America 13, pp 587-599. (These authors have a great deal of clinical experience in this area.)