Bailey gets Relief
Bailey, a 5 year old male Dogue de Bordeaux, presented at the Practice with signs of constipation. He was depressed, dehydrated and off his food and was straining to go but passing very little. On examination, Bailey had a large palpable mass of faeces in his large bowel. On rectal exam there were no bones or hard faeces present but an enlarged prostate was felt. Bailey had not been castrated and as is common in entire male dogs, his prostate had become enlarged and was making it difficult to pass faeces. It was decided he should be admitted for pain relief, fluids to correct his dehydration and then he was given an anaesthetic to examine him more thoroughly and give him a soapy water enema to try to break up the impacted faeces in his large bowel. He was also castrated at the same time in order that his prostate would gradually shrink and prevent future problems. The following day he was much brighter but required another soapy water enema as he still wasn't passing much at all. After this he was sent home on pain killers and lactulose which softens the motions. By the following day he was eating as normal and although very watery, he was passing his motions once again and his owner was very happy to have him back to his normal self.
Prostate enlargement is a common presentation that can cause difficulty in passing urine, faeces or both. It is caused by the male hormones secreted in the testicles either as a natural old age change or sometimes secondary to a testicular tumour. Castration prevents this but treatment in older dogs there are alternative medical treatments but these need to be continued long term.