One of the vet school’s newest studies involves the prostate in neutered and unneutered dogs. Here is the lay abstract for the study, which explains it much better than I can!
“Ultrasound is a non-invasive and widely available imaging tool that is commonly used to look for prostate disease in dogs. On ultrasound we are able to see the prostate and evaluate its size, shape, and whether there are any abnormalities such as cysts, nodules, or inflamed tissue in the region of the prostate. Common prostate diseases in dogs include benign prostatic hyperplasia, prostatitis, prostatic cysts, and cancer.
Prostate disease in dogs is often treated by castration, which makes the prostate shrink in size (also known as involution). However, we do not know what a “normal” prostate in an older dog looks like on ultrasound during and after involution. This makes it difficult to differentiate between diseased and normal prostates of dogs castrated later in life. The purpose of this study is to determine and compare the appearance of the prostate following castration in dogs of various ages.
Dogs will be divided into three groups based on age and their prostates will be imaged via ultrasound prior to castration. Following castration, each patient will receive prostatic ultrasound examinations at regular intervals for up to six months. The clinical significance of this study is to 1) determine the rate and percentage of decrease in prostate size as seen on ultrasound following castration and 2) to document the ultrasonographic appearance of prostates in dogs castrated at an older age to help differentiate between normal and disease.”
So…they are looking for dogs of any age who are going to be neutered. (If their grant comes through, they may even be able to help with the cost of neutering!) Caveats: no treatment with Finasteride the three months before castration and they have to return to Blacksburg for serial ultrasounds after surgery. once or twice a month for four to six months.”