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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

Our 10 year old boy (11 in April) has suspected prostate cancer - enlarged prostate, frequency of going to the toilet (both) and not much coming out, and straining. He is castrated which leads vet to believe he has cancer. The only way to be sure is to have a CT scan but that is £1500 and all it is going to tell us is yes or no. It’s not like we can treat him if he has it. The only glimmer of hope, according to the vet, is that his prostate is smooth with no lumps, and as people say, cancer feels ugly. So he is having a course Ypozone to see if that reduces the prostate - unlikely, but worth a try.

So, brings me to my question is there any food or diet that would help soften his stools? He is fed on Acana Wild Prairie with supplemented food such as freshly cooked chicken, mince, eggs etc. He is a fussy eater at the best of times. Over the last couple of weeks we have been feeding him by hand.

If the Ypozane doesn’t work then we will move to make sure he is as comfortable and pain free as possible. To look at him you wouldn’t think there was anything wrong - I took for a walk after his first round of painkillers and he was bouncing around like a puppy.

Any advice guidance appreciated.

Thanks, Mark
 

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As a prostate cancer sufferer I can sympathise with him.

It's not a question of softening the stools, this is not the problem. The problem is that the urinary tract runs straight through the centre of the prostate. The cancer causes the prostate to swell, which then presses on the urinary tract shutting the flow off to a greater or lessor extent. The problem is, that if untreated it will shut off the flow completely. Talking humans, there is a medication you can take to slow down the swelling, (but not completely arrest it.) There is an operation, TURP procedure which bores out the centre of the prostate to help the flow. But of course that does not eliminate the cancer, so it's not a cure. As to a cure, there are two possibilities. 1/ remove the prostate, (we dont actually need it to live.) or 2/ Radiation treatment. Seven and a half weeks of treatment every day on a machine at Churchill hospital. (I elected for the radiation treatment.)

But getting back to dogs, I doubt the TURP operation is a possibility, certainly as micro surgery it would be very specialised if it is. Also Radiation treatment would be a non starter, so we are down to removal of the prostate. This is quite a common operation. But it may not be necessary, particularly with an 11 year old dog. Ypozane is a female hormone which aims to shrink the prostate. (In humans it's given as a course of injections at 3 month intervals.) By shrinking the prostate the urinary tract should open a little which will alleviate the present problem, and with luck the cancer will progress so slowly that it will never become a problem.
 

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I'd also like to add, I was never in any pain, at least until the flow was shut off completely, so there is no reason to believe your boy is. But I did have to get up several times during the night to answer the call of nature, and it's likely your boy will too in time, which in his case could result in floor wetting. But honestly, It's not being naughty, or even lazy, he will not be able to help it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi John,

Thank you so much for your informative and comprehensive reply - very helpful!

The vet said that removing his prostate would almost certainly cause incontinence, as can certain medications.

Fingers crossed the Ypozane shrinks the prostate enough to alleviate his problems.

I do hope you are well

Many thanks,
Mark
 

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I took the opportunity here to talk about human prostate cancer because it is so important. it's the single biggest killer of men! But these days there are treatments available. It's not something that men like talking about, even to their doctor, but they must! caught early it can now be treated and not be the death sentence that it was. But catching early is the operative word. Ignore the signs and allow it to get a hold and you might as well book your funeral! I know thats not a nice thing to say, but it's so important to catch it early. When I retired from work I had to see my doctor about an unrelated thing and just happened to mention to him that I was having to get up more often during the night. He made an appointment for me at the hospital to see a specialist. Biopsies were taken which showed low grade cell change, but not yet cancerous. They put me on meds and yearly PSA tests and it was another 8 years before treatment became necessary. OK, treatment at hospital every day for seven and a half weeks it tough, 4 to 5 hours a time plus traveling. But they organised it so we stayed with the same group of patience every day, so we soon got to know each other and it became a bit of a party each day, so it was not as bad as it could have been.
 

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Thanks John for sharing your experience. And glad your treatment was successful.
I hadn't realized that dogs suffer from prostate cancer as well as we humans, but it makes sense.
 

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Hi John,

Thank you so much for your informative and comprehensive reply - very helpful!

The vet said that removing his prostate would almost certainly cause incontinence, as can certain medications.

Fingers crossed the Ypozane shrinks the prostate enough to alleviate his problems.

I do hope you are well

Many thanks,
Mark
Hi all,

Our 10 year old boy (11 in April) has suspected prostate cancer - enlarged prostate, frequency of going to the toilet (both) and not much coming out, and straining. He is castrated which leads vet to believe he has cancer. The only way to be sure is to have a CT scan but that is £1500 and all it is going to tell us is yes or no. It’s not like we can treat him if he has it. The only glimmer of hope, according to the vet, is that his prostate is smooth with no lumps, and as people say, cancer feels ugly. So he is having a course Ypozone to see if that reduces the prostate - unlikely, but worth a try.

So, brings me to my question is there any food or diet that would help soften his stools? He is fed on Acana Wild Prairie with supplemented food such as freshly cooked chicken, mince, eggs etc. He is a fussy eater at the best of times. Over the last couple of weeks we have been feeding him by hand.

If the Ypozane doesn’t work then we will move to make sure he is as comfortable and pain free as possible. To look at him you wouldn’t think there was anything wrong - I took for a walk after his first round of painkillers and he was bouncing around like a puppy.

Any advice guidance appreciated.

Thanks, Mark
re diet:
As ever, John’s posts are very informative & I would absolutely agree with the sentiment ( husband similarly afflicted) I do have to say though, that there is tremendous difference between species in the anatomy of the prostate gland. Your dog may well get constipated before urinary obstruction occurs. Keep his faeces soft- try playing with the amount of fibre in his food. You may find a small amount of all bran helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
re diet:
As ever, John’s posts are very informative & I would absolutely agree with the sentiment ( husband similarly afflicted) I do have to say though, that there is tremendous difference between species in the anatomy of the prostate gland. Your dog may well get constipated before urinary obstruction occurs. Keep his faeces soft- try playing with the amount of fibre in his food. You may find a small amount of all bran helps.
He was straining a lot, so the vet put him on Lactulose which softens the stools and he seems a lot better.

He has finished his course of Ypozone, so I guess we will have to wait and see on the 3rd March, when he visits the vet next, if it has worked. 🤞
 

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He was straining a lot, so the vet put him on Lactulose which softens the stools and he seems a lot better.

He has finished his course of Ypozone, so I guess we will have to wait and see on the 3rd March, when he visits the vet next, if it has worked. 🤞
Hope he’s feeling better now 🤞
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I thought I would pick this up again.

It has been a couple of months since Enzo was diagnosed with prostate cancer and he is still with us.

The ypozone seemed to work for a short while and then he went back to the way he was before the tablets. . He was then put on a steroid, Prednidale (25mg x 1 /day), to help with inflammation and pain. Side effects are increased appetite (which sadly didn't improve) and increased thirst and subsequent urination. We, in conjunction with the vet, have decided to take him off the steroid after 4 weeks as he doesn't seem happy and is peeing 6 times a night. We are reducing the dosage over a period of days. He looks very tired and sad.

I am starting to think it may be time to make the most difficult decision of all. Enzo is now 26kg (was 33kg) and hardly eats anything. I noticed today that his back legs were shaking while standing. I so wish he could tell us if he was in pain and how much. He does have his moments though - still wants to go for a walk, twice a day - where he gets the energy from I have no idea!. He will occasionally pick up one of his toys and throw it around..... which is what is stopping us from calling the vet.

It's so hard and my wife and I struggle to talk about it, but we want to make sure we do the right thing for him. We don't want to make the decision any earlier than necessary and of course, I don't want him to suffer because we can't make that decision. I think realistically we are talking a week or two at best if not days...

For those who have been through this, when did you know..?
 

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I’ve found that my dogs told me when it was time. But generally I’d say it was a case of adding up positive moments against negative. Think of all the things he loves to do, if the list is reducing, then it’s close.

I delayed the decision with my oldest that I’ve just lost. In hindsight, I should have done it sooner but she appeared not to be in pain but was fecally incontinent. She loved her grub but barely wagged her tail but did want to snuggle a lot.

You will know in your heart. Be brave, it’s better a day too early than a day too late.
 

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Sometimes it's easy to know, sometimes it's not. Beth was in such pain with her cancer that I had no choice. Amy was my hard one She had a weeping cancer patch on her side. She was walking across the lawn one day and was so unsteady she just kept falling, but she was such an old lady that I dont think she was aware what was happening. I was talking across the fence to my neighbour at the time, and said to her that I was afraid I was keeping Amy alive for my benefit rather than hers. For so long I'd been wishing that I would get up one morning and find she had slipped away in the night, but it never happened and I just had to make the decision.
 

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It’s the hardest thing, watching them deteriorating in front of us, all the while knowing we will have to make a decision at some point. Dogs rarely cry with chronic pain, but their behaviour changes, they withdraw, interact less, some eat less ( some eat more as a stress response). You know your boy, you know what he’s loved doing all his life, if he’s not enjoying or even interested in those things anymore then it probably is time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
I’ve found that my dogs told me when it was time. But generally I’d say it was a case of adding up positive moments against negative. Think of all the things he loves to do, if the list is reducing, then it’s close.

I delayed the decision with my oldest that I’ve just lost. In hindsight, I should have done it sooner but she appeared not to be in pain but was fecally incontinent. She loved her grub but barely wagged her tail but did want to snuggle a lot.

You will know in your heart. Be brave, it’s better a day too early than a day too late.
Thanks Maddie, your post makes entire sense. Unfortunately, things are reducing. He has become very needy, so we don't leave him alone for very long. Loves affection which is a stark contrast to when he was young - he would get up and go lie elsewhere if we got down for a cuddle.

His tail is tucked underneath him constantly, which makes me think he is in a lot of pain, but being very stoic.

We just want to make his last days as comfortable as possible.

Sometimes it's easy to know, sometimes it's not. Beth was in such pain with her cancer that I had no choice. Amy was my hard one She had a weeping cancer patch on her side. She was walking across the lawn one day and was so unsteady she just kept falling, but she was such an old lady that I dont think she was aware what was happening. I was talking across the fence to my neighbour at the time, and said to her that I was afraid I was keeping Amy alive for my benefit rather than hers. For so long I'd been wishing that I would get up one morning and find she had slipped away in the night, but it never happened and I just had to make the decision.
Thanks John, I feel exactly the same thing every morning I come down... just wish for him to have slipped away during the night. Sadly the vet says, that is very much a rarity and we will most likely have to make the decision! 😢

It’s the hardest thing, watching them deteriorating in front of us, all the while knowing we will have to make a decision at some point. Dogs rarely cry with chronic pain, but their behaviour changes, they withdraw, interact less, some eat less ( some eat more as a stress response). You know your boy, you know what he’s loved doing all his life, if he’s not enjoying or even interested in those things anymore then it probably is time.
Thanks Humph, again you're right, the time is very close.
 

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Just know, when you think it’s right, there are those here who will support and listen.

I came home from shopping and found she’d been urinary incontinent. It was a strange colour. I’d already made an appointment to check it out but while I was putting the shopping away, she stood and urine poured from her. It was at that point my husband called our vet and let them know that it was time. We had a couple of hours to wait but we made it a good time. Lawn snuffle, treats. We got to the vets and she never made a fuss. I knew then she’d decided it was her time as normally she barked and growled.

Betty, 20 minutes before her final car ride. My Betty bear, matriarch and best friend.

26714
 
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Hailey, Yellow Lab
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I thought I would pick this up again.

It has been a couple of months since Enzo was diagnosed with prostate cancer and he is still with us.

The ypozone seemed to work for a short while and then he went back to the way he was before the tablets. . He was then put on a steroid, Prednidale (25mg x 1 /day), to help with inflammation and pain. Side effects are increased appetite (which sadly didn't improve) and increased thirst and subsequent urination. We, in conjunction with the vet, have decided to take him off the steroid after 4 weeks as he doesn't seem happy and is peeing 6 times a night. We are reducing the dosage over a period of days. He looks very tired and sad.

I am starting to think it may be time to make the most difficult decision of all. Enzo is now 26kg (was 33kg) and hardly eats anything. I noticed today that his back legs were shaking while standing. I so wish he could tell us if he was in pain and how much. He does have his moments though - still wants to go for a walk, twice a day - where he gets the energy from I have no idea!. He will occasionally pick up one of his toys and throw it around..... which is what is stopping us from calling the vet.

It's so hard and my wife and I struggle to talk about it, but we want to make sure we do the right thing for him. We don't want to make the decision any earlier than necessary and of course, I don't want him to suffer because we can't make that decision. I think realistically we are talking a week or two at best if not days...

For those who have been through this, when did you know..?
So sorry to hear this sad news.
 

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I really feel for you, it's such a tough decision to make.
I went through the same with Lucan a few weeks ago. He was having more bad days than good, was restless and not sleeping well at night, having wobbly spells and had developed a wheeze. Yet he was still excited to go for a walk and would still instigate play with Ash. I made the decision on a hot sunny Saturday while having a bonfire in our field. This loyal, stubborn old dog was struggling to follow me up and down the field yet refusing to stop and rest, I realized then that he wasn't going to cope with the warmer weather and the extra outside activities. I booked the appointment on the Monday morning for the Thursday. :-( He was spoilt rotten in those last few days and went to sleep very peacefully at the vets with his beloved tennis ball in his mouth.
I have to say this was the first planned in advance euthanasia for me, all my previous dogs had been due to some sort of medical emergency. This was far nicer having the chance to spoil him and take those last videos and photos. He could probably have gone on for a few more weeks but I have no regrets. Rather a day too early than a day too late..
 

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It's hard as it's different for each person and dog. I count myself incredibly lucky as my old girl went downhill so quickly, within 48 hours I knew it was the time, even though at the back of my head I was hoping there was some chance there was a magic drug that might help her, but in the end she had a problem with her heart, and age had just caught up too much, the vets were amazed her heart hadn't already given up. You will know, and don't doubt yourself, better a day too soon than a day too late. So when you do know, make sure you get the best cuddles and memories to take with you xx
 
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