CERTAIN things happen as you get older - or so the Tele editor tells me....

Your hair falters, thins and finally vanishes.

Gravity appears to have a greater effect on various parts of your body than it once did.

Your memory declines and you are more inclined to repeat yourself. Your memory declines and you are more inclined to repeat yourself. You take longer to get up, longer to get down and, when you get there, you sometimes wonder why you bothered or can’t remember what you were meant to be doing.

And, if you are an entire male dog, you have an 80 per cent chance that your prostate will become enlarged.

This occurs for two reasons. The number of prostate cells rises and the size of these cells also increases.

The result is a troublesome condition called Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH). The male sex hormone, testosterone, which is produced in the testicles, plays an important role in the induction of BPH, but the interesting thing is that its level is not increased in affected dogs.

It rather appears that those with enlarged prostates just deal with the hormone in a different way. Unfortunately, given the position of the prostate in the pelvis, sitting immediately above the exit from the bladder and below the rectum, BPH can lead to some uncomfortable symptoms.

Frequently, patients will present with difficulty in urinating, as the urethra, the tube that leaves the bladder, is squeezed shut by the enlarged gland.

Dogs may be unable to urinate despite trying forcibly but then strangely dribble urine when they relax. Not good for them and not ideal for your carpets either.

Similarly, some dogs will struggle to pass faeces as the big prostate pushes up into the rectum. They often pass ‘flat’ poo. Constipation is common and the continual straining that is required to do the loo can result in breakdown of the muscular tissue around the anus, creating a perineal hernia.Complicated surgical intervention is necessary to correct this.

Other individuals with BPH can show blood in urine and abdominal pain.

Until recently, treatment was centred on surgical castration, where owners would allow it, to reduce the effect of testosterone and allow the hypertrophy to subside. The very old, the ’you can’t castrate my dog’ brigade and the poor anaesthetic risks were treated with monthly injections or daily tablets, neither of which were brilliant.

Owners frequently failed to continue treatment after the initial improvement and so recurrence was common.

Now, I need to remind you that there is an alternative. Ypozane (who named this drug?) needs only to be given once daily for seven days and yet it usually controls BPH for fully six months.

In trials, the prostate reduced in size by 40 per cent after only two weeks, by which time virtually all the clinical signs had subsided. Two treatments with Ypozane a year should prevent BPH without the requirement for surgery.

It is safe, has minimal side-effects and treated dogs even remain fertile - which at least gives you something to look forward to in your old age!