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Cryptorchid: a small ball & a big problem

Cryptorchid is a term used when "testicles are missing from the scrotum”. Having had a “cryptorchid" for surgery the other day I thought a few notes on this condition may help somebody out there.

A cryptorchid dog is a male dog with either one or both of the testicles missing from the scrotum . Around birth the testicles descend from in the abdomen, near the kidneys, to the scrotum. Coming out of the abdomen in the groin, near the penis and then under the skin to settle in the scrotum. This condition is thought to be “genetic”, meaning it is passed on in the genes and to the puppies. Hence, male dogs without two testicles in the scrotum (after 6 months of age) should not be bred from.

Can the missing testicle be left?

If the undescended testicle is left in the abdomen there can be several serious risks. It could undergo torsion or twisting on itself (like a ball on a piece of string- it can spin). This cuts of the blood supply to the testicle and can cause major problems. Later in life, a testicle that has been left in the abdomen has a significantly greater chance of becoming cancerous, compared to a testicle in the scrotum.

If a testicle is left in the abdomen it is unlikely to produce sperm that could fertilise a bitch, but the testicle can still produce male hormones , so the dog still acts like an entire male.

So we advise if testicles are found to be absent from the scrotum in male dogs over 6 months of age then we should hunt them down in the abdomen and surgically remove them. Should you have any questions or concerns please contact Bentleigh Veterinary Clinic on 03 9557 9500.

Bentleigh Veterinary Clinic is a Family owned business in Centre Road, Bentleigh 3204. Our vets have been serving local pets an pet owners in Bentleigh, Bentleigh East, Hampton, Hampton East, Moorabbin, Oakleigh South, Oakleigh, Huntingdale, Murrumbeena, Caulfied South, Caulfield, Elsternwick, Brighton, McKinnon, Ormond, Hughesdale, Glenhuntly for over 20 years.

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