Does your puppy have only one testicle, or neither, despite the end of its growth? This is called cryptorchidism. This disease can have significant consequences for your dog. We invite you to find out why and what to do if your dog has only one testicle …
What is cryptorchidism?
The testicles are normally palpable in the scrotum from the age of 10 weeks . It happens that the testes descend into the scrotum later, depending on the individual and the breed, which is why the vaccination visits of your male puppy will allow the vet to regularly check if your puppy’s testicles are present.
If your puppy does not have one or two of his testes noticeable by the age of 6 months, he is said to have testicular ectopia or cryptorchidism , meaning that the testicle (s) does not. are not in normal position because they remained in the abdomen, or in the inguinal ring, or elsewhere …
There are two types of cryptorchidism: bilateral cryptorchidism (or bicryptorchidism ) and unilateral cryptorchidism (or monorcryptorchidism) . The disease most often affects only one testicle.
In the abdomen, the testicle (s) are maintained at a temperature higher than what they would be if they were in the scrotum (38 ° C instead of 32 ° C). This increase in temperature prevents the formation of functional sperm and increases the risk of cancerization and testicular torsion.
Indeed, ectopic testes are 9 to 13 times (depending on the studies) more likely to develop a tumor than testes in normal position . The risk of tumor development on an ectopic testis is approximately 10% in dogs.
On the other hand, if both testicles have not descended, the puppy will most likely be sterile . If a purebred dog has testicular ectopia, it cannot be confirmed and enrolled in the LOF most often.
Indeed, this anomaly is considered as a genetic “defect” (which can be transmitted to the offspring). Of racial predispositions are indeed described in the German Shepherd, the English Bullodog, the Chihuahua, the Siberian Husky, the Dachshund and Yorkshire in particular. A hereditary component is strongly suspected, but not demonstrated. This is why it is advisable not to breed affected animals.
What solution for my cryptorchid dog?
To avoid the problem of torsion and cancerization of ectopic testes, castration is the best solution. The surgery is done under general anesthesia from the age of 6 months and allows you to remove both testicles.
If the testicle is intra-abdominal, your veterinarian will need to do what is called a laparotomy (opening of the abdominal wall to the stomach) in order to find and remove the testicle from the abdomen.
If the testicle is in the inguinal ring (therefore at the level of the groin), a simple opening at this level is sufficient. We therefore do not open the abdomen of the animal.
Finally, with regard to the testicle in place in the scrotum, a classic castration is carried out.
For more information, you can read our health sheet on castration in dogs .
In conclusion : if your puppy has only one palpable testicle in the scrotum or if no testis is apparent, your veterinarian can possibly determine where the ectopic testicle (s) is (or are). and advise you on the best time for surgical management.