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Is this dog cryptorchid?

Species: Dog
Breed: Lagotto Romagnolo
Age: 6-12 months
Jupiter is 71/2 months old. At 8 weeks vet noted both testicles desended. At 5 months dog show three judges described both testicles present; one judge could not find both. Now,only one testicle is outside. I have discussed with current vet et al about situation, but am wondering if I should allow more time for testicle to desend or go ahead with castration understanding risks of cancer, etc? Is it possible to "retrieve" testicle understanding again that more than likely that testicle will not produce any live sperm. I no longer will attempt to bred Jupiter knowing possibility of genetic defect as opposed to the testicle just "went back up", but I would like to show him and he must be "intact". I am also concerned that early castration can inhibit some of his growth due to lack of testostorone. I love Jupi and want best for him, Thank you!


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

This is an interesting situation. So, if I am understanding things correctly, the testicles were descended, but now only 1 can be found?

It's really not possible for a descended testicle to "go back up" again.

I can think of two possibilities:

1. It's possible that the vet was mistaken when they said they felt two testicles at 8 weeks. This would be hard to mistake though. I think if this happened, it would have to be the type of situation where the vet forgot to palpate and just assumed that they were they. (I could imagine this happening if there was a full litter that was being examined). But, if you were there and saw the vet palpate and they said there were two testicles then there probably were two testicles down at the time.

2. It's possible that the second testicle is not quite in the scrotum but sitting just outside of the scrotum between the scrotum and the inguinal canal. In cases like this, an experienced vet can usually still palpate the testicle, but a judge (who is only used to feeling scrotal testicles) may not notice it.

In either case, the best solution is likely to neuter him. If the testicle is not in the scrotum at 7.5 months then it is extremely extremely unlikely to ever make a complete descent.

If the testicle is sitting just next to the scrotum then there is not much extra health risk to Jupiter if you left it. But, you would not be able to show him, and breeding him would not be a good idea because he could produce cryptorchid puppies, so neutering him is wise.

If the testicle truly isn't able to be palpated then he definitely needs to be neutered. The main reasons for this are that the hidden testicle is more likely to develop cancer. It will still produce sperm. In fact, a hidden testicle will produce extra testosterone (because it is being kept at a higher temperature than the one in the scrotum). So, dogs with one hidden testicle can show more aggression and unwanted male behaviors.

If there is a cryptorchid testicle, there is no way to "retrieve" it to get it into the scrotum.

I hope that helps, but let me know if you have more concerns.

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.