What is Cryptorchidism?

Many factors are examined when watching a puppy grow and develop. While commons ones are in regards to the puppy’s weight, movement, and overall development, there is also another more in males. As the male puppy grows and develops, it’s important to keep an eye on the development and descent of their testicles. The testicles will develop within the abdomen on the puppy and descend into the scrotum around two months of age.

However, some dogs may be late bloomers, and they may descend later in life but rarely after six months. If the testicles are not present in the scrotum by two to four months, this can be presumed as Cryptorchidism or having an undescended testicle. With that explanation, we know that “Cryptorchidism is the failure of the testes (one or both) to descend into the scrotum through the inguinal canal.” (Gubbels et al., 2009).

How do Vets know if a dog has Cryptorchidism?

During a puppy’s initial few vet visits, the veterinarian will feel the scrotum and check to ensure that the testicles are present. If the testicles are not present, the vet will either give it more time as they are young or look for them. If the undescended testicle can not be felt from the outside of the skin, the vet may use an ultrasound or radiographs to take a deeper look. The more common type is unilateral cryptorchidism, this mean that only one testicle has not descended.

What is the treatment for Cryptorchidism?

Once it has been confirmed that the dog has Cryptorchidism, the next step is the neuter the dog. When the vet is neutering the dog, they will go in and remove the undescended testicles. Even if the dog only has one undescended testicle, the vet will remove the undescended and descended testicle. The recommendation to remove the testicle is to lessen the chance of the undescended testicle, causing complications.

Overall, Cryptorchidism is a condition that can happen to any male dog when they are born. Steps are taken to minimize this chance as much as possible. Complications due to Cryptorchidism can be minimized by proper examination by the vet during early growth as well as taking the necissary steps once Cryptorchidism is determined.

Literature Cited

Ed J. Gubbels, Janneke Scholten, Luc Janss, Jan Rothuizen. (2009). Relationship of cryptorchidism with sex ratios and litter sizes in 12 dog breeds. Animal Reproduction Science. 113 (1–4; 187-195) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anireprosci.2008.07.004.

Khan, FA, Gartley, CJ, Khanam, A . Canine cryptorchidism: An update. Reprod Dom Anim. (2018). 53: 1263– 1270. https://doi.org/10.1111/rda.13231

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