Canine gonad descent abnormalities are a condition in which the testes of a male dog fail to descend from the abdomen into the scrotum. This condition can be present since birth or can develop later in life due to trauma, infection, or some other cause. If left untreated, these abnormalities can lead to fertility issues and even certain cancers.
In cases of gonad descent abnormalities, the testes remain in the abdomen instead of descending into the scrotum. This is usually identified by a veterinarian during routine physical examinations. The condition can present differently depending on the severity and underlying cause. In mild cases, the testes can appear larger than normal or there might be slight swelling in the area where they should be located. In more severe cases, there can be visible tissue masses in the abdomen or an empty scrotum.
Symptoms of Canine Gonad Descent Abnormalities
The most common symptom of gonad descent abnormalities is an empty scrotum. This could be accompanied by swelling in the area where the testes should be located, pain or tenderness around the abdomen, or a visible enlargement of their testes themselves. Other symptoms can include:
- Difficulty urinating
- Certain types of cancer related to this condition
Diagnosing Canine Gonad Descent Abnormalities
In order to diagnose gonad descent abnormalities, a veterinarian will first perform a physical examination and take blood samples for testing. If the results come back positive, further tests including an ultrasound or X-ray could be needed to determine the cause and severity of their condition. Surgery can also be necessary in some cases.
Stages of Canine Gonad Descent Abnormalities
There are three stages of gonad descent abnormalities: pre-descent, incomplete descent, and complete absence of their testes.
In the pre-descent stage, the testes remain in the abdominal cavity and might not be visible even with imaging.
Incomplete descent occurs when one or both testes have moved partially out of their abdomen but are still not located within the scrotum.
Complete absence of their testes occurs when both are missing from the scrotum entirely.
Treating Canine Gonad Descent Abnormalities
Depending on the stage and severity of their condition, treating gonad descent abnormalities will vary. In mild cases, it can be possible to treat the condition with hormone therapy or a course of antibiotics. Surgery is often necessary in more severe cases in order to move the testes into the scrotum. In some instances, it might be necessary to remove one or both testes if they are unable to be relocated.
It’s important to get medical attention as soon as possible if you think that your dog has gonad descent abnormalities, because this condition can lead to more serious health issues if left untreated.
Preventing Canine Gonad Descent Abnormalities
There are several steps that can be taken to help reduce the risk of a dog developing canine gonad descent abnormalities. These include:
- Monitoring your pet’s health and seeking medical attention as soon as any concerning symptoms arise;
- Having regular check-ups with your veterinarian;
- Ensuring your pet is properly vaccinated against common illnesses, such as distemper and parvovirus;
- Keeping your pet away from other dogs that could have contagious diseases;
- Providing a healthy, balanced diet to help keep the immune system strong and capable of fighting off any potential illness.