Canine retained testicles (CRTs) occur when a male dog’s testicles fail to descend into the scrotum. This disorder is more common in certain breeds, such as Chihuahuas, Dachshunds, and Cocker Spaniels. While it might not pose an immediate danger to a dog’s health, if left untreated CRTs can lead to a variety of long-term issues.
CRTs are typically caused by genetic or hormonal abnormalities, but they can also be the result of an injury or infection. When testicles fail to descend, they remain in the abdominal cavity and are not visible to the naked eye. As a result, CRTs could go unnoticed until more serious symptoms manifest.
Symptoms of Canine Retained Testicle
The primary symptom of retained testicles is an abdominal bulge. This can be accompanied by a decreased appetite, vomiting, and changes in behavior. If left untreated, CRTs can lead to painful inflammation of their testicles, infection, and potential testicular cancer.
Diagnosing Canine Retained Testicle
Retained testicles can be prevented through regular checkups with a veterinarian, as well as genetic testing for certain breeds. Because the disorder is often caused by a hormonal imbalance, it’s important to feed your dog a healthy diet and give them plenty of exercise. If you detect any signs or symptoms of CRT, contact your vet immediately for diagnosis and treatment.
Stages of Canine Retained Testicle
The progression of retained testicles (CRTs) can be split into three stages: inguinal, pre-scrotal, and scrotal.
In the inguinal stage, the testicles have not yet descended from the abdominal cavity. During this phase, a dog can have an abdominal bulge as well as mild behavioral changes.
If left untreated, the disorder can progress to the pre-scrotal stage. In this stage, the testicles have begun to descend but are still not visible outside of their body.
Finally, in the scrotal stage, the testicles are visible and located near the base of their penis.
Treating Canine Retained Testicle
Treating retained testicles typically involves a combination of surgical and medical interventions. Surgically, the veterinarian might need to remove the testicles from the abdominal cavity and place them in the scrotum. This procedure is known as an orchiectomy and is usually performed under general anesthesia.
Medically, hormonal drugs can be prescribed to encourage further descent. Antibiotics could be prescribed to treat any infections caused by the disorder.
It’s important to note that CRTs can recur, even after successful treatment. It’s important to monitor your dog closely and have regular checkups with your veterinarian. With proper care and monitoring, retained testicles can be managed successfully over time.
Preventing Canine Retained Testicle
The best way to prevent retained testicles (CRTs) is through regular checkups with a veterinarian, as well as genetic testing for certain breeds. Feeding your dog a healthy diet and plenty of exercise can help keep hormone levels balanced and reduce the risk of CRT. Finally, if you notice any signs or symptoms of CRT in your pet, contact your veterinarian immediately for diagnosis and treatment.