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Unilateral Cryptorchidism.


Orchiectomy, commonly referred to as castration, is a surgical procedure (usually carried out via an incision in the scrotum) in which one or both testicles are removed preventing patients

from being able to further reproduce. The most common age to desex the pet is between 4 and 6 months, however they are never too old to be desexed.

It can be performed for many reasons including:

- Preventing unwanted litters.

- Treatment of orchitis (inflammation of one or both testicles)

- To help control behavioural abnormalities such as aggression or wandering.

- Prevention of testicular cancer and prostate disease.

- Reduction of council registration fees.


Orchiectomy is the most frequently performed surgery in small animal practice and patients are generally returned home by the evening of surgery.


How does the dog only have one testicle?

All males are born with two testicles. Normally, the testes develop in the abdomen high up near the kidneys and descend into the scrotum. Here they are kept at a cooler temperature suitable for the production of healthy, motile sperm. In some situations, one or both testicles fail to drop down into the scrotum. This inherited condition is called cryptorchidism.

The word literally means, hidden testicle.

Retained testes can be unilateral or bilateral, typically only one testicle is retained.



Where is the missing testicle located?

The cryptorchid testicle may be found at any point from the kidney down through the inguinal canal (the passage through the abdominal wall into the genital region through which a testicle normally descends) to just above the scrotal sac. In most cases it will be located within the inguinal canal or in the abdomen and in some situations it can be found

in the subcutaneous tissues in the groin region, between the inguinal canal and the scrotum.


Therefore a cryptorchid testicle can be found in:


1. The abdominal cavity



2. In the inguinal canal



Does the missing testicle need to be removed?

Yes, the missing testicle needs to be removed for multiple reasons:

1. A patient with one undescended testicle can still be fertile. Removal is

necessary to prevent unwanted litters.

2. Cryptorchidism is a genetic disease so it is not recommended to breed

animals with this condition, as the father could pass it along to his offspring.

3. The retained testicle is at risk of developing neoplasia if not removed.

Testicular tissue may become cancerous and the likelihood of this occurring is much higher in undescended testicles. Early changes will easily go undetected as the internal testicle

cannot be seen or easily palpated.

4. Testicular torsion - Testicles in the scrotum are well anchored and the chance of the testicle twisting on itself is slim. Howe ever, in the abdomen, they may twist on themselves and cause obstruction to the normal blood flow. This can be painful and life threatening.

5. Hyperoestrogenism (secondary to a sertoli cell tumour) - The internal testicle may create too much female hormone. These animals will often develop prominent nipples and be attractive to male dogs. Others may produce excessive amounts of male hormone which

can lead to prostate disease and anal gland disease.

6. Behavioural issues associated with excess hormone production including excessive aggression and attraction to male dogs.



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