If you’re not a veterinarian or any “aspiring” veterinarian, chances are that cryptorchidism in dogs is probably not a medical condition that you’re all that familiar with.
Most of us will have a difficult time even pronouncing this term, yet alone being able to define it. This is why we wanted to take a moment and discuss exactly what “cryptorchidism” is so that if you ever have a dog that experiences this condition, you’ll have a better idea of “what” it is and “what” you can do to help your pet.
So, what is Cryptorchidism?
If you’ve never heard of it before, there’s not much in the name that lets on to what this is, so let’s get straight to it. Cryptorchidism is a medical term used to describe situations where your dog’s testicle or testicles fail to drop into the scrotum as they develop from a puppy to adulthood. And yes, of course, this is a health problem that can only happen to male dogs.
Doesn’t mean your dog doesn’t have testes (well, not necessarily); it just means he has “undescended” testes or an “undescended” teste (because yes it is possible for you dog to only have one teste fail to drop).
Where are your dog’s testicles?
Now this may “sound” like a crazy question, but if your dog’s testes haven’t fallen into the scrotum naturally, they have to be somewhere…right?
And they are…
They’re actually in the abdomen or more specifically, the inguinal canal. This is a canal where the testes normally naturally fall from as your dog develops from a puppy to an adult dog. Testicular descent is a natural part of a dog’s puppy to adult dog transition, so if it doesn’t happen, then there’s going to be a problem.
Are there symptoms for cryptorchidism in dogs?
The major symptom is the absence of a testicle or testicles. If only one is retained, then you’ll notice one normal-sized testicle and one absent. Other symptoms could be:
- Severe abdominal pain at any time – this is caused by spermatic cord torsion which could happen to a dog with cryptorchidism. This could happen near the inguinal ring.
Does the descended testicle still work?
This is called unilateral cryptorchidism. And whether it still works, well, that’s a tricky question, because the answer could be “yes” or “no”. The most likely scenario is that the descended testicle will still make testosterone but not sperm.
Long-term problems with cryptorchidism
The main problem with cryptorchidism is that it can cause other problems down the road, the main one being testicular cancer also known as testicular neoplasia. This is much more common in dogs with cryptorchidism than those without. Dogs with a cryptorchid testicle are more at risk for sertoli cell tumors and seminomas, which is why if you know that your dog suffered from this condition as a puppy, you want to be on the look out for any “signs” or “symptoms” of more serious medical conditions later in life.
Treatment of cryptorchidism
Now if your dog has one or both undescended testicles, then there are some treatment options. These options are more for preventing further problems as mentioned, but that doesn’t mean you should skip them and just hope for the best! Your dog deserves treatment.
One option that your veterinarian may…
Recommend is surgery. Neutering your dog and removing the testicle from the abdominal cavity is definitely an option. You can do this when the dog is still a puppy; in fact, that’s when you should do it! Don’t wait to treat this condition. In cases like these, you’ll not only be “curing” your dogs cryptorchidism, you’ll also be behaving like a responsible pet owner by neutering your animal (assuming to remove both testes).
The surgery for undescended testes in dogs is really a very normal procedure so you shouldn’t worry too much; your dog will likely be fine. Now if your dog has complications like spermatogenic dysfunction or low plasma testosterone levels, your veterinarian may recommend low-dose human chorionic gonadotropin therapy. This isn’t all that common as the studies of this are all relatively new, but it could be a possibility (though likely very pricey!).
Costs of Treatment
This isn’t the most expensive condition that could happen to your dog; and if you were planning on neutering your dog anyway (which we really hope you were!), it’s not going to be all that much more; in some cases, the vet may only charge $100 or $200 more. However, it’s still more money than you anticipated.
Which reminds us…
It’s important to understand that we here at IndulgeYourPet are not doctors, veterinarians or medical professionals what so ever. All we are is a bunch of folks who just happen to be extremely passionate about animals and only want what’s best for them.
This is why…
We always like to remind folks that if you feel that your dog is suffering from cryptorchidism or any medical condition for that matter, stop reading this article and go visit your veterinarian because only he or she should be the one “diagnosing” your animal or making any “recommendations” about treatment.
And while we’re…
On the topic of “veterinarians” we’d also like to take a moment and suggest that while you’re doing your research on cryptorchidism, why don’t you take a moment or two and also read up on what pet insurance options that you may have.
Chances are if you’re reading this article, you’re doing so because you “think” your puppy may have an issue with his testes. And the good news is that even if he does, chances are it will be an easy fix and a “relatively” inexpensive fix. But this may not always be the case the “next” time you find it necessary to have your dog “checked out” by your local veterinarian.
And wouldn’t it be…
Nice to know that if you do need to have your dog “checked out” in the future that he has an insurance policy in place that could help out with any “future” medical bills that lying in wait!
We think so…
Which is why we decided to write our Best Pet Insurance Companies article so that our readers would have one spot where they could learn all about what these “types” of policies will and won’t cover as well as what they “might” cost should you decide that purchasing a pet insurance policy might be right for you.