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2277 Views 37 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  MalteseJane
Has anyone ever had to have exploratory surgery when having your puppy neutered? I purchased my puppy last Friday and I took him to the Vet. to arrange for the neutering and he said that Bijou will have to have a more serious surgery than just a simple neutering. Has anyone else had to go through this? I guess this would have definitely disqualified him for show/stud purposes. Please help. He is due for surgery on August 18th.
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We'll probably need more information, but I am assuming you are referring to undescended testicles?
We had an Irish setter with one undescended testicle. They can actually strangulate if they aren't removed and are prone to cancer, I believe. It's a more complicated (and expensive) surgery.

Hopefully Lady M and JMM will jump in here. They will know much much more.

Here's a little more information:

Undescended testicles have an increased tendency to grow tumors over descended testicles. They may also twist on their stalks and cause life-threatening inflammation. For these reasons, neutering is recommended for dogs with undescended testicles. This procedure is more complicated than a routine neuter; the missing testicle can be under the skin along the path it should have descended to the scrotum or it may be inside the abdomen. Some exploration may be needed to find it thus there is often an incision for each testicle. The retained testicle is sterile and under-developed. If there is one descended testicle, this one will be fertile, but since retaining a testicle is a hereditary trait it is important that the male dog not be bred before he is neutered.
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Originally posted by MalteseJane@Jul 18 2005, 10:42 AM
As far as I understood at the time, undescended testicles is hereditary. I passed along the information to Alex's breeder since she used a new male to breed Alex.
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I've always heard it was genetic, too.

Cryptorchidism: Undescended Testicles
Race Foster, DVM
Marty Smith, DVM
Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc.

At birth, the testicles of a puppy are still within his abdomen. As the animal develops, the testicles slowly 'descend' into the scrotum. In mammals, sperm development does not occur correctly at the high temperatures found within the body. The testicles are therefore held outside of the abdomen and within the scrotum to provide a cooler environment. The production of testosterone is usually not influenced by temperature.
Frequently, owners notice that the puppy they just purchased only has one or possibly no testicles within the scrotum. Although different dates are listed in some of the veterinary literature, both testicles are usually within the scrotum by the time the animal is six weeks of age and they should definitely be there by the time the puppy is eight to ten weeks of age. If one or both testicles are not present at that location by twelve weeks of age, they probably never will be and the animal is said to be suffering from cryptorchidism or 'retained testicles.' This is a disorder that may be passed from generation to generation.

What are the symptoms?

These animals rarely show any abnormalities because of this condition. They have normal activity levels, growth, and behavior. Although fertility may be affected, they will usually show normal breeding behavior and frequently impregnate females, especially when one of the testicles has descended into the scrotum.

What are the risks?

Some researchers believe that dogs with cryptorchidism may have a higher incidence of other testicular diseases. Specifically, these would be cancer and torsion.

What is the management?

Cryptorchid dogs should never be allowed to breed. This is a well-documented genetic trait, passed on to future generations. In addition, because of the potential for an increased incidence of torsion or cancer within the retained testicle, it is strongly recommended that all of these individuals be neutered. The surgery to remove a retained testicle is more involved than a routine neuter. The veterinarian must literally hunt for the testicle, which may be located anywhere from the area around the kidney in the abdomen to the muscle near the groin.

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I'd probably follow my vet's recommendation on this one if he is a trusted vet, otherwise it certainly wouldn't hurt to get another opinion. Don't know about taking the breeders advice. I question the motivation of many of them, especially one who didn't tell you about his condition when you bought him. But that's just my opinion.

The only thing I'd probably be worried about as far as waiting is that he might start with some of the undesirable male traits like marking which don't always stop after neutering. And, of course, he is still fertile.
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