First off cryptorchidism or retained testicles
as it is commonly called is where the gonads or testicles remain up in the abdomen of the dog and do not descend properly.
This is a common occurrence in the very tiny
or teacup poodles. I am unsure of the reason why this happens in the tiny. I may have to do with improper
growth of the sperm cord that is attached to the testicle. Meaning that the cord is too short to allow the testicle
to descend properly.
You can have a total lack of testicles
called anorchids which is truly very rare. Most often when no testicles can bee seen they are still
retained up in the abdomen. Some can be felt by palpation of the area. If only one testicle is condescended
it is called unilateral cryptorchidism. This is the most common problem with undescended testicles that happens.
There has also been some
talk of correlation between liver shunts and cases of retained testicles. I have been unable to find the article on
the studies that they are currently conducting on this theory.
I have found that there
are many vets out there that once they find out a dog has cryptorchidism they are all hot and heavy to immediately neuter
the dog. As a breeder I am firmly against this! It is impossible at a young age such as 4 months and under to
even know if their is a problem yet. A male dog is really not sexually mature until 7-9 months old. Now this can
very on the individual dog and the size of the dog.
My vet recommends waiting
until 7-9 months before worrying about neutering the dog. Sometimes the testicles may take a little longer to come down.
Sometimes it can even take one breeding before the testicle descends. Now this can be a double edged sword as this problem
of retained testicles (if they don't drop either by themselves or by a breeding) can be a genetic defect and passed on from
father to son. And you just bred a dog that carries the problem.
There is also a new treatment
out there with steroids such as HCG that is said to bring the testicle down. This treatment needs to be done early according
to vets. But again here you have the double edged sword. If that testicle was not going to drop then here again
you just bred a dog with a genetic defect.
Personally I believe it
is very important if a dog is not going to be bred be spayed or neutered. And a retained testicle can cause tumors and
behavioral problems. But by waiting till 7-9 months you are not putting your dog in any danger. And who knows
the testicle may drop in that time and save you the trouble.
I guess what I am saying
is not to jump into neutering if you are planing to breed you dog just because your vet says that the puppy may have a retained
testicle and is hot and heavy to neuter. Give it a little time. Then have the dog reevaluated by your vet before
neutering. But please again if your dog is just a pet spay or neuter them! Breeding isn't a responsibility
to take lightly!
Another note: Please
take into consideration that when feeling for two testicles, young un-bred males can "suck up" one testicle when scared or
frightened by the person feeling for the testicle. This can often happen when a vet checks for testicles causing
them to believe your dog has an retained testicle. Going to the vet can be strange and frightening to your dog. I
recommend checking often and getting the dog use to this so you can monitor the progress of the development of the testicles
and be able to monitor for tumors and such. Yeah I know it sounds gross but it is something that needs to be done frequently
to maintain a healthy intact male dog.