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
toy breeds. 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 be seen they are still retained up in the abdomen. Some can be felt by palpation
of the area. If only one testicle is descended it is called unilateral cryptorchidism.
This is the most common problem with undescended
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. 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. In some
cases it can take a breeding to bring the testicle down but this is rare in my experience. It is also a double edged sword
as this problem of retained testicles is a genetic defect and can be passed on the progeny.
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. I have been told that this has to be done as early
as 10 weeks. However, in most cases at that young in small breeds, you cant even know there is an issue yet as the testicles
have not dropped. Should you use this method though, 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. In small breed I would wait not longer than 7-9 months. Should you wait longer you run the risk of 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. This statement of course
is IF you have a show quality/breeding quality dog, and intend to breed to better the breed. I do not condone breeding to
make money, to show your kids the miracle of birth, or just because "fluffy" is cute and you want to pass that on.
So for small breed you
may want to 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