Features September 2016 Issue

Retained Testicles Can Be Dangerous for Dogs

Before he was re-neutered, Saber was unusually driven by his nose while on walks and while working. Though he had only one hidden testicle, he displayed behaviors typical of normal, intact males, such as urine licking and teeth chattering. His obsession made it difficult to work away from home, where novel dog smells were likely.

Retained Testicles Can Be Dangerous for Dogs

Cryptorchidism (undescended testicles) can cause serious health and behavior problems if not detected and treated.

How does it happen that testicular descent fails to occur in some cases? As the canine fetus develops, the testicles are formed in the abdomen, near the kidneys. Usually, as the puppy grows initially, in utero, and then, after his birth his testicles are gradually pulled from the abdomen, through the inguinal canal (a passageway through the abdominal wall), and into the scrotum by the gubernaculum, a ligamentous cord connecting the testes to the scrotum.

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