Cryptorchidism in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Understanding Cryptorchidism In Dogs

Cryptorchidism in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Cryptorchidism is a known male dog ailment in which one or both testicles do not descend into the scrotum. In this article, we go further exploring this condition.

What is Cryptorchidism in Dogs?

Cryptorchidism is a frequent ailment in male canines that arises when one or both testicles fail to descend into the scrotum. This condition can have serious consequences for a dog's health, including an increased risk of testicular cancer and other health issues. It is important for dog owners to understand the causes, symptoms, and potential treatments for cryptorchidism in order to ensure their pets remain healthy and happy. 

This article will discuss cryptorchidism, how it affects canines, and possible management or treatment options.


Although the precise etiology of undescended testicles in dogs is still unknown, it is thought to be the consequence of a mix of hereditary and environmental factors. It is believed that some breeds, such as Boxers, Chihuahuas, and Miniature Schnauzers, may be particularly susceptible to the illness. On rare occasions, the disease may run in families and be inherited from one generation to the next.

Hormonal imbalances during fetal development, trauma or injury to the testicles, and specific medications or therapies that obstruct the normal development of the testicles are additional potential causes of cryptorchidism in dogs. In some circumstances, a congenital anomaly or deficiency may also be the cause of the disorder.


The most obvious indicator of canine cryptorchidism is the absence of one or both testicles from the scrotum. The undescended testicle may occasionally be palpable, or feelable, in the groin or belly. A veterinarian may not be able to feel the testicle during a physical examination in other circumstances because it may be deeply embedded in the abdomen.

Unilateral cryptorchidism in canines can lead to one or more of the following conditions in addition to the absence of one or both testicles in the scrotum:

  • Behavioral changes, such as increased aggression and territorial marking

  • Inability to breed or sire offspring

  • Hiked risk of testicular cancer or other health issues

  • Development of secondary sexual characteristics, like a more feminine appearance or enlarged nipples

Clinical Diagnosis

The clinical diagnosis of cryptorchidism in dogs is typically made through a combination of physical examination, medical history, and diagnostic tests. During a physical examination, the veterinarian will palpate the scrotum and surrounding area to feel for the presence of both testicles. The veterinarian may do extra tests to find the testicles if one or both are absent.

One common diagnostic test for cryptorchidism is an ultrasound, which uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of the dog's internal organs. This can help to identify the location of the undescended testicle and determine if it is present in the abdomen or other parts of the body.

Another diagnostic test that may be used to diagnose cryptorchidism in dogs is a blood test to measure the levels of certain hormones, such as testosterone. Low levels of testosterone may indicate the presence of an undescended testicle, as the testicle is not producing enough of the hormone.

Cryptorchidism Treatment in Dogs

The treatment and management options for retained testicles in dogs are:

  • Cryptorchidism surgery in dogs (orchidectomy or castration): The most common and effective treatment for cryptorchidism in dogs is the surgical removal of the undescended testicle or testicles. This procedure involves the removal of the affected testicle or testicles to prevent the development of testicular cancer and other health issues.

  • Hormonal therapy: Hormonal therapy may occasionally be employed in an effort to encourage the undescended testicle to descend. This strategy, meanwhile, is not always effective and may not be suitable for all dogs.

  • Proper post-operative care: After the undescended testicle or testicles have been surgically removed, adequate post-operative care is crucial. This involves managing pain and keeping an eye out for infection or other issues at the site of the incision. Pain relief drugs prescribed by your vet may include Carprofen, Deramaxx, or Meloxicam.

  • Careful breeding methods: Careful breeding procedures should be followed to stop the emergence of cryptorchidism in future generations. This entails staying away from breeding canines that are known to have the disease and checking prospective breeding mates for undescended testicles.

  • Other considerations: The surgical removal of the afflicted testicle or testicles may occasionally be more difficult and need more extensive surgery, particularly if both testicles are damaged or if the undescended testicle is found deep inside the belly. In such circumstances, a veterinarian can advise exploratory surgery to find the undescended testicle and choose the most appropriate course of action. In other cases, you may consider neutering a dog with an undescended testicle.

Prevention Tips

To reduce the likelihood of canine cryptorchidism, the following preventative advice should be followed:

  • Select breeding partners carefully

  • Early spay/neuter

  • Frequent veterinary check-ups

  • Genetic testing

  • Avoid environmental toxins

By following these prevention tips, you can help reduce the risk of cryptorchidism in dogs and promote their overall reproductive health.

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