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What is Cryptorchid Neuter?

Cryptorchidism is a condition in which the testicles of a dog fail to properly descend from the abdomen into the scrotum. This can happen to one or both of the testicles, however, three out of four times it happens to only one. The right testicle is retained more often than the left. Sometimes the affected testicle remains deep within the abdominal cavity while in others, it lays just beneath the skin.

Cryptorchidism can generally be diagnosed if one or both of the testicles have not descended to the scrotum by the time the dog is six months of age. This can usually be seen by looking at the scrotal area. Pain only results from this issue if further complications have already developed. Even before these problems exist, it is often recommended to remove the undescended testicle(s) to safeguard the dog. Most veterinarians are able to perform this procedure, as it is a variation on a standard neuter.

Cryptorchid Neuter Procedure in Dogs

To confirm a diagnosis of cryptorchidism, an ultrasound can be used to locate both testes in the dog. Once they have both been found, a plan can be made to surgically excise them. Full blood work will need to be run to determine whether the dog will withstand the use of general anesthesia or not. Before the operation is actually performed, the dog will need to fast for several hours.

To begin the procedure, a sedative will be administered to the dog. An intravenous catheter will be placed and general anesthesia can be given. A ventilator will likely be used to facilitate breathing. The dog's heart will need to be monitored using an EKG. If only one testicle is being removed, one incision can be made. If both testicles are being removed but are located in the inguinal canal, two incisions will be needed. If both testicles are retained in the abdomen, only one incision is necessary. After the testicles have been carefully cut out using a scalpel, the incision(s) may be closed using sutures.

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Efficacy of Cryptorchid Neuter in Dogs

The surgical removal of the testicles is a permanent procedure. This effectively reduces all risk of testicular cancer, as the parts in question are no longer in the dog. If the neuter is performed early in the dog's life, the prognosis for the animal is excellent. Even in older dogs, those who undergo the surgery tend to fare better than those who don't. A cryptorchid neuter can be performed laparoscopically, which reduces both pain and recovery time. It is surgically possible to bring the testicle down into the scrotum instead of excising it, however this increases the likelihood​ of cancer development by up to 13 times.

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Cryptorchid Neuter Recovery in Dogs

The dog should be closely monitored as it awakens from the anesthesia. Its temperature will also need to be watched both during and after the operation. Pain medication can be given as soon as the animal regains consciousness. Antibiotics are generally only prescribed if infection begins to develop in the surgical wound. 

Upon discharge, all stimulation and activities should be decreased for the duration of the healing period. Food portions may be slowly increased until regular amounts are being given. The dog should begin having regular bowel movements one or two days after surgery. To keep the incision clean, an Elizabethan collar can be used to prevent the animal from licking the area. A follow-up appointment is needed two weeks after the operation. If the dog has been diagnosed with cancer, a treatment plan may be created at this time.

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Cost of Cryptorchid Neuter in Dogs

Depending on the veterinarian that is used, some only charge an additional $100 onto the cost of a regular neuter. If diagnostic imaging is needed, or if the testicles are deep in the abdomen, the price tends to be higher. A cryptorchid neuter may cost up to $800 in large breeds or complicated scenarios.

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Dog Cryptorchid Neuter Considerations

As with all neuter surgeries, using general anesthesia exposes the dog to serious risks. The vast majority of dogs do not experience complications related to sedation. While cryptorchid neuters are not often needed, the procedure to excise the testicles is very similar to a regular neuter. The risk of cancer or cord torsion is greatly reduced by this surgery. Care should be taken to ensure the prostate is not accidentally removed along with the testicles. In some cases, damage is done to the ureters, leading to more health issues. Surgical approach through the groin is thought to be the safest method.

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Cryptorchid Neuter Prevention in Dogs

Cryptorchidism is generally an inherited problem. Purebred​ dogs are more often affected than mixed breeds. Toy sized breeds experience this condition more than larger sized of dogs. Miniature Poodles, Chihuahuas, Pomeranians and Yorkshire Terriers all are susceptible breeds. 

If both testicles are retained, the dog is unlikely to be fertile, however of one has descended, it is possible for the dog to procreate. This should be prevented to stop the defective gene from passing to other dogs. When obtaining a dog, always enquire about the family's​ health history. If the dog is a rescue animal, a simple blood test can be run to determine if it has been neutered or if the testicles never dropped to the scrotum. 

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Cryptorchid Neuter Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Australian Shepherd border collie

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Eleven Years

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Unknown severity

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Undescended Testicle

We never realized he had a testicle that didn’t drop. Recently it is getting bigger inside him. Like really big. I’ve been told he is too old for the surgery. He also has arthritis in the back legs. Doesn’t seem to bother him other than him licking it but I’m afraid of it getting bigger or exploding or something!

Sept. 28, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay in response, there is a delay in receiving these emails sometimes. If this is affecting his life and you are concerned, I might get a second opinion on the surgery, to see if another veterinarian may feel that the surgery is possible. It won't rupture, but it will continue to grow and will make it so that he does not feel good.

Oct. 7, 2020

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Siberian Husky

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Nine Months

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

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N/A

How much does it cost to have this dogs testicles released

Sept. 26, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay in answering, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. I'm not sure what you mean by 'released'? The cost of surgery can vary by location, and the best thing to do would be to have them seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get treatment if needed.

Oct. 17, 2020

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Siberian Husky

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Two Years

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Cryptorchidism

Dog has one retained testicle, which I understand increases risks for torsion and cancer. However, the dog has severe anxiety and is fear aggressive (previously came from an abusive environment). He has medication to assist with stress inducing events (vet visits, fireworks, strangers, ect). Concerned that by getting him neutered it will worsen the anxiety/fear aggression. Routine vet visits result in him becoming “snippy/mouthy” for a couple of days. He does not exhibit typical “male behaviors” (marking/humping/trying to get out to roam). Training to correct the anxiety has been slow going.

Aug. 9, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. It is recommended to neuter a dog with cryptorchidism. Dogs are typically sedated before surgery, and they are under anesthesia for the surgery. While he may be more stressed in the short term, the long term benefits are better. I hope that all goes well for him.

Aug. 10, 2020

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Charlie

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French Bulldog

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1 Year

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Mild severity

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1 found helpful

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Urine Leakage

My dog has - absent Left kidney - moderate right renal degeneration - emphysematous cystitis - intraabdominal cryptorchid Which were all diagnosed via ultrasound couple months ago. After being on antibiotics for 6 months, the latest urine culture test came back negative and blood tests were normal. Urine leakage has been managed and an active lean dog otherwise. Next step is neutering in hopes of preventing recurring UTIs. Can the surgery be done with laser and/or laproscopically for the intraabdominal cryptorchid? What sorts of complications should we be expecting?

April 2, 2018

Charlie's Owner


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1 Recommendations

The problem with cryptorchid neutering is that the testicles are small and not where they are supposed to be and may require your Veterinarian to do some ‘digging’ to get to them; normal surgery is sufficient but may leave Charlie sore afterwards for a week or two due to the nature of the surgery, thankfully their location was determined by ultrasound so your Veterinarian wouldn’t be flying blind. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

April 2, 2018

how long and how many inscsuions should there be? my chocalte lab just got the surgery and i was just wondering pleases if anyone can tell me how long it should be

May 23, 2018

Zachary K. J.

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Otis

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Jack Russell Terrier

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2 Years

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Fair severity

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Itchy

My 2 year old jack russell terrier was neutered about 9 days ago for cryptorchidism. Overall it seems as though his sugery was fairly standard and his incisions were small. The first day he was groggy but I have been through this before with other male dogs so I knew what to expect. However, it has been over a week and he is constantly trying to lick himself. His scrotum is really red, swollen and very itchy. His behavior is very sporadic and jerky. He just seems miserable.

Feb. 26, 2018

Otis' Owner

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2 Recommendations

A cryptorchid neuter is more ‘traumatic’ than a regular neuter because in many cases the Veterinarian needs to find the retained testicle(s) which may require a bit of digging (for use of a better word) and this most likely will result in more pain and discomfort than a regular neuter, a cone to prevent Otis from licking his scrotum should have been given. Place a cone on him and bathe the area with a dilute antiseptic to remove any saliva since this may cause further irritation. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Feb. 26, 2018

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Toby

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Maltipoo

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7 Months

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Undecended Testicle

We noticed my maltipoo only had one testicle that dropped at 2 1/2 months. He is now a little over 7 months and still the same. My previous vet showed me how to feel for it and it feels to me like its in his inguinal canal. I looked at pictures of dogs showing what it would look like and where if it was in the inguinal canal, and its exactly like my puppy. I took him to a new vet and my puppy was very anxious so it was hard for the vet to feel for it very well. Without doing an ultrasound, he just assumed it was in his abdomen, which will cost me more for the surgery. I felt my puppy again this evening and felt it in the same place. Not everytime I can feel it s o I had a friend to check it also. They felt what I did. When I read reviews on this vet clinic, some said they were charging them for things not needed. So now I'm concerned. I only get a disability check and had to defer my car payment just to rake up almost $500 to get this done. What should I do.

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Max

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Boston Terrier

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8 Weeks

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Fair severity

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Fair severity

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My 8 week old Boston Terrier was just diagnosed with Cryptorchid at his first deworming/shots appointment. The vet said he couldn't feel either testicle. We are getting him neutered at 6 months old regardless of the outcome, but is it possible that they will drop between now and then?

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Ma

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Siberian Husky

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1 Year

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Undescended Testicle

My one year old Siberian Husky, Max,had a surgery to remove his good and the undescended ones yesterday. They had a sonography done to locate the undescended one and it was below the kidney. So, we knew it would be a more involved procedure. Thankfully, Max walked out of the hospital with only a half an hour of complaints on the way home. He had no signs of pain before sleeping, and according to the doctor's instructions had only a light meal before bed. On this second day, thankfully, he is his usual self; and, it is quite a challenge to keep a Husky calm. So, if you have an energetic dog, plan on spend a good amount on toys and treats to keep his activity to a minimum.

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Simba

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Pomeranian

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2 Years

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Fair severity

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Agression

My Pomeranian will be turning 3 this year. He has on testicale decended, but the other you can feel by his leg area. I want to get him neutered as soon as I get the money for it. I just had a question about after the surgery. Since now he is very aggressive towards people and protective with my fiancé and I. Will that change after his neuter or will it continue? Also he does urinate in the house a lot even when you try to teach him to go outside, he still refuses to listen. Will that also continue? One last thing, with his age and he has grown use to this behavior, I am a afraid he will still be like this after the surgery.

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Bohdi

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Working Cocker Spaniel

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10 Months

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Pain

My lovely Bohdi received cryptorchid neuter surgery at 8 months old. Unfortunately, the vet could not find his undescended testicle and therefore he was in surgery for a long time. His "good" testicle was removed and we will be carrying out further tests in the near future to see if he has a cryptorchid at all or if it never developed. His initial recovery went very well considering the scale of the op; he was eating, drinking, going to the toilet normally within a week and we have kept his activity to an absolute minimum. He developed a seroma within a few weeks and one or two stitches rejected themselves from the surface but other than that he's been okay, we've been to the vets a number of times to make sure and are told "to keep an eye on him". 2-3 months on, the poor little guy quite often still yells if he does a sudden movement (like turns quickly or tries to run), he seems to have developed an occasional twitch in one of his legs where he suddenly kicks and he also cries every now and then when he's going to the toilet, and I have noticed tiny specks of blood in his stool. We have a vet appointment this week but pretty sure we're going to be told to "keep an eye on him" again. Are these symptoms normal so long after the operation and should we be worried!

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