Cryptorchidism is the medical term for un-descended testicles in male animals. It is a pretty common complication that occurs in a variety of species, including canines. If one or both of your furry friend’s testicles have not descended into his scrotum, you should make arrangements to have him neutered.
Cryptorchid animals should never be bred, which is one reason why neutering is important for dogs who are afflicted with this condition. Another reason why neutering is important for cryptorchid dogs: it can help to prevent health issues, as well as behavior problems that often occur in male animals that are let unneutered.
The Benefits of Neutering Cryptorchid Dogs
Neutering a cryptorchid dog offers a variety of benefits. This condition is a genetic trait, and many canines whose testicles have not descended are fertile (those who only have one un-descended testicle). Should your pup have this condition and he breeds, there is a good chance that the trait will be passed onto his male offspring.
Another – and even more important – benefit of neutering cryptorchid animals is that it can help to prevent serious illnesses. When the testicles fail to descend, there is an increase chance that they can develop malignant tumors, so neutering your pet can potentially prevent cancer. Additionally, there is a risk of torsion, a condition that can cause severe pain and serious and potentially life-threatening condition. Torsion occurs when the cord that is connected to the un-descended testicle twists and the blood supply is severely reduced or completely eliminated.
Lastly, neutering all male dogs – cryptorchid and non-cryptorchid – has been proven to reduce undesirable behaviors. For example, male dogs that are not neutered tend to be more aggressive and territorial than their neutered counterparts.
Neutering Your Dog
Typically, the testicles will descend by the time a puppy is 2 months of age; however, it may take longer for some breeds. If, by the time your pup is 6 months old and one or both of his testicles has not descended, the chances of them descending are very unlikely. Your veterinarian will perform a thorough evaluation of your pet and make recommendations, which will likely include neutering. Dogs can be safely neutered by the time they are 6 months old, so given the benefits of this procedure for cryptorchid pets, you should strongly consider it.
Your vet will offer you detailed pre-surgical and post-surgical instructions. For example, you may be asked to restrict dog food and water after midnight the day before the procedure, so make sure you lift up your pet’s dog bowl. After surgery, you will need to keep a close eye on your pet’s incision site. If you notice any signs of infection, contact your vet right away. To minimize pain and reduce the risk of injuring the area, set your pet up in a quite area; for example, you can place a dog crate mate or a dog bed inside his dog crate, or simply place an orthopedic dog bed in a location that is removed from other pets. Offer your pet interactive dog toys, puzzle toys for dogs, dental chews, and chew toys for dogs while he is recovering; doing so will distract his attention from the incision. Also, make sure you feed your pet a premium quality dry dog food or wet dog food from one of the highly reputable dog food brands (which you should be doing regularly anyway). And of course, don’t forget to give you pet plenty of affection while he recovers; but don’t encourage active behavior or touch the incision site.
Image Source: DogTime.com