Cryptorchidism can happen in most any species but can uncommonly affect our cats and dogs. Only about 1.2% of dogs will suffer from cryptorchidism. In most cases, both testes will have dropped by two months of age, but sometimes can take up to five months to completely descend. The decent starts while they are still developing in the uterus where the testicle starts by the kidney and is then drawn down into the scrotum overtime through the inguinal canal by a piece of tissue called the gubernaculum. Sometimes they get stuck during transit in the abdomen itself, or in the inguinal ring or canal.
The retained testis can be a problem in itself for a couple reasons, and should be surgically removed. One reason is that the retained testicle is far more likely to develop cancer than the descended one. They stay smaller (like in this photo), don’t develop properly and never become functional as the temperature inside the body is too high. Another concern is that cryptorchidism likely has a genetic component to it, and therefore these animals should be castrated to prevent placing any further generations at risk.
Your veterinarian will check young boy puppies when they come in for their vaccinations and advise you to monitor the progress over a period of time if they have any concerns. Feel free to call us here at Cambridge Vets to book an appointment if you have any concerns.