First off cryptorchidism or retained testicles as it is commonly
called is where the gonads or testicles remain up in the abdomen of the dog and do not descend properly.
This is a common occurrence in the very tiny or teacup poodles.
I am unsure of the reason why this happens in the tiny. I may have to do with improper growth of the sperm cord
that is attached to the testicle. Meaning that the cord is too short to allow the testicle to descend properly.
You can have a total lack of testicles called anorchids
which is truly very rare. Most often when no testicles can bee seen they are still retained up in the abdomen.
Some can be felt by palpation of the area. If only one testicle is condescended it is called unilateral cryptorchidism.
This is the most common problem with undescended testicles that happens.
There has also been some talk of correlation
between liver shunts and cases of retained testicles. I have been unable to find the article on the studies that they
are currently conducting on this theory.
I have found that there are many vets out
there that once they find out a dog has cryptorchidism they are all hot and heavy to immediately neuter the dog. As
a breeder I am firmly against this! It is impossible at a young age such as 4 months and under to even know if their
is a problem yet. A male dog is really not sexually mature until 7-9 months old. Now this can very on the individual
dog and the size of the dog.
My vet recommends waiting until 7-9 months
before worrying about neutering the dog. Sometimes the testicles may take a little longer to come down. Sometimes
it can even take one breeding before the testicle descends. Now this can be a double edged sword as this problem of
retained testicles (if they don't drop either by themselves or by a breeding) can be a genetic defect and passed on from father
to son. And you just bred a dog that carries the problem.
There is also a new treatment out there with
steroids such as HCG that is said to bring the testicle down. This treatment needs to be done early according to vets.
But again here you have the double edged sword. If that testicle was not going to drop then here again you just bred
a dog with a genetic defect.
Personally I believe it is very important
if a dog is not going to be bred be spayed or neutered. And a retained testicle can cause tumors and behavioral problems.
But by waiting till 7-9 months you are not putting your dog in any danger. And who knows the testicle may drop in that
time and save you the trouble.
I guess what I am saying is not to jump into
neutering if you are planing to breed you dog just because your vet says that the puppy may have a retained testicle and is
hot and heavy to neuter. Give it a little time. Then have the dog reevaluated by your vet before neutering.
But please again if your dog is just a pet spay or neuter them! Breeding isn't a responsibility to take lightly!
Another note: Please take into consideration
that when feeling for two testicles, young un-bred males can "suck up" one testicle when scared or frightened by the person
feeling for the testicle. This can often happen when a vet checks for testicles causing them to believe your dog
has an retained testicle. Going to the vet can be strange and frightening to your dog. I recommend checking
often and getting the dog use to this so you can monitor the progress of the development of the testicles and be able to monitor
for tumors and such. Yeah I know it sounds gross but it is something that needs to be done frequently to maintain a
healthy intact male dog.