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DESSORMEAU POODLES

CRYPTORCHIDISM (RETAINED TESTICLES)

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NOTE: ARTICLE WRITTEN BY KEISHA OF ARPEGGIO POODLES
 
I often get phone calls of people that have acquired poodles and they are having questions about cryptorchidism or retained testicles.  I have decided to put this page on my website to hopefully help some more people out there that may have questions on this subject.   This pretty much is confined to small dogs.  Usually large breeds will have testicles down around 8-12 weeks.  Usually by the time a large breed puppy is 4 months old and you dont see both testicles you can pretty much be assured that it will not drop.  The bigger the dog the earlier you will see the testicles and know they are there.
REMEMBER: I am not a vet.  I am only a breeder.  Although I have talked to my vet extensively on the subject.  Here is my views and opinions on this subject.
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.

It has been brought to my attention that I have not talked about the female side of this problem.  I have had several people tell me that it is the females that carry this problem to their offspring. I believe that if a female born into a litter where all the males in this litter have undescended testicles could and probably does carry this problem on to their offspring.  But once again if you go back a generation this is probably something that could have been seen (meaning that a male had to manifest with one or no testicles somewhere in the line, in my opinion) in that females sire or in the dams sire.
I have read a lot of information on this problem and most everything you read still agrees that it is the males that carry the gene for retained testicles.
The reason I believe that a male carries this trait is when a male with one testicle was test bred to 3 different females (none of the females came from males with retained testicles or came from lines that have been noted to have the problem), all the males either had one testicle or no testicles upon maturity.
 
Remember these are just mostly my thoughts on what I have read and researched on this problem and what I have been told by numerous vets.
 
NOTE: ARTICLE WRITTEN BY KEISHA OF ARPEGGIO POODLES

Me (Betty) with one of my red girls (Dixie)
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This site designed and maintained by Keisha of Arpeggio Poodles.
 
Most of the information on my site is from my own views, opinions, or research that I have done.  Where appropriate I have sited my sources and links to their sites.  Do not take my opinions as that of a licensed vet.   Any person  that relies solely on my information does so at their own risk.