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Sage's testicles weren't descended...


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#1 AliciaB

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 09:01 PM

Is this common? Would his testicals have ever descended? It was weird when the vet first told me this. And he's chewed his stitches out and now has staples. :D Luckily, things are good with Fae girl when she was spayed, though. :rolleyes:
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#2 Sue R

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 09:30 PM

My Bute is a cryptorchid (one up, one down) and so his neuter was pricier than a standard one. It happens, I believe it's genetic, and I hope he heals quickly and well.

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#3 Debbie Meier

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 10:12 PM

I had given up on JJ and had planned on having him neutered accepting that we had a cryptorchid, last week he jumped up on my lap rolled over and there they were! It only took 10 months for the second one to decend. I think he had a floater, there were times I thought there were two, then other days were there seemed to be none, then one, really weird.

BTW, thought I better check again, still two, though one sorta disappeared for a moment when I checked then came back down. What's up with that, anyone know?

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#4 Journey

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 10:21 PM

Sue's right, it's believed to be genetic. Would they have dropped? Who knows. How old is he though. I've seen some take as long as 15 months for the 2nd one to drop. I don't think I know any males that neither descended though.

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#5 juliepoudrier

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 10:39 PM

I don't think I know any males that neither descended though.

I have one, and know of others. It is genetic and can be carried by either the sire's or the dam's line. Normal dog testicles descend at a pretty young age, but I have been told that border collies can be slow to descend. Whether that's just several folks' observations or there's some statistical truth to the idea, I can't say.

Cryptorchid neuters cost more because the vet has to go into the body cavity, just as with a spay, to look for the undescended testicle(s). It's a more involved and riskier surgery. In the case of my cryptorchid, the vet had to make four incisions before he found one of the hidden testicles. They can sometimes be in odd places.

Anyway, it's possible that if you had waited till Sage was older the testicles would have descended, but then maybe not. No way to tell.

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#6 Lizmo

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 10:47 PM

Blaze's second testicle didn't drop till around 6 months old. I was nervous when the vet told me that it hadn't descended, because it would require a more risky surgery.

My vet was pushing for a nueter to be done asap, but I wanted to wait. I'm glad I did because it did come down later.

#7 juliepoudrier

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 07:54 AM

The reason that vets push for neutering of dogs with undescended testicles is if the dog develops testicular cancer, it's difficult to detect. I guess there may also be some belief that there's a greater risk of cancer for dogs with undescended testicles, but I don't know if there's any factual basis for that belief. However, I don't think early neutering of cryptorchids is ever necessary.

I waited until my dog was two years old before having him neutered. I wanted him to grow as fully as possible and develop his male characteristics. Chances are extremely slim that a dog that young would develop testicular cancer, and once the testicles are removed, testicular cancer isn't really a concern. I see no harm in waiting to neuter any male dog, even those with undescended testicles (caveat: this applies to situations where the owner is responsible and will prevent the intact male from breeding females in the meantime).

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#8 AliciaB

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 09:30 PM

Yeah, everything with Sage turned out fine. It worried me, though. I was just wondering how common it was. He had to have two incisions. He was/is over 6 months, but not too much over. Poor boy.
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#9 Liz P

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 02:58 PM

Dogs with a retained testicle are 14 times as likely to develop testicular cancer. They also tend to develop it much younger (average age 2 yrs old vs 6 yrs old).

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#10 juliepoudrier

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 07:58 PM

Interesting. All the reading I did, and discussions with my vet, indicated differently.

J.

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#11 SoloRiver

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 08:12 PM

What do they think is the cause of the higher rates of testicular cancer?
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#12 Lenajo

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 04:11 PM

same as Julie. In fact my vet strongly encouraged I leave my boy with the problem alone until he was at least 3 years old because the usefullness of his hormones in development far exceeded any risk of cancer.

I've also known at least a dozen dogs with one or both that never descended, and were never neutered, that have lived and worked to a ripe old age.

I suppose some dog, somewhere, might have a problem. 14 times what btw? What is the percentage of normal dogs that are unneutered that actually get testicular cancer anyway?

Interesting. All the reading I did, and discussions with my vet, indicated differently.

J.



#13 Lizmo

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 04:54 PM

Dogs with a retained testicle are 14 times as likely to develop testicular cancer. They also tend to develop it much younger (average age 2 yrs old vs 6 yrs old).


This is what my vet told me.

Those that said they were recommend to do differently, do you have any links of information about it? I'm interested!

#14 juliepoudrier

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 05:03 PM

Jennifer,
Most links I could find are pretty generic and just recommend neutering for cryptorchid dogs but don't state the best age to do so or why. There are probably some veterinary journals out there that have the information we're requesting, but not being subscribers, we can't access that information.

I actually discussed with two of the vets in the practice I use and both told me there was no harm in waiting until the dog was 2 to have him neutered. I also consulted with a friend of mine who's a vet, and she said basically the same thing. There was not even a mere suggestion that he might actually *get* testicular cancer if I waited till he was 2. Now perhaps the vets I use are completely out of touch with the latest research/data, but I have no way of knowing that. All I could glean from what I could find online seemed to indicate that the greatest issue with retained testicles and testicular cancer was that in general it is next to impossible to *detect* testicular cancer in a dog with a retained testicle(s)--it's not where you can feel it after all.

So to me the question becomes, if indeed dogs with retained testicles are more likely to develop testicular cancer by the age of 2, but they are neutered at 2, is testicular cancer so invasive that it would likely already have metastasized? What if the dog develops cancer at 2 and is neutered at 3 like Wendy described? And of course the 14x figure is more relevant/meaningful if we know the testicular cancer rate among all intact dogs. It seems to me then that metastasis becomes the real question, because if a cancer is confined to the testicles and they are removed, then clearly the dog can't have testicular cancer (unless it's already spread to other organs or into the bloodstream before neutering).

Liz is a vet student and so presumably has access to up-to-date medical information and sources. Hopefully she'll be able to provide the answers to some of these questions.

J.

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#15 Lenajo

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 05:23 PM

I reviewed several scholarly articles and so far...

nobody has a consistant percentage...

most of the research was old (over 10 years - which may be ok in vet med, but I can't even cite general research that old in human med papers with special circumstances if I want it to be accepted)....

all of the research was based on the testicular cancer rate of dogs that served at Vietnam. A situation of which we know now put both soldier species at risk to testicular and prostate cancer due to exposure to herbicides (in particular "Agent Orange").

I'm sure Liz will have some other articles and perhaps more current numbers.

In regards to percentages, I am cautious because for years in medicine for both species (dog and human) we have heard risk factors such as 20x, 10x, etc by nobody thought to ask the X part.

If the X part (the percentage of the disease in a healthy population) is 0.05 then 14 X is .7

.7 is not signficant risk. But if X were say 10, then it would be 140

Big difference


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