There comes a time in every animals life where a decision is made for them which will impact the rest of their lives. Its done for their health and well being with no malicious intent or anything but the best interests of the animal in mind. The procedure Im referring to, is the spaying and neutering of an animal. It happens to dogs and cats alike and its a vital part of having a pet, both from a behavioral and a health perspective.
As common a procedure as this is, every now and then, an atypical case is brought into the PPAC regarding just this matter. Last week for instance, a year and a half, 140 lb. Newfoundland pooch came into the PPAC. The mom of said dog had apparently checked with the breeder of her massive pooch to see when an appropriate time would be to neuter him and he said the best time would be right around this age. So in she brought him.
Dr. S. went to examine the pooch only to find that the dogs testes were no where in sight. Though fairly rare, Dr. S. had seen cases like this before where the testicles never dropped (something that happens when males hit puberty). Now, just because they were out of sight doesnt mean that they could be left alone. In fact, it would have been not a good idea to leave them because retained testicles have a high incidence of turning into cancerous tumors. They can also produce a lot of estrogen—something thats not good for a male dog. Furthermore, any hope the owner may have had of breeding her dog was quashed when it became apparent that the testes hadnt descended—this condition tends to be an inherited quality so the dogs offspring would likely develop in the same way.
For the sake of the dogs health, the owner agreed to a surgical procedure to go in and remove said testes. Dr S. went in search of them, located them under the dogs bladder, and removed them before they had the potential to cause the dog any trouble.
The neutered dog is now healthy and on the mend. Bottom line is, even retained testes need to be removed to keep your pooch healthy. And just because you cant see them doesnt mean theyre not there.
Til next time,