Cryptorchidism in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Cryptorchidism in dogs is a genetic disease that is visually detected only in males and occurs due to an abnormality of embryonic development: in a puppy, one or both testicles do not descend from the retroperitoneal space into the scrotum.

The article will tell you how to detect a deviation in the development of a pet in a timely manner and take effective measures to restore health.


The reason for the birth of puppies with congenital cryptorchidism are:

  • vitamin A and B9 deficiency in the diet of a pregnant female;
  • unfavorable combination of genomes of the puppy’s parents;
  • infectious inflammatory processes in the dog that block the natural movement of the testis to the scrotum;
  • small puppy weight;
  • hormonal failure.

Purebred males are more susceptible to cryptorchidism than mongrel dogs. Often this disease occurs in dogs of small breeds or short-faced. Especially in the event of adverse circumstances, breeds are at risk:

  • the toy poodle;
  • Spitz;
  • Yorkshire Terrier;
  • miniature Dachshund;
  • the Cairn Terrier;
  • Chihuahua;
  • Maltese;
  • boxer;
  • Pekingese;
  • English bulldog.

It is important for breeders to work with any breed: carefully monitor the offspring and timely reject parents or puppies from mating not only with cryptorchid, but also with deviations in the device of teeth, in alarming behavior, with limb defects and other anomalies. Some breeders recommend that a puppy with a congenital cryptorchid should be removed from breeding and littermates.

The main symptoms

The main symptom is the absence of testicles in the scrotum. When a puppy is born, the testes are located inside the belly. In 10-12 days, they should descend into the scrotum. During this period, they are difficult to feel, but by the age of 6-10 weeks, the testes are already easily distinguished in the scrotum.

It is possible that in individual cases, the lowering of the testicles occurs before the age of six months.

If by this time there is one testicle in the scrotum of the puppy, then this is a one-sided cryptorchid, if the testes have not descended at all, then this is a two-sided cryptorchid. In any case, it is necessary to consult a veterinary clinic, and the further choice of treatment is left to the owner of the animal.


To diagnose the disease in a puppy, the veterinarian conducts a visual examination with careful palpation of the scrotum and inguinal channels, if necessary, connects an ultrasound examination or a stimulating test with a hormonal drug to determine the level of testosterone in the blood.


Treatment of a genetic anomaly is mandatory. The testis, located in the abdominal cavity, degenerates into a malignant formation and rapidly destroys the lungs, brain, liver, and spleen with metastases. The cause of testicular cancer is the temperature difference (up to eight degrees) between the peritoneum and scrotum, where the physiological place of the testis is.

When confirming the diagnosis of cryptorchidosis, the animal is recommended to be castrated, which has the best ratio of effectiveness to risk. Also, surgical intervention will help to eliminate the risk of torsion of the spermatic cord located in the abdominal cavity.

This anomaly can later cause paroxysmal abdominal pain or other complications in the male.

Cryptorchid males are disqualified from breeding. Depending on the condition of the dog and the presence of serious contraindications to the operation, other methods of treatment are also used, which are conservative and do not give a 100% successful result.

These include:

  • hormonal drugs, but large doses of testosterone, which is administered to the animal, generally negatively affects the body;
  • alternative medicine — acupuncture, herbal medicine and homeopathy, using them it is necessary to understand that the procedures take a long time and do not guarantee a positive result;
  • massage is most effective at the age of up to six months and when the testis is located in close proximity to the scrotum.

At home, it is necessary to create full-fledged conditions for the pet’s recovery after surgery. In order for the animal to return to active life faster, it is necessary to follow all the doctor’s recommendations.

During this period, it is important:

  • avoid hypothermia of the dog, especially when coming out of anesthesia;
  • put a diaper (oilcloth) on the dog’s resting place due to possible uncontrolled urination during the period of recovery from anesthesia;
  • due to the disorientation of the dog when coming out of anesthesia, the sleeping place should be removed from the items of furniture that can cause harm to the animal;
  • you can feed the dog only after the complete cessation of the drug;
  • control that the pet does not “disturb” the seam;
  • ensure the pet’s drinking regime, according to the doctor’s recommendations;
  • if the dog feels unsatisfactory: six or more hours after the operation, he does not Wake up — you should contact your doctor.

Possible complications

Possible complications, despite the recommended castration of the animal, exist. These include:

  • danger of abdominal surgery — other organs of the dog may be affected;
  • danger of malfunction of the male’s thyroid gland;
  • animal’s tendency to be obese;
  • risk of prostate and urinary tract cancer in a male.

Preventive measures

Preventive measures to prevent a dangerous genetic disease are:

  • purchase of a puppy from a responsible breeder, controlled by the state of health of dogs before their mating;
  • care for a pregnant female: balanced diet, restriction of contact with other animals, especially unverified ones; taking medications only after consulting a veterinarian with an assessment of the risk to the offspring;
  • caring for puppies with the organization of a balanced diet, eliminating stress.

In case of any abnormalities in the pet’s health, you should visit a veterinary clinic specialist for a thorough examination of the pet and discuss all possible ways to treat the animal with forecasts for a favorable outcome of therapy or surgery.

Only the love of the owner and attention to the pet will help him overcome the disease and subsequently please the owner with activity and cheerfulness.