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Cryptorchid Male Horses

Cryptorchid Male Horses - Surgery and Follow-up Care
  Cryptorchid stallions are horses who have failed to drop one or both testicles after birth. Examine young colts as they develop to check for the descendence of both testicles. The most common occurrence being the retention of one testicle. The right testicle has a slightly higher retention rate than the left. Location may be within the abdominal cavity or within the inguinal canal region of the groin. Surgical removal is the only way to remove the retained testicle or testicles. Consult with your veterinarian if both testicles are not descended.
       Retained testicles are smaller than the normal descended testicle. Failure to develop normally is due to being maintained at body temperature verses the cooler scrotal temperature. The retained testicle is not capable of producing sperm cells but does produce testosterone which is the male hormone that causes stallion behavior. Cryptorchid horses become harder to handle in a lot of cases with time more so than a normal stallion. If one testicle is dropped to a normal position, it is capable of producing normal sperm. However, cryptorchidism is considered an inheritable trait so most cryptorchid males are gelding.  Also retained testicles may become cancerous if not removed.
       Surgery is done under sterile surgery room conditions. If your veterinarian does not have a surgical suite, ask for a referral to such a facility in your area. The procedure normally takes 45 minutes but may last up to 90 minutes for two deeply retained testicles. Typically the horse will go home the day following surgery.The incisions are closed with absorbable sutures and need no removal. Following surgery, typical veterinarian instructions will be as follows.
       The horse needs to be kept in a small paddock away from other horses for 21 days while healing occurs. This also allows the calming effect of decreased  testosterone levels to occur.There may be a slight swelling in the groin area in a few horses for several days following surgery. Penicillin may need to be administered for up to five days. Riding can begin after 30 - 45 days. Sutures are absorbable so do not need to be removed.
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