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Jade n Ty

Testicle Cancer

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I have a 9 week old Border Collie puppy who I took to the Vets for his first vacination tonight and I recieved quite a shock when he was examined.

The vet told u that Ty only had one testicle and that this culd cause problems in later life. He explained that the testicles are still well inside him at this age and so should be, but he can only feel one.

 

On discovering this the vet looked quite worried and explained that this greatly increased the risk of testicle cancer (he even quite bluntly said, if he did develop cancer we "might as well sign his death cetificate" - which upset me greatly)

Although at one point he did also say that by having him castrated this could stop it developing, which helped me relax until he said "I want you to understand that this could get serious and the castration my not work - in this case it is probably out of our hands"

Can anyone who knows anything about this or has had personal experience please explain to me what the vet is trying to say, he said so many things and it was such a shock I didnt really seem to take it all in. I will ask him to go into more detail when we return for his second vacination in 3 weeks bt until then I'd really appriciate it if anyone has any information.

Thanks

 

(I'd rather you were honest with me, if it is serious then, please, I'd raher know)

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I don't know about testicle cancer, but I do know that I would get another opinion and find a vet that had a little more compassion when speaking to me! I agree I would want to know but this guy doesn't sound like he has much bed side manner. My advise is take the pup somewhere else.

 

P.S. Does anyone know if a nine week old pup's balls have even dropped yet? maybe a dumb question but nine weeks?

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I've had experience with this in the past, and none of my vets have tried scare tactics like what you described.

 

One of my males didn't drop his testicles until he was six months old. I was becoming worried, and then SURPRISE! he was officially "endowed".

One of my pups, who is six months old now, did retain one testicle. To my knowledge, it hasn't dropped yet, but his owner is taking him for his rabies shot tomorrow and we'll find out. In other words, I am not worried. They have time to drop, and if they don't, then it's in the dog's best interest to have him neutered. But 9 wks. is way to young to press the panic button.

 

Vicki

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Jade, I am being completely honest with you, it's not serious. Don't worry.

 

An undescended testicle that remains undescended does present a greater risk of cancer someday than if both were descended. However, all this means as a practical matter is that you should have the dog's testicles removed (castration). If it were me, I would wait til the dog is six months old, because the testicle might still descend, in which case the surgery is very minor and straightforward. If it has not descended by six months, I would go ahead with the castration, but in that case the surgery would be more difficult. It might be only slightly more difficult, if the testicle has descended well down the inguinal canal, or it will be a bigger deal if the testicle is still in the abdomen, but either way, the surgery should be done and there's no reason to expect your dog won't be totally healthy afterwards. Others might disagree on the timing, but the point is that if your dog is castrated, he'll be fine.

 

I too would be looking for another vet if this happened to me. It sounds as if he caused you a lot of unnecessary worry.

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Thanks so much guys, that's a great weight lifted off my shoulders. You have no idea how much better I feel after reading your posts!

 

If anyone else has any stories or knows anything to do with it then please keep posting, I'm trying to find out as much as possible just so I have some idea of whats happening with Ty

 

Thanks again!

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This is just to second the opinion of Eileen. I have a pup (now 8 months old). When he went in for a rabies shot the vet noted one testicle hadn't dropped. She said: "This will cause cancer. Surgery/castration is needed now!" I asked the opinion of a friend of mine who breeds Border Collies. Basically, he said what Eileen said: cancer may be an issue when the dog is much older, but the testicle may still drop and, in any case, it is not a problem for now. Since I am going to castrate anyway at about a year of age (I am certainly not qualified to be breeding Border Collies - or any other dogs for that matter), I'm not worried.

 

charlie

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I waited on my problem child until he was eleven and a half months old. Our hope was that the retained testicle would at least descend out of the abdomen, but that was where it stayed until surgery. It turned into a very invasive surgery as his was unusual in some way. That type, however, up in the abdomen, is indeed at highest risk for cancer, so I was very glad I did it. Not that I had a choice, he's got CEA too.

 

Don't forget this problem is highly heritable. Poor Ben, if his family genes had it, he got it. :rolleyes:

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Isn't this the "problem' that Funny Cide had, that resulted in his being a gelding? Didn't seem to be that big a problem in his oveall performance.

 

Then again, even if it does lead to cancer, you could have another Lance Armstrong on your hands. Not too shabby.

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To be honest, neutered males are so nice to live with!!!!

I worked for a vet for several years. I only remember a handlful on testicular cancers. Your vet may be trying to promote spaying and neutering, which is admirable in a world with way too many bulging animal shelters, but his tactics stink. I would also look for a more compassionate vet.

Cyndi

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Because of the inital shock at the Vets I can't remember exactly waht he said.

I do remember him saying to Ty "Well, I got some bad news little fella - it looks like you've only got one testicle"

I don't know exactly what he meant by this :s

Afterwards he started to explain about the testicles dropping from the abdomen and brought in the cancer theory.

Is it possible that he only HAS one to start with? Will this cause more risks?

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Possible but not probable. Again, your pup is still very young. That second testicle just may pop out in a few months, and when it does, neutering him won't be such an invasive procedure. As has been said, to neuter a dog with a retained testicle, is a more involved procedure than if they were both descended, so wait. Your dog is not in imminent danger of cancer.

 

Relax and enjoy him, and try not to prod him too much looking for that other testicle.

 

I posted this here one other time. I think it merits being posted again here.

 

Male show (conformation) dogs must be intact. I don't remember what breed (I'm assuming it was a coated breed) it was, but he had only one testicle descended. I guess the dog was really nice in every other way that one testicle would have brought his show career to a screeching halt.

In their examination of show dogs, judges go over each dog, hands on from head to tail, sliding their hand underneath to check for 2 descended testicles.

 

The owner of this dog had a testicle surgically implanted and this dog went on to do pretty well in his show career-----until one day, when being examined in the ring by a judge, the judge ran his hand over the dog, down the back and underneath to feel for the testicles and exclaimed in a voice, loud enough for all in the area to hear "OH MY GOD! HE'S GOT THREE!"

 

So you see, there's always hope without drastic measures.

 

Vicki

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Hi,

 

Everyone has posted good information, just wanted to add my agreement. I have worked for vets for seven years- only once have I seen a cryptochid surgery (castration w/retained testicles)" not work", and IMHO its because the vet doing the surgery was incompetent. The testicle was found and successfully removed by another vet. I would go elsewhere if the vet thinks he might not be able to perform this surgery successfully- it should be a TOTAL cure of the possibility of testicular cancer- no testicle- no cancer (no brainer LOL). I would wait till six months for it to drop, its possible that it will drop, although after four or five months they usually don't (in my experience) and then neuter. If he does have to have the crypt surgery, its not that big of a deal, its more invasive than a neuter but still less invasive than a spay and recovery time is only slightly longer than a reg. neuter. Do expect however that it will be about twice as much for the crypt surgery vs. a regular neuter.

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Ditto here on what Jaime says. I also worked for years as a vet tech and assisted the vet in surgery. Undescended testicles are not that big a deal when it comes to surgery. And at 9 weeks old if one hasn't dropped yet,so what. It will later. As far as that vet,I'd change because he sounds like a jerk.With that kind of attitude he sounds more like the type of vet who would recommend euthanasia for certain problems rather then solving with compassionate and realistic solutions. I'd shop around for a new vet.

 

Sue Barta

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I had mentioned that one of my six month old pups, that was sold, had an undescended testicle, & that he was slated for a vet visit today. The results of that vet visit were that the testicle is still not descended, that it cannot be felt in the abdomen, so that pup, who would have been neutered anyway, will be neutered in the near future, the procedure in his case being somewhat more invasive than a neutering with both testicles down. The vet did explain to the owner that it poses no imminent danger of cancer, more likely 10 yrs. or so down the road. See, you don't need scare tactics to educate a client.

 

Vicki

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Coming in a little late to agree with the others. Two friends have had cryptorchid dogs ? the neuter surgery was tricky, since in each case the vet had to go fishing for the missing article. So what you need is a neat handed surgeon! However, both dogs recovered very quickly, and as Jaime said

" it should be a TOTAL cure of the possibility of testicular cancer- no testicle- no cancer (no brainer LOL)."

The important thing is that if there?s no sign of the testicle dropping by about 6 or 7 months, then neutering is essential.

 

I agree too with what others have said about maybe finding another vet that you feel comfortable about discussing things with. After all, your vet is going to be your partner in caring for this dog for the next 14+ years, all being well.

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Jade, I went through the same experience when taking two six-month-old BC pups in for their rabies shots. Harpo had both testicles down but Chico only had one. The vet wanted to schedule castration right away but I knew better and declined. The second one eventually dropped.

 

We sold a litter brother, Zeppo, to a retired couple after their old BC died. He came back at nine months because he was "too active." He WAS a handful but also a natural at herding. Unfortunately he had already been castrated due to the late testicle "problem." What a shame. Zeppo was trained to Nursery level by his next owner and eventually went to a dairy farmer.

 

Please wait until your dog is at least a year old before deciding what to do. My other breed is the working whippet. Monorchidism is fairly common in that breed. Many of the castrated males are excellent, competitive racers and coursers. Besides removing the possibility of testicle cancer, castrated males also escape prostate problems. They also don't pee on their front legs as much as intact dogs do.

 

The story about the show dog with three testicles has been around for awhile. The version I heard involved a boxer in the ring for Best in Show. It may be an urban legend. Considering the cosmetic surgeries show dogs may undergo and still compete (ears, jaws, teeth, eyelids, tailsets, knees, hips, ad nauseum), it could well be true.

 

PS: Our pups did not start out being named after the Marx Brothers. "Chico" means "little boy" and he was the runt. It just took off from there.

 

Peg in SW Wisconsin

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The 3 testicle story is so outrageous that it probably has reached the proportions of urban legend. I not surprised. The guy I used to groom for was at that show, & it does show the length gone to for points.

 

I agree allowing the dog to grow up a little more until neutering him. Testicular cancer is not around the corner for this pup or any other pup with 1 testicle.

 

 

Vicki

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My pup Titus is almost 8 months and neither of his little peanuts have dropped. I have 2 different vets... one of them is just a trial run to see if i like them better but i honestly dont care for either..... n e way... the both are telling me that it is a major surgery and it will cost me more then my females spay! is this true? will it cost me an arm and a leg? one vet said that he cant feel either one n e where.. is there a way that they will be able to tell before i put my baby thru that? I dont want to keep putting it off but i dont have that kind of money right now... help!

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The lady who owns the pup I mentioned earlier also cannot afford it right at this time. Her vet, who is also mine, gave her a cost of about 250.00--that's minus the blood work. It's going to have to be done sooner or later, better sooner, but neither your dog nor hers is going to be struck down by cancer if it's not done tomorrow---but it should be done. Let the dog reach his first birthday.

 

Vicki

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I'm in the Cleveland area. Usually, I would think that you'd have to have an established relationship with the vet, but then again, it depends in the individual vet.

 

Vicki

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Damn!

 

My little fellow has cryptorchidism, or likely has no sign of either of his "jewels" at almost 19 weeks :rolleyes: The vet said give him another month, but I will give him a year to mature before the surgery.

 

I rang the breeder today to tell him and he has 2 other male pups left from the litter and he went to check them. Theirs havent dropped either! Is this usual for all 3 males in a litter to be affected. The breeder said this is the 6th litter from the pair and I am the first person to call and say there is a problem..

 

*baffled*

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Things to know about cryptorchidism:

 

1) Normally the testes should be in the scrotal sac by birth, but in very young animals (not trying to be insulting) they are teensy and often very hard to find. Also, some proportion of them truly are NOT in the scrotum by then, but will get there eventually. HOWEVER: there is ZERO guarantee of this. It might descend, it might not. So as far as it desecending later - it may, but I'd strongly advise against counting on it. Of the zillions of puppies I've palpated for testes at 8 weeks of age, the VAST majority have palpable scrotal testes at that age. NOTE: some of the ones that seem to descend later are probably already down, just hard to find. If I can't palpate both testes when I first check a pup, I just recheck at 12 and 16 weeks to see if I just missed them the first time due to tininess. No reflection on their masculinity.

 

2) Eileen et al are right about the immediate risks - nothing to worry about. Later in the game, there is indeed a distinctly increased cancer risk in the retained testicle (estimates range up to a 300% greater incedence), but if your dog is neutered, that will not be an issue.

 

3) The surgery may, as stated by several people, be not much more difficult than for a normal dog, but that would be if the testicle is palpable under the skin. If it's inside the abdomen, that requires opening up the abdomen, which we do when we spay, so it's about the same degree of invasiveness as that. NOTE: sometimes, it is extremely difficult to find the retained testicle even if it IS under the skin, because the retained testicle is very commonly underdeveloped and tiny. In these cases, we sometimes end up opening the abdomen, finding the vas deferens and/or the associated structures and following them until we find the testicle. Only once ever have I not found the testicle, and that was because there wasn't one. I found the vas, all right, and the cremaster muscle, and the panpiniform plexus, but there was no evident glandular tissue - just a sort of membranous web where it ought to have been. I took that out instead, just in case there were some stray cells in there which might become cancerous later on, and produce testosterone in the meantime. (So, yes, to whoever asked that, you can have a dog with only one testicle.)

 

4) I personally do not think there is any need to neuter a cryptorchid pup any earlier than usual - we do it at six months. It may in fact make the surgery easier, since the testicle may be a bit bigger and easier to find at that age. Since it does not increase the risk if we wait til then, and it might in fact improve our ease of surgery, why go sooner? However, by the same token - in my opinion - why wait til a year? Unless you have a strong desire to go through doggie puberty with your pup, it isn't necessary to wait that long. There may be a FEW dogs whose testes descend abruptly between 6 and 12 months of age, but in my experience these are thin on the ground. Meanwhile, the retained testicle - which is sterile, BTW - is producing testosterone and all the joys thereof. I've had 2 intact males dogs in my life - one a rescue which I neutered before I took him home, but he still had those hormones for a while - and let me tell you, the neutered ones are WAY easier to live with, IMHO.

 

5) Costs vary, but we charge up to about $200 for crypt neuters, depending on the difficulty (that doesn't include bloodwork or pain meds). That's about 4 times the cost of a normal neuter for a same-sized dog, and about 3 times the charge for a same-sized bitch to be spayed (assuming she's not pregnant, fat, in heat, or over a certain age, which makes it more difficult and therefore more expensive.) Personsally, I don't think that $200 to $300 is too much to ask to avoid a significant cancer risk, especially sine once you've done the surgery, you're done - no further worries about testes ever. So, since it doesn't have to be done right this second, save up a little every month til you have it. I'm not sure what the vet was talking about when he said it might not work, unless he meant that if the testicle had ALREADY developed cancer before you attempt to remove it, you might have a hard time getting it all out.

 

6) Cryptorchidism is hereditary, so my advice is that this dog should not be bred. Doesn't sound like you were intending to anyway.

 

As BTW to River... I wonder if there WERE previous pups that had cryptorchidism that the breeder just doesn't know about? Not everyone reports back to the breeder about these things, although they should. All the male pups in a given litter being crypt is pretty unusual. (And SIX litters from that same pair? Really? That seems a bit excessive to me... it suggests either they're breeding more than once a year, or they started the bitch VERY young, or they're breeding her very old, none of which is what we generally advise, primarily for the bitch's health...)

 

Anyway, that's enough of my soapbox for now! :rolleyes:

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Hi AK dog doc

 

Thanks for your reply. He said six litters from this pair and sounded really upset when he called me back after checking the other male pups, which he has kept. The bitch was 6 years old and seemed a bright healthy happy dog. Both parents trace back to some scottish lines through some big sheep worker in the states. (Being a brit and not knowing the trialing scene, I cant remember who)So I assumed they were well bred and both parents and the pups looked great,were both confident and friendly.

 

The reason I said I would wait until he was a year old, could be based on false information (gotta love the net.) I read that testosterone actually triggers the dog to stop growing and if you neuter them too early, they grow bigger than they would of. Gil is 32.4lbs at 19 weeks and I didnt want to affect his natural size (ie end up with Digby the collie). Is this more old wives tales I have read on the net ?

 

Gil does have a wonderful nature esp considering he wasnt socialized until I got him at 15 weeks. I thought the same as you that maybe people have not realised this is hereditary and didnt get back to the breeder. He sounded genuinely shocked, but I trust everyone..so who knows.

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My understanding is that if you neuter before puberty, the long bones may, not necessarily but may, close later than they would if you waited, by about four months and so you may have a little leggier dog than you would have otherwise.

That is only a concern if you may be showing in conformation, something no one here does anyway.

 

A nice trade off, if you even notice that very small extra length, for the avoidance of all the puberty changes that makes a male dog more of a challenge to live with, as may a female while going thru a heat cycle.

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