Sometimes, a male dog will have one or two testicles that don't descend into the scrotum as they should. This condition is known as cryptorchidism. Although the testicles are retained in the abdomen, they do secrete sex hormones, which means most vets will still recommend having the dog neutered. However, this has to be done via a more invasive procedure called cryptorchid surgery. Here's what you need to know about this procedure if your vet has recommended it for your dog.
Preparing for Cryptorchid Surgery
In preparation for the surgery, your vet will typically want you to bring your dog in for x-rays or an ultrasound to determine exactly where the testicle or testicles are located. Regardless of which imaging procedure is used, this should be a quick and painless process. Most dogs do not need to be sedated for x-rays or for an ultrasound. Once they know where the testicles are, the vet will be better able to properly place the incision for their removal. This imaging is usually done during a separate appointment prior to surgery.
Undergoing Cryptorchid Surgery
On the day of the surgery, you will usually be asked to drop your dog off at the vet's office in the morning. This way, the vet can do the surgery early and have all day to observe your dog in recovery afterwards.
Your dog will be put under anesthesia for the procedure. Once your dog is anesthetized, the vet will make an incision towards the back of the abdomen. If both testicles are retained, the vet will need to make two small incisions. The testes will be removed through these incisions, and the vas deferens will be tied off. Then, the incisions will be closed, and your dog will be allowed to slowly wake up.
Recovering From Cryptorchid Surgery
The vet will usually send your dog home later in the day after their procedure. Sometimes, they may keep them overnight for observation. Your dog will be given pain relievers for a few days in order to keep the pain at bay. You'll be asked to keep your dog from doing any strenuous activity for about a week. Don't take them for walks, have them climb stairs, or let them jump onto the sofa.
Most dogs heal just fine with no lasting complications. This surgery is more involved than a traditional neuter, but it accomplishes the same thing and is still a pretty routine veterinary protocol. Contact a local veterinarian to learn more.