Cryptorchid Neuter (Abdominally Retained Testicle)
In general, the testicles are expected to descend into the scrotum at a young age - approximately 2-3 months of age. Sometimes one (or both) testicles will not descend properly and will be "retained". This is a fairly common condition and can affect any breed of dog or cat. Retained testicles are usually classified as inguinal or abdominal. Inguinal cryptorchids can usually be felt on physical exam and removed without incident during a normal neuter surgery. Abdominally retained testicles pose more of a problem as abdominal surgery is required to identify and remove the testicle. Laparoscopy allows for faster, easier identification of the retained testicle. The abdominal incision is smaller and recovery is much faster when compared to a traditional abdominal incision.
Does The Retained Testicle Have to be Removed?
In this case, "out of sight, out of mind" is not a good idea. While abdominally retained testicles are rarely uncomfortable for the animal, occasionally a testicular torsion can occur. In this case, the blood supply becomes cut off to the testicle and is extremely painful. Testicular torsions are admittedly rare. By contrast, the development of testicular tumours is all too common (especially in dogs). Research has shown that abdominally retained testicles have a risk of tumour formation that is 10 times higher than intact dogs whose testicles have descended.