Tale of the missing testicle - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 12 Old 06-12-2008, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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Tale of the missing testicle

So the vet came out today to check out Wikke's shy boy. She was unable to feel it with a physical examination but she was able to see it with the ultrasound machine, though not very well. Unfortunately, she was unable to tell me whether it was actually in the inguinal canal or further up in the abdomen. So I have several options at this point:

• Exploratory surgery: Basically the cut him open and see what's up. If they are able to get to the testicle or if the anesthetic loosens him up, they geld him. If the testicle is up in his abdomen, they sew him up and I have to take him to Va Tech for the abdominal surgery.

• Hormone therapy: He gets hormone shots for a month to see if they will cause his testicle to come down. New research has shown that this method has a little over a 50% success rate (not sure of the exact number). If it comes down, they can do the procedure at the barn. If it doesn't come down, I take him to Tech.

• Wait and see: He's going to be a year old on Sunday...so he's certainly not past the feasible drop date. I could wait another 4-5 months and see what happens.

At this point, I'm certainly shying away from the surgery. I am however considering the hormone therapy. It'll be about 100 dollars for the month, which I'm not adverse to paying for my peace of mind and wallet: stall board isn't cheap and its going up to 400 next month. As a gelding, my boarding options will open up drastically.

Can I ask any of the resident vets what experiences they have had with hormones? What are the side effects? How will it effect him physically and mentally? I'm going to speak with the vet in more depth about all of this tomorrow, and I talked to my mom (also a vet) about it too, but I'd like all the opinions I can get :P
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post #2 of 12 Old 06-12-2008, 10:53 PM
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I haven't been involved with trying this method to "fix" a cryptorchid. But I found an article for you: http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=9961

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
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post #3 of 12 Old 06-13-2008, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Ryle :)
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post #4 of 12 Old 06-13-2008, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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I've decided on trying the hormone therapy at this point...the success rate in horses still seems somewhat controversial, but side effects seem neglible aside from the effects boosted testosterone might have on a bouncy yearling and possible allergic reaction, which I think I can deal with.

My mom has been sending me all sorts of interesting material on the subject, I thought this article was noteworthy, especially the third paragraph...75% vs 42% is a pretty big difference. http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/...torchidism.htm

Anyway, I'll keep everyone updated on how things go for us.
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post #5 of 12 Old 06-13-2008, 01:36 PM
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that article was quite interesting, especially with the percentages!

I hope Wikke's testicle drops for you!
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post #6 of 12 Old 06-13-2008, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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Me too :P Tech's rate for the abdominal surgery is reasonable compared to other facilities, but its still quite expensive (though I'm getting this from the vet: I haven't talked to Tech personally yet). I don't know if I mentioned it, but it's his lefty that's still inside.
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post #7 of 12 Old 06-13-2008, 02:07 PM
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that's so interesting.
I'm sure he won't be happy if he has to have abdomen surgery. My puppy who was also cryptorchid, had abdomen surgery and he couldn't play for 2 weeks.
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post #8 of 12 Old 06-20-2008, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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Thought I'd update this...I decided not to go with the hormone treatment. I'll go into the why's of that in a sec.

I think I mentioned that I had told my mother what was going on and asked her opinion on the matter. She is a very a-type personality: dove right in and emailed/called me for 3 days straight with research, which culminated in her actually calling Dr. Brendemuehl in Illinois (he's the doctor in the horse.com article Ryle posted). This is the gist of the conversation they had:

• Do a thorough ultrasound (external and internal) to verify whether the testicle is in the inguinal canal or the abdomen. If its in the abdomen, do not bother with the hormone treatment because it will not work.

• Your hormone program should consist of 2,500 IU of hCG twice a week for 4 weeks. The reason for the twice a week dosing is that the testosterone boosting effect only lasts for 2-3 days. Giving a larger dose once a week is not effective and will only give you testosterone spikes as opposed to a steady high.

• The treatment has about a 50/50 success rate.

The reason I have decided not to do the hormones is that I've talked to 4 different vets in the area and all of them were reluctant to do an internal ultrasound on a yearling. They didn't want to risk internal damage because of his size and insisted that unless he was fully relaxed and on his back, the position of the testicle could change drastically and they wouldn't be able to get a good fix on it anyway.

Since I can't get a solid answer, I've decided not to do the hormones. A 50/50 chance is one thing....but if its in the abdomen, I won't even have that chance. And I don't want to tinker with his hormones for no good reason.

So at this point I'm planning on taking him to Tech for the surgery probably in October (depending on what the weather is like this year). If he drops before then, it'll be a bonus but I'm not worried: just a little more expensive for me to keep him boarded for now.
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post #9 of 12 Old 06-20-2008, 11:33 AM
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Good luck Sara! I hope all turn out alright!

Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don't be afraid or discouraged by the size of the task, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.

1 Chronicles 28:20








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post #10 of 12 Old 06-20-2008, 11:48 AM
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I hope that one testicle is just a late bloomer and it will drop by the time he has to get gelded.

I wish you and Wikke lots of luck!
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