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Retained Testicles (Cryptorchidism) in dogs and cats

This term means that one or both of the testicles (testes) do not descend into their normal position in the scrotum by 8 weeks of age. The retained gland may be in the abdomen, or in the canal (inguinal) that runs between the abdomen and the scrotum. In some breeds, the descent may occur later, but if descent is not complete by 4-6 months of age, it is evidence of cryptorchidism.

Inguinal cryptorchidism in a Chihuahua

Additional information

  • The incomplete descent of one or both testes into the scrotum
  • May be inguinal, in which case the retained testis is often palpable.
  • When abdominal, the testis is difficult to palpate or identify by radiology.
  • Can be imaged with ultrasound
  • Descent to final scrotal position is expected to be complete by 2 months postpartum.
  • In the beagle, the testes are at the exterior inguinal ring day 5 postpartum, between the inguinal ring and scrotum day 15, and in the scrotum day 40.
  • Testicular descent may occur later in some breeds, but rarely after 4 months in any individual. Absence of palpable testes at 2 months is presumptive evidence of cryptorchidism.
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