Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard cub (7 mos old) - Cape May County Zoo

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Torsions & Tumors

Well, while we are on the topic of testicles, we might as well discuss a few other things that can go wrong with these things. 

There are some tumors that can occur in the testicular tissue itself. These are of several different types (based on pathology findings): Sertoli cell tumors, interstitial (Leydig cell) tumors and seminomas. They seem to occur at equal percentages.  They are usually slow growing and benign and VERY rarely do they ever metastasize (or go to other parts of the body). Some of these are hormone producing though and can cause OTHER problems (causing other growths, affecting the prostate gland and in some cases, affect bone marrow). These are most often found in the older dog (8yrs and up) and rarely cats (no sane person keeps an intact male cat at that Of course, as previously discussed, testicles that do not descend and remain IN the abdomen have a HIGH incidence of becoming malignant (like 13 x more likely).

How do we know they have this? Usually on a physical exam (or maybe by YOUR visual inspection) we see there is one testicle that appears larger than the other.  The only course of action is to neuter the dog and send the offending nut in to the pathology lab.

See, just more reasons why you should have your dog neutered at a fairly young age. There really is NO good reason to keep these little buggers unless you are a breeder (and by this I mean someone who is looking to improve the breed, screen dogs properly for all things YOUR breed can knowingly inherit, take "cute" dogs out of the program that don't pass, take responsibility for dogs you sell for any congenital or behavioral problems for their lifetime and oh yeah, spend $$$$ because true breeders do NOT make a whole lot).

The other thing we can see is testicular torsion - where one of the testicles literally twists in place. Yes it is ACUTELY very painful. There is usually obvious swelling by the time WE see the dog. The only fix: neutering!  In people they can de-rotate it and tack in in place, but in dogs the vascular compromise is usually too severe to salvage the testicle. 

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