Only one testicle!!

I recently put a down payment on a 2yo stallion. The condition on the deal was that he had to be gelded before I got him. The person I am buying him from checked to make sure both testicles had dropped, and ...I recently put a down payment on a 2yo stallion. The condition on the deal was that he had to be gelded before I got him. The person I am buying him from checked to make sure both testicles had dropped, and ...

Story originally posted by: Michael Lowder, DVM, MS

Dr. Lowder,

I recently put a down payment on a 2yo stallion. The condition on the deal was that he had to be gelded before I got him. The person I am buying him from checked to make sure both testicles had dropped, and they didn’t!!! He told me that a male horse has two holes down there that the testicles drop through as they get older. He also told me that one of the holes that the testicles is supposed to drop through is not even big enough to stick your finger in.

This is going to be a surgicle procedure to get this other testicle out, right??? What is this disorder called? And is there a non-surgical way to get the other testicle to drop or to cut it out???

Thanks

Hello,

Your horse is a cryptorchid. This is a condition in which one or both testicles are retain. The retain testicle can either be in the inguinal canal (called a ‘high flanker’) or in the abdomen. The testicle that is retained, regardless of its position, is a sterile testicle.

However, it will produce the hormone called testosterone. This hormone gives a horse a the so called ‘male’ behavior.

Now if a horse has one retained testicle and one normal testicle they can still breed a mare. It is said that horses with one testicle retained is more aggressive and I tend to think that is true.

It is not known for sure if the cryptorchid condition is hereditary or not but most people believe that it is. Cryptorchid stallions can not pass a breeding soundness exam as this condition is consider a defect.

There have been several attempts at getting the retained testicle to drop but none work. If most horses have not dropped by the time they are yearling they most likely will not and should be gelding.

Sometimes when you lie the horse on his back you can find the other testicle easy and remove it but at other times the surgeon will have to go into the abdominal cavity to get the retained testicle.

Thanks,
Dr. Lowder