Cryptorchidism for Christmas? Puppy buyers beware
Here's a subject I consider extra-appropriate for this time of the year. When buying pedigreed pups online it's buyer beware all the way. My conclusion after reading questions like the one below? Some people are just not pet-worthy.
Q: I bought a dachshund puppy from an expensive breeder in Texas and had him flown all the way down only to learn that he’s missing a testicle. Please tell me what it is I’m supposed to do with a puppy that’s defective like this.
A: The answer is simple: Now that he’s yours, it’s your job to love him and care for him, no matter how “defective” he may be. But let me first explain the problem before you jump to conclusions about his degree of imperfection.
This very common, heritable condition of male dogs (and less commonly, cats) manifests as a congenital abnormality in the position of one or both testicles. The testicle, in fact, is still present. It’s just “misplaced” either inside the abdomen or under the skin near its expected spot.
The estimated 13% of dogs affected with this problem are otherwise completely normal. Here’s how it happens:
In the embryo the testicles originate near the kidney and are destined to migrate so that they’ll end up in the scrotal sac. When one or both testicles don’t manage to reach their intended destination the resulting condition is called cryptorchidism. The deformity itself, however, is commonly referred to as a “retained” or “undescended” testicle.
While it would seem that cryptorchidism is a fairly benign condition, a trio of problems is related to its occurrence:
1) affected animals are sterile in the undescended testicle(s), as the affected gonad will fail to develop normally outside its normal position,
2) animals with only one undescended testicle (a reported 75% of cases) are potentially able to pass on the hereditary trait associated with cryptorchidism, and...
3) in their abnormal position, the undescended testicle(s) are more susceptible to cancers and other troubles.
Luckily, cryptorchidism is 100% curable with a simple procedure we call castration. Indeed, it’s recommended that every dog affected by this condition be sterilized so as to limit its inheritance. And no, there is no way to wrestle the wayward testicle back into its proper place (I get asked that question a lot).
But don’t worry...your fancy purebred puppy will be just as perfect as the rest once he’s had the obligatory "snip-snip." While he'll never reach show dog status, I seriously doubt he’s any less adorable than the rest of his species. In the future, if a defect-free dog is what you require, I suggest you skip the mail-order option.