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Sperm Abnormalities in Cats

Diagnosis

 

You will need to give your veterinarian a thorough history of your cat's health, along with any possible incidents that might have led to this condition, such as trauma, infection, or travel (as other climates, especially hot climates, may have played a role).

 

A history of your cat's infertility will help your veterinarian to make a diagnosis. For example, has he been infertile after appropriately timed mating to several reproductively-proven queens? Have spermatozoal abnormalities been found during routine breeding soundness evaluation? Your veterinarian will probably do a hormonal profile as well as an examination of the ejaculates (the sperm cells). Your doctor will also test for bacterial infections, and may use visual diagnostic tools to examine the reproductive tract. An ultrasound examination may show whether there is a blockage, orchitis (inflammation of the testis), hydrocele, hemorrhage into a cavity, cyst of the epididymus, or tumor in the testicular region that is affecting the sperm ducts and sperm morphology.

 

Treatment

 

There is no a specific treatment for spermatozoal abnormalities; if applicable, the underlying disease or condition will be treated. Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory agents will be prescribed for infectious diseases and swelling due to inflammation. Unilateral surgical removal may be recommended for unilateral testicular tumors or severe orchitis. Your veterinarian may recommend sexual rest for edema (swelling) or for a cyst associated with trauma. Frequent semen collection may temporarily improve sperm quality in cats with idiopathic teratozoospermia, but the quality of the sperm will have to be tested before it is used for breeding purposes, to avoid genetic abnormalities resulting from poor sperm.

 

If your cat is in an extremely hot environment, or it is the summer season, protect your cat from high ambient temperatures by moving him to a cooler space. In addition, if your cat is highly active, you may need to alter your cat's activity level to reduce heat stress, unless your veterinarian has specifically ordered more exercise for treatment of obesity.

 

Prevention

 

It may help to provide a climate-controlled environment for your cat if it is not adapted to high environmental temperatures. Also, avoid heat exhaustion during exercise or grooming (e.g., drying cages).

 

Living and Management

 

If an underlying cause is identified and treated, your veterinarian will want to perform a sperm evaluation at 30 and 60 days after the condition is resolved. In cases due to reversible causes, a complete improvement in sperm morphology does not usually occur before 60 days -- the approximate length of a complete spermatogenic cycle.

 

 

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