PetMD Seal

Testicular Tumor (Sertoli Cell) in Dogs

2 min read

Sertoli Cell Tumor in Dogs


Sertoli cell tumors are a form of testicular tumor in dogs, and are linked with undescended testicles. Typically, up to 14 percent sertoli cell tumors in dogs are malignant and will metastasize to surrounding lymph nodes in the body and other organs.


Symptoms and Types


The signs and symptoms of sertoli cell tumors include:


  • Skin changes may become apparent
  • One testicle that is larger than the other, with wasting or shriveling of the other testicle
  • Feminization syndrome, a condition where a male dog takes on uncharacteristic female qualities (e.g., dog’s penis may shrivel or shrink in appearance, there may be abnormal breast development, and the dog may adopt a female position to urinate)
  • An abdominal mass may become palpable (found by touch examination) if a testicle has not descended -- suggesting that the testicle remained in the abdominal cavity




Sertoli cell tumors in dogs are usually caused by cryptorchidism, or undescended testicles. Aging male dogs are most likely to develop sertoli cell tumors.




To diagnose a sertoli cell tumor, your veterinarian will first want to rule out other potential causes for a tumor or mass. These may include:


  • Hypothyroidism
  • An interstitial cell tumor (a non-cancerous tumor in the testicle)
  • Hyperadrenocorticism (too much of the hormone cortisol, a stress hormone)
  • Seminoma (a different type of testicular cancer)



Other tests that may help with diagnosis include screening for certain types of anemia (low blood iron), low white blood cell counts, and low blood platelet counts. complete blood profile will be conducted, including a chemical blood profile, and a complete blood count.


Dogs with sertoli cell tumors will usually have abnormally high levels of certain hormones, including serum estradiol and progesterone. Typically an animal with a sertoli cell tumor will have some degree of feminization, even if it is only evident at the hormonal level.



Related Articles

Anal Gland Cancer in Dogs

While anal gland/sac cancer (adenocarcinoma) is not common, it is an invasive disease that does not generally have a positive outlook. Usually...

Nose Cancer (Adenocarcinoma) in Dogs

Nose cancer (or nasal adenocarcinoma) occurs when too many cells in the animal's nasal and sinus passages come together. The disease progresses...

Leukemia (Acute) in Dogs

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is a disease in which cancerous lymphoblasts (cells that are in the beginning stage of development) and prolymphocytes...

Lymph Node Inflammation (Lymphadenopathy) in Dogs

Lymph nodes (or glands), are small masses of tissue that can be found throughout the body. They play an integral part in the functioning of the...