Not descended at 14 months?

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Harleys Mom's picture
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I have a question about my boy and the breed in general. When my grandpa first got Harley at 14 months he was not descended. We had to have the vet do exploratory abdominal surgery to neuter him. Is this a common thing for Dobermans or is Harley just a very "lucky" boy?

Harleys Mom's picture
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Also was there anything in particular that caused that to happen?

Happydance's picture
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It's not a particularly unusual thing to happen.  It's called cryptorchid, alot of dogs (and cats)  have only one that descends, called monorchid.  It's definitely an exploratory surgery to find them, but it's necessary to neuter them if they have this condition.

jeshykai's picture
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Happydance beat me to the punch.. we had a scare that Steve was going to be a mono... he had only one testicle.  But then he descended, woohoo!!

Unfortunately when they have this you have to neuter and they can't breed.  I can name 3 dogs I know that have been crypt because they were sold as "pet quality" intead of "show quality" due to this.  They are still very good looking, happy, healthy dogs that just needed a more complicated neuter procedure.

Harley just had to go and be more expensive than a spay because he wanted to be special.. ;)

It is quite common in Dobermans and seems to run in some lines. My boy from our last breeding didn't drop his last testicle until he was 6 mo old. It was terrible because I wanted to show him and of course couldn't unless he dropped it.

One thing that is most common in only one testicle dropping is a short spermatic cord. This I believe was the case in my boy. We could feel his other testicle about an inch above the descended one when he was sitting I would grab hold of it ( I know it sounds gross but as a breeder you have to do what you  have to do to stretch it) as he stood it would literally suck up into the unknown. Finally when he was 6 mo old it literally stayed down by itself. A day to celebrate for us! Usually by about the 6mo mark the ring that allows the testicle to back and forth through the body cavity closes and where the testicle is at that time determines whether it will be allowed to descend or remain in the body cavity.

Neuter surgeries for this are rather expensive compared to the typical if the testicles are both descended. Most people don't know that it is an exploratory surgery. Unless your particular vet has high quality ultrasounds than they will not know if it in the upper or lower area. Sometimes their are multiple holes used to search for it.

As already stated if left intact and both or one is not descended than you run a high cancer risk.

Harleys Mom's picture
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Yeah, he was nuetered a week after we got him and the vet said they were both all the way up there, hiding behind other organs. Not even close to coming down. Poor guy was cut from here to there. He was not very happy with me for a few days.

Poor Harley! It's so sad when they have ANY surgery. At least you got the surgery done and he wont have the additional risk of cancer. It can be very sad how much they actually search for them. I don't know if you have done any research on it but it can be down right awful! It really helps if you get your dog from a breeder to be able to work with you on it and give you ideas on what to do. Example would be my boy, your average person would not know where to feel for them and how to tell what area they are in. I certainly didn't before this happened. If I had not been stretching the spermatic cord I doubt my boy would have dropped the other one at all. 

Another one of our puppies we knew had both testicles missing. He was a gorgeous boy that would have made a beautiful show dog was sold as a pet because of it. The people he was sold to knew that he had this issue and it was also stated in contract before they purchased him at 10 weeks. They were aware that they may or may not descend. When they had him neutered I payed half of the cost of the surgery to help them out. More than most breeders would even think about lol.