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  1. #1
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    Default 2 year old with only one testicle-WWYD?

    As the title implies...

    I have a friend with a coming 2 year old stud colt that has one obvious testicle. The vet is checking him out in a few weeks but he's otherwise alert and happy. Essentially, the colt is very nice and is/was a potential stallion prospect. The vet told her that at this point, he's only going to have one descended testicle and that this condition is heritable so he wouldn't be a good breeder. But he also said a few other things that made a little skeptical of his advice. I'd like to point my friend to another vet if I have a reason to do so.

    Does anyone have any experience with this? What would you do if you thought he was a stallion prospect? Is this condition problematic if she wanted to keep him a stallion but not publically breed him (she owns/rides his father and may want to breed herself a baby or two in the future)? Is it heritable? What type of vet/expense is involved in gelding a cryptorchid male (i.e. this vet thinks it's OK to leave the other testicle but I'm not sure if that is good advice)? Any advice would be helpful.

    Thanks!
    J.



  2. #2
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    Jan. 20, 2009
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by J-Lu View Post
    As the title implies...

    I have a friend with a coming 2 year old stud colt that has one obvious testicle. The vet is checking him out in a few weeks but he's otherwise alert and happy. Essentially, the colt is very nice and is/was a potential stallion prospect. The vet told her that at this point, he's only going to have one descended testicle and that this condition is heritable so he wouldn't be a good breeder. But he also said a few other things that made a little skeptical of his advice. I'd like to point my friend to another vet if I have a reason to do so.

    Does anyone have any experience with this? What would you do if you thought he was a stallion prospect? Is this condition problematic if she wanted to keep him a stallion but not publically breed him (she owns/rides his father and may want to breed herself a baby or two in the future)? Is it heritable? What type of vet/expense is involved in gelding a cryptorchid male (i.e. this vet thinks it's OK to leave the other testicle but I'm not sure if that is good advice)? Any advice would be helpful.

    Thanks!
    J.
    This is a problem and you shouldn't breed with stallions having only one testicle. Most breeds I know of in Europe 100% disqualify stallions for this condition.

    However if the horse just turned two there's still hope for him that this will correct itself. I would also seek a second oppinion from another vet.
    In riding a horse we borrow freedom!

    Photography by. Eventing Photo and my fun farm at YouTube



  3. #3
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    Dec. 14, 2007
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    Wilsonville, Ontario, CANADA
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    Default

    My understanding of rigs is that there is NO way physiologically it can correct itself at 2 years of age. Isnt the ring closed off soon after birth, so if the testicle hasnt descended by then, there is no way for it to do so???

    And no WAY, would I leave the one testicle up there either. That can open up a whole 'nuther set of problems ...

    I was offered a lovely stallion to stand a few years back and I loved this guy in every way possible. He stepped off the trailer and in giving him the once over once he was in his stall we looked and looked and could only find the one testicle and turns out that he had been breeding for years, the owner had no idea it was a problem as the stallion manager at the place he was standing at didnt indicate it was a problem, so he never even thought to mention it to me as he felt I wouldnt care either ...

    He did right by him and ended up gelding him and giving him away

    I would never stand or own a rig. Its simply not right to either not tell a Mare owner and/or pass on a heritable defect. Plus - instead of a simple gelding needing to be done on the colt later on, it also usually means they need to be laid out on the table to fish out the testicle that is "up high" so you are now adding on to the costs down the road for the owners of those male foals



  4. #4
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    Oct. 20, 1999
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    Virginia
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    Default

    Real simple, you have it surgically removed. Our Wings had a retained testicle and he went to Morven to have it removed. We were fortunate in that it was located right inside the flank area and was a simple operation. Complications can be when the sort of bungee cord that attaches it gets all slung around and tangled in the internal organs and the vet has to go searching for it.

    He was only there for a couple of days.

    Do not consider NOT having this taken care of.

    Equine & Horse Advice on cryptorchids.

    Heather Smith Thomas' article in Thoroughbred Times:

    Posted: Saturday, May 16, 1998


    Dealing with cryptorchids
    Ridglings in most cases require surgery to remove undescended testicleSometimes called a ridgling or a high flanker, a cryptorchid is a male with a testicle that does not descend into the scrotum. Believed to be an inherited condition, cryptorchidism occurs more frequently in certain breeds and bloodlines.
    If structures that anchor the testicles to the bottom of the scrotum are weak or absent-an inherited weakness-then one or both testicles remain up in the flank or even in the abdominal cavity. In most cases, the undescended testicle must be removed by major surgery.
    If the properly descended testicle is removed, the horse can still be a stallion. The sex gland retained within the body (even if small and undeveloped due to its retention) is still producing male hormones and the horse will still show every characteristic of being a stallion, including mounting mares and trying to breed them. He cannot produce live sperm, however, because body temperature is too high for sperm to survive. The testicles of male animals must hang below the body, where they can stay a few degrees cooler than body temperature.
    There are several types of cryptorchids. True abdominal cryptorchids are born that way. When one testicle is retained, it is usually because it fails to enter the inguinal canal before closure of the internal inguinal ring-which traps it up in the abdomen. If it is trapped above the ring, the stallion is an abdominal cryptorchid; if it is trapped somewhere below in the inguinal canal, the stallion is called an inguinal cryptorchid, or "high flanker." Sometimes both testicles are retained in the abdomen, but this is very rare.
    Careful palpation of the scrotum and tissues above it, and a rectal palpation to examine the pelvic area often can help a veterinarian determine whether a testicle has been retained in the body. Also, ultrasound can be used to locate any retained testicle.
    In complete abdominal retention, the testicle is retained within the abdomen, suspended by a fold of peritoneum, the membrane that lines the abdominal cavity. It is somewhat mobile within the abdomen and can become mixed up with the coils of intestine or lie beside the bladder. In some cases it adheres to the wall of the abdomen or to one of the internal organs such as the spleen and can be difficult to locate and identify.
    The testicle retained completely within the abdomen is usually very small, flabby, and undeveloped. In horses, cases of left-side abdominal retention outnumber the right-side cases 2-to-1.

    How condition occurs
    Testicles of the developing fetus are formed within the abdomen, but before birth they pass down into the scrotum through the inguinal canal. The opening of this canal is called the internal vaginal ring. Most colts have two testicles in the scrotum at birth but, in some cases, the testicles retreat during the first weeks of life and descend again when the colt is a yearling.
    In the cryptorchid, one testicle does not come back down. Due to inherited weakness, the ligament that attaches the testicle to the bottom of the scrotum is weak or absent on one side or occasionally on both sides. If the ligament (the gubernaculum) is completely missing, that testicle will have nothing to hold it in the scrotum and will move higher and higher into the flank as the horse grows. If the ligament is weak, the testicle will move upward but will stop at some point within the flank. A horse with a testicle partly up the canal is called a high flanker to differentiate him from the cryptorchid with a testicle retained in the abdomen.
    If the horse is a true abdominal cryptorchid, the testicle cannot descend as the colt matures, and surgery is the only solution. But with a testicle caught part way up the canal and outside the abdominal wall, there is some chance the testicle will come down when the horse matures. The enlargement brought about by puberty and increased weight of the testicle helps pull it down.
    In some cases body heat in the flank inhibits proper growth of the testicle and it does not enlarge and descend. This high flanker is a better candidate for surgery (with less risk of serious complications) than the true abdominal cryptorchid. The testicle caught partly up the canal is much easier to retrieve surgically than one in the abdominal cavity.
    Whether to breed
    Using a cryptorchid stallion is a controversial issue and frowned upon by most horsemen and veterinarians. (One notable exception is A.P. Indy, a ridgling who was 1992 Horse of the Year and has become a prominent sire.) The concern is that some of his male offspring will inherit the condition, perpetuating the abnormality.
    Owners who wish to geld their ridglings confront risks as well. Removing the undescended testicle requires expensive and risky surgery.
    One problem with not gelding a cryptorchid is that the retained testicle has a higher risk of developing tumors as the horse gets older. That testicle may eventually develop an abnormal growth, which can threaten the horse's life or change his behavior. Some tumors alter the hormone balance, triggering a change in personality. Because the testicle produces both male and female hormones (the latter in small amounts under normal conditions), the tumor may cause more pronounced masculine or feminine behavior, depending on which cells are being affected by the tumor.
    Another abnormality that can occur with a retained testicle is a tumor made of misplaced embryonic tissue (teratoma). The reproductive tissue of the testicle provides an ideal environment for this misdirected tissue growth. The teratoma is usually a grapefruit-size mass of fetal material containing hair, teeth, and connective tissue. The teratoma probably starts early while the colt is still a fetus. These abnormal masses of tissue can occur in other areas of the body also and can result in death or malformation of the entire fetus. A teratoma can be the cause of a testicle's failure to descend.

    Surgical removal
    Removing a retained testicle usually involves putting the horse under general anesthetic. He is placed on his back and an incision is made where the leg and belly join, about six inches below the fold of the flank. The veterinarian reaches into the remnant of the tunnel the testicle should have come down and explores it for the missing testicle. When the organ is located, he works it out through the tunnel and removes it.
    If the testicle is not in the flank, he must search farther up into the body. The incision must be enlarged so the veterinarian can reach up into the abdominal cavity, perhaps as far as to the area where the testicles of the male fetus were originally formed. Many retained testicles move within the abdomen; it can take a lot of searching to find them. The higher up in the abdomen (and the more difficult to find), the more risky the surgery will be.
    "If you would have only one day to live, you should spend at least half of it in the saddle."



  5. #5
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    Jan. 6, 2009
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    231

    Default

    <<<(i.e. this vet thinks it's OK to leave the other testicle but I'm not sure if that is good advice)?>>>

    This is against the law!!!!

    You cannot sell a horse with a retained testicle as a gelding. Good Lord, after that comment I would be running for a different vet!

    I would also give the colt one more year. If he is not a problem waiting may resolve the whole problem. The ones that I have seen that finally drop the second oe usually do it in hot weather.



  6. #6
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    Oct. 4, 2003
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    Clinton, BC
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    Default

    If the second testicle is truely retained, then he is not a stallion prospect, because this is trait that is inherited. A vet with ethics will not remove only one testicle, and leave the other inside, such a horse is not a gelding. He can breed with the one large testicle showing, he is fertile. He would not be fertile with that large testicle removed and the other retained, but would have more testosterone than a gelding. There is also evidently a higher risk of cancer, plus behavioural problems that often develop in leaving the rigling ungelded, or with removal of the one obvious testicle.

    However, there is a chance that the second testicle is not fully retained. Just because you can not obviously see it does not mean that it is not there, outside the body wall. It may actually be outside the body cavity, but held up very high, and be very small in comparison to the other testicle. They can be so small that they are hard to see, but can be palpated by someone who knows what to feel for. If the ring of the abdominal wall is closed (should be by now) the testicle is either on one side or the other at this point. So "waiting for it to descend" is fruitless at this point. If both are outside the body wall and the only problem is that one is small and undeveloped, it will make gelding easier and cheaper than if abdominal surgery is required. It isn't a good thing in a breeding stallion to NOT have a fully developed set of two, but given time, the second one may develop better, maybe even normally, if it is currently on the correct side of the ring.

    The other possibility is that he is monorchid, only has one testicle. Rare condition, but I believe it exists. Condition is determined by ultrasound, and often exploratory surgery, attempting to find the missing testicle to remove it. A monorchid would also not be a stallion prospect, though he is fertile. There is little point in keeping a horse a stallion if he is not going to stand to the public, or stand to a substantial number of mares. To simply breed one or two mares in his lifetime, it is far cheaper and a lot less hassle to simply pay the stud fee to another stallion, rather than keep him ungelded for this purpose.



  7. #7
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    Nov. 28, 2003
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 2enduraceriders View Post
    <<<(i.e. this vet thinks it's OK to leave the other testicle but I'm not sure if that is good advice)?>>>

    This is against the law!!!!

    You cannot sell a horse with a retained testicle as a gelding. Good Lord, after that comment I would be running for a different vet!

    I would also give the colt one more year. If he is not a problem waiting may resolve the whole problem. The ones that I have seen that finally drop the second oe usually do it in hot weather.
    What that vet said is so completely unethical I can't even imagine a professional reccomending that. You never, ever, ever remove the "dropped" testicle and leave the intra-abdominal testicle. Not only is it irresponsible to anyone who may buy the horse in the future (who may think it is a gelding) but it is also unhealthy. A retained testicle has a much, much higher incidence of becoming cancerous. If it were my horse, I would have him anesthetized, lay him down, make darn sure I couldn't palpate the "missing" testicle and if it was truly not there I would castrate him (BOTH testicles). I don't care how nice he is otherwise, if he only has one testicle he's not a stallion candidate.
    Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."
    --Winston Churchill
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    www.HillsideHRanch.com



  8. #8
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    Jan. 13, 2003
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    6,834

    Default Get another opinion

    I'd definitely have him examined by another Veterinarian (actually take him to a clinic) to see if the retained testicle can be dropped. If not - do the surgery and geld him. Attempting to sell him as a gelding without removing a retained testicle would be a lawsuit in the making. Many registries will NOT approve a stallion with one testicle unless it had been descended and was removed for some other reason.
    Summit Sporthorses Ltd. Inc.
    "Breeding Competition Partners & Lifelong Friends"



  9. #9
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    Oct. 29, 1999
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    If the testicle was down at birth, and just "disappeared" as he grew, it may very well reappear as late as 6 from what I understand. A friend of mine had a colt that you could not feel the testicle at all until about 3 1/2. Then you could just start to feel a slight bulge high up where the hind leg joined the body. He did fully drop and was later gelded normally. One of my boarders had a colt that we could not find the 2nd testicle. She shipped him to a surgical facility, but when he was opened, the testicle was right there, and he was gelded normally.

    I believe there have been several high profile TB stallions that have a retained testicle, and no higher incidence of their offspring having the same problem. Reality is they just really don't know if it is heritable or not. IMO, the reason to not breed one is because I would not want the higher cancer risk of having a retained testicle, so I would geld to remove that risk.



  10. #10
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    Mar. 8, 2004
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    Default

    I had an extremely well bred colt with a retained testicle. I chose to have the retained one removed and left the "good" one until he proved or disproved himself on the track. Then we cut the other one off after he couldn't out run me. It ended up being silly in hindsight but was a good way to keep my options open just in case.



  11. #11
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    Nov. 15, 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laurierace View Post
    Then we cut the other one off after he couldn't out run me. It ended up being silly in hindsight but was a good way to keep my options open just in case.
    ROFLMAO...that is funny!
    Maria Hayes-Frosty Oak Stables
    Home to All Eyez On Me, 1998 16.2 Cleveland Bay Sporthorse Stallion
    & FrostyOak Hampton 2008 Pure Cleveland Bay Colt
    www.frostyoaks.com



  12. #12
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    Jul. 21, 1999
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    Houston, Texas
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    Default

    Do have your friend make sure that the second testicle is truly retained and not just in hiding. We thought my coming two year old didn't have either testicle descended, but when we sedated him and had the vet check, there they both were. And now they're gone.

    Other than that, I agree with what everyone else has said about not leaving the retained testicle in and checking with another vet.
    "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry



  13. #13
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    Feb. 2, 2003
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TrueColours View Post
    My understanding of rigs is that there is NO way physiologically it can correct itself at 2 years of age. Isnt the ring closed off soon after birth, so if the testicle hasnt descended by then, there is no way for it to do so???
    If it is indeed truly retained up in the abdominal cavity and above the inguinal ring. However, many, many youngsters will have testicle(s) that are in the inguinal canal and will drop into the scrotum as they mature. The higher up in the canal, the less likely that they will drop, but for some colts, they may not drop until they are 5 or older!!!

    This is against the law!!!!
    It's NOT illegal. Unethical? You bet, but definitely not illegal.

    You cannot sell a horse with a retained testicle as a gelding. Good Lord, after that comment I would be running for a different vet!
    Unfortunately many do. Or, with stallions that only have one testicle, a "prothesis" has been placed in the opposite side to give the appearance that the stallion isn't a cryptorchid, as well. You're talking about the horse industry here where not all parties involved have a view towards doing what is ethical, honest and moral.

    As the OP's colt is not even two yet, I definitely wouldn't be concerned. Leave him alone and check him in the spring when the weather is warmer and the hormones start coursing <smile>. You might be very surprised to discover that he really does have two.

    Hope that helps!

    Kathy St.Martin
    Equine Reproduction Short Courses
    http://www.equine-reproduction.com



  14. #14
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    My ex made a "bargain" on a one year old at an American trotting auction cause the yearling seemed to be missing out of one testicle. Not only did this horse make a great racing career he's nowadays an approved stallion with both testicle in place.

    Be patient, get a second opinion and see what happens.
    In riding a horse we borrow freedom!

    Photography by. Eventing Photo and my fun farm at YouTube



  15. #15
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    Jan. 6, 2009
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    <<<It's NOT illegal. Unethical? You bet, but definitely not illegal>>>

    Sorry, but it is against the law to sell a horse with a retained testicle as a gelding.

    This makes it a guaranteed loss if anyone sues for being hurt by a cryptorchid.



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2enduraceriders View Post

    Sorry, but it is against the law to sell a horse with a retained testicle as a gelding.
    No. It's fraud if it can be proven - that's civil, not criminal. As noted above. Unethical. Immoral. But not against the law. And, it will always come back as "buyer beware". The horse was "technically" gelded if the descended testicle was removed, just not a bilateral.

    It is, BTW, taught in veterinary schools that vets should NOT remove the descended testicle unless they can remove both just to avoid the chance that a rigger is sold as a horse that has been completely gelded. But, there are unethical vets just as there are unethical breeders just as there are unethical horse people.

    Kathy St.Martin
    Equine Reproduction Short Courses
    http://www.equine-reproduction.com



  17. #17
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    Kathy - I'm not following you on this. Fraud is against the law and this would come under the Commercial Code by stating that an animal has been gelded when it has not.
    Summit Sporthorses Ltd. Inc.
    "Breeding Competition Partners & Lifelong Friends"



  18. #18
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ise@ssl View Post
    Kathy - I'm not following you on this. Fraud is against the law and this would come under the Commercial Code by stating that an animal has been gelded when it has not.
    Semantics, I guess. Civil vs criminal. It's "illegal" to park in a no parking zone, but certainly not a criminal offense and chances are, I'm not going to end up in jail over it...well, unless one did it a LOT and didn't pay the tickets. And, it comes down to it's NOT illegal to just remove one testicle! It would be fraud to remove just one testicle and sell the horse as having had a bilateral castration. That was more my point than anything.

    In any event, the legality of it is off topic. The colt isn't even two yet, so I wouldn't be too concerned - yet. <smile>.

    Kathy St. Martin
    Equine Reproduction Short Courses
    http://www.equine-reproduction.com



  19. #19
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    We have had several WB offspring that were not truely suitable for gelding until age three. They had two testicles at birth, but became lost or could be felt only with tranqulizing and the ring had not closed. Eventually all was fine. As long as there are not behavorial issues related to hormones that make them difficult, I would be patient and all should right itself.
    "It's not how good you ride, It's how good your horse covers for you." -Kristan
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  20. #20
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    We had a clients horse who had a retained testicle. When gelded, the Vet only removed the external testicle. He was sure the horse only had one .
    Within a month the horse was so rank that it was dangerous to be around him. He wasn't a "nice" stallion, but once he was only half gelded he was a whole lot worse. His testosterone was very high. A second "gelding" found the missing testicle and he was fine.

    Through the years I have known people with half gelded stallions and every one of them has been far ranker than any stallion I have ever known.



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