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Cryptorchid surgery: laparoscopic vs. traditional method- Thank you!

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    Cryptorchid surgery: laparoscopic vs. traditional method- Thank you!

    We have recently gotten a 2 year old miniature colt, uncut. He was given to us for free on the account of being a bilateral cryptorchid. He is otherwise healthy and very well bred, just "useless" in his condition. That is why his price went from $$$ to $ 0.

    We did not really want him either, but we were only looking for a companion horse to a companion horse and felt sorry for him (we will drive him, eventually). We could afford the surgery. There is a little bit of sucker left in us, I suppose.

    So, we are waiting until spring to do the surgery hanging on a faint hope, he might drop after all. According to veterinary guide to miniature horses, some do not drop until the age of three. We do not count on it, but miracles do happen.

    I researched and these are the two best options for our area:
    1) laparoscopic surgery in a facility two hours away and the price $1,500 +

    2) traditional, open, surgery in a facility 40 minutes away and the price $ 1,000

    Both animal hospitals are top ranked with great references.

    I asked the doctors, etc., but would be very interested to see COTHers' take on the surgery.

    Is laparoscopic that much better for/easier on horses? Is post-operational care so much "easier"? I was told, he could pretty much resume his normal existence right after the surgery, while, after the traditional surgery, it would be at least a week of a confinement in a small area.

    I am leaning towards closer and cheaper option, but mostly because of the proximity. I think, it would be easier on him to travel a day after surgery only for 40 minutes vs. 2 hours.

    I would appreciate your thoughts. Thank you in advance.

    PS: In the meantime, we exercise him like crazy and do all the things to get him to drop, but he is not budging.
    Last edited by Emilia; Apr. 21, 2014, 09:38 PM.

    Do you know for sure where they are? I had a horse whose retained testicle was all the way up next to his kidney. They basically ended up having to do a colic surgery to find it. Lots of times it is located just on the other side of the ring, that is a pretty easy procedure. There is some drug you can give them to try to get it to drop but I am drawing a blank on that at the moment. Maybe oxytocin?
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      Original Poster

      No, we do not know, where they are. Nobody could find them so far and he is not telling.

      Several vets tried, one thought he found one. They all ended up asking, whether we were sure he was a "stallion."

      We are pretty sure and the lady we got him from was 100% sure. She is a breeder, but did not breed this one. He was with her just in a transit to new home.

      He acts like one- discovering his manhood and excited about mares, stallion piles, pooping/peeing over other horses' poops, etc. He has a great disposition, so does not really act "study" towards us, just like a normal two year old.

      I'll check with the vet about the drug. How long do they usually take it before one can state success or failure, please?


        If it were my decision, I would go laparoscopic, he will have 3 small incisions in his flank region on both sides and the recovery is very fast, the trauma to his insides very small. Any time you start making large incisions you run more of a risk of infection complications as well as adhesions.


          Not sure how the clinics are able to provide accurate procedure quotes without having some idea of location - ie ultrasound 1st to find the testicles: this may drastically alter the cost & recovery time. especially with after-care/recovery.

          I would definitely go laparascopic


            Original Poster

            Originally posted by alto View Post
            Not sure how the clinics are able to provide accurate procedure quotes without having some idea of location...
            Well, I was surprised, too. When I first asked around horse people, there were quotes between $ 800 to $ 1,500. However, when I called the NoVA hospitals, they all quoted a firm price and when I asked, they said, it did not really matter, where they were.

            Perhaps, they changed the practice.


              Maybe they just routinely look first & it's already included in the quotes

              Don't forget it costs much less to keep a mini "under" than a "horse" so likely the clinics already have some room in their quotes - after all, quote high & then provide a 10 - 20% discount & your clients love you


                Another thing to consider is using the vet school in Va. As a VA resident you will get a very low cost from them, this also includes Md residents.
                Call them and talk. I was all set to take a crypto chided 2 yr old to them but my vet suggested I let her try a typical castration when she would be able to reach up inside and feel around. Bingo! Easily found and $ saved.



                  As someone else said, ultrasound may give you a better idea of where the testicles are (and which surgery option might be best). But, yes, more money.


                    There is a chance it could drop at 3yrs - I know more than one stallion that this happened to. Everyone said if it hadn't dropped by 2 - it wasn't going to drop but these guys were given some more time and they did actually drop as 3yr olds so it is not impossible. Just thought I would mention my experiences with some "late" bloomers..


                      Original Poster

                      We decided to go with the laparoscopic option. It was more expensive, but he has been healing very nicely, so, I think, it was well worth the price.

                      He did not budge and managed to stay a bilateral cryptorchid until the very end!

                      Thank you, again, for your input. I appreciated it very much and it helped me to decide, what was right for our little guy.


                        Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                        There is some drug you can give them to try to get it to drop but I am drawing a blank on that at the moment. Maybe oxytocin?
                        HCG perhaps?
                        "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                        ...just settin' on the Group W bench.


                          Originally posted by emilia View Post
                          We decided to go with the laparoscopic option. It was more expensive, but he has been healing very nicely, so, I think, it was well worth the price.

                          He did not budge and managed to stay a bilateral cryptorchid until the very end!

                          Thank you, again, for your input. I appreciated it very much and it helped me to decide, what was right for our little guy.
                          Stubborn boy
                          nice to hear he's doing well ...
                          NOW we just need PICTURES!