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Testicles, testicles, where are his testicles? -- FOUND!

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  • Testicles, testicles, where are his testicles? -- FOUND!

    Have any of you had a colt who was very, very slow to reveal his testicles? If so, did they ever develop?

    I know it's relatively common to have a horse who retains one testicle, but have any of you ever had a colt retain both testicles?

    My 20 month old colt still has not got any visible testicles. It's not that he has one and one is retained, he doesn't have anything. Sometimes he looks like he has little "ball buds" (as I call them), which look like the beginnings of testicles, but then sometimes you can't see even those.

    He is otherwise perfectly normal, if somewhat immature looking which isn't unusual for a warmblood. He's a sweet, sweet boy and shows no signs of studdish behavior at all (and he's turned out with his 8 month old sister). He's undergone a recent growth spurt, so it's not like he's not growing. We plan on gelding him, but as of now there's nothing to geld. He's a eunich.

    The vet is going to do a close check of him under sedation this week, but in the meantime I wanted to find out if anyone else has had this issue, and if so, what happened. Thanks.
    Last edited by Portia; Jan. 7, 2009, 01:35 PM.
    "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

  • #2
    Cop a feel. Seriously, reach up there and take a feel around. In winter, on my colts, you wont' find the boys. They are sucked up to their eyeballs, it's so cold out. I don't recall where you live but if it's cold out, they'll have the boys sucked up to keep them warm.

    FYI often 1 hangs a little lower than the other.
    Hopeful Farm Sport Horses
    Midwest Breeders Group
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    • #3
      yes and yes.

      If left alone, the retained testicle/s will eventually descend into the scrotum by the time the horse has reached three years of age.

      After 3 its likely that its chryptorchid and retained in the abdominal cavity or inguinal canal.

      It can be difficult to feel for the testicles though. I don't say that much on the internet!!!

      Comment


      • #4
        I would advise not having him out with his 8 month old sister. If he is truly a bilateral cryptorchid, which is unusual, then he probably isn't fertile. If, however, he has at least one testicle down then you could be playing with fire. You would be suprised how many people never see their colt act "studdy" and then lo- and behold a pasture-mate comes up pregnant. And while 8 months is young, she could start cycling around a year of age.

        As to the original question, you are going to have to have a good feel. We have had horses brought to the clinic for castration and not been able to feel/find testicles until the horse is anesthetized, so he may just be hiding them high up in the flank. If you can occassional see "something" my guess is that they are there and he isn't a true cryptorchid.
        Already excited about our 2016 foals! Expecting babies by Indoctro, Diamant de Semilly, Zirocco Blue and Calido!
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        • #5
          um, you guys have had unusually cold weather, no?

          The boys go upstairs for the winter, even if they've been downstairs... So even if he had dropped, he might've sucked 'em up 'till Spring.
          InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            I'm in Houston so it's not too cold here (today is a high near 70).

            The vet appointment on Wednesday is so he can be sedated and fondled by a professional.

            He does have a small umblilicle hernia which isn't causing him any problems but will have to be repaired at some point. Around here, if you have a choice it's always preferable to have a surgery during the few months of relatively cold weather, so we were thinking of having the hernia repair and the gelding surgery done this month, but if we can wait with a reasonable chance of being able to do a normal gelding, that's what we'd prefer. Then again, we were also hoping to geld him so he can continue to stay out with his sister.

            I just want reassurance that others have had this happen with their boys and we can wait another year for nature to take its course (with dropped testicles, not with his sister).
            "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

            Comment


            • #7
              20 months, no, haven't experienced that, but... If you are willing to spend a few $, have a vet tranq him and see what happens after he's relaxed, and all is hangin' loose... Sometimes that is all it takes. Some young boys are quite good at protecting their balls!

              I have a weanling (7 months) who has just BARELY dropped his first.

              By the way - some crytorchids get quite nasty. So I'm not sure I'd wait until he's 3 - how is his 'tude? Several vets have told me the crytorchids tend to be much more agressive than a regular stallion
              www.MysticOakRanch.com Friesian/Warmblood Crosses, the Ultimate Sporthorse
              Director, WTF Registry

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              • #8
                Colts' testicles are down at birth, if they're not cryptorchids. They will then "rise and fall" so to speak, depending on the weather, age, etc. But, if they were down at birth, they'll eventually drop into the scrotum. With some colts it an be up until the age of 6. Welsh Ponies tend to be much slower to drop than other breeds, for whatever bizarre reason.

                This time of year, even in Houston, the boys tend to keep their testicles close to their body (thermal regulation), making it difficult to palpate them. As others have noted, tranquilization will usually make palpating and locating the errant testicle(s) easier, but not necessarily foolproof.

                We currently have a coming three year old with one retained testicle. As he is 1/2 welsh, I'm hoping that he's just slow to drop. But, if they both aren't down this spring, he'll go up to OSU for surgery.

                Originally posted by FriesianX View Post
                By the way - some crytorchids get quite nasty. So I'm not sure I'd wait until he's 3 - how is his 'tude? Several vets have told me the crytorchids tend to be much more agressive than a regular stallion
                Sorry, but a cryptorchid is no more likely to be nasty than any other stallion.

                FWIW, good vets will NOT remove the dropped testicle in a cryptorchid. If the colt is truly a cryptorchid, they'll do the abdominal surgery if they're set up for it and remove the retained testicle at the same time, but they should NOT remove the dropped testicle unless they can remove the retained testicle, as well. It's an ethical thing. No way to identify (other than a "gelding" that acts like a stallion) if a male horse is a crytorchid or a true gelding.

                Hope that helps!

                Kathy St.Martin
                Equine Reproduction Short Courses
                http://www.equine-reproduction.com
                Equine-Reproduction.com Now offering one on one customized training!
                Leg-Up Equestrian Assistance Program, Inc. A 501(c)(3) non-profit charity

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                • #9
                  Our colts are always down at birth. I make sure to check for them during those initial foal checks so later, I know. They can become high flankers as they grow, because sometimes the cord? does not grow at the same rate, so one of the testicles stays where it was as the body grows until it gets weight to it to help it stretch the cord. In general, those are slow developing boys, and the small size of the testicles is also directly related to if they are fertile at all yet. I have never worried about leaving a filly out with a colt with tiny/high testicles. Usually their studish behavior also does not start until the testicle starts to get some size, so just keep checking. (Studdish behavior to me is not nipping, or jumping on each other, but genuine interest in an in heat mare, & mounting).

                  If I have had an 18 month to 2 +year old out with a filly and would be suspicious, I just have the filly checked after a few months to make sure, and I have never had any surprise pregnancies.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Equine Reproduction View Post
                    Sorry, but a cryptorchid is no more likely to be nasty than any other stallion.

                    Kathy St.Martin
                    Equine Reproduction Short Courses
                    http://www.equine-reproduction.com
                    Hi Kathy, I'll take my vet's word on this one - several vets at UC Davis have observed this now, no explanation as to WHY (yet), but they noting pretty errant, agressive, unpredictable behavior in the crypts...
                    www.MysticOakRanch.com Friesian/Warmblood Crosses, the Ultimate Sporthorse
                    Director, WTF Registry

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Thanks Kathy and everyone. I really appreciate the responses and expert advice.

                      Unfortunately, we didn't think to check when he was born. Since I have seen something there at times, I'm going to hope that he's just slow to develop and the vet will find something when he tranqs and palpates him this week. Our weather has been warm-cold-warm-cold, so he could well have decided to put them away for the winter. As I think about it, when I have spotted something, it was in the summer heat.

                      In any event, now that I know it can be much later before they drop in some cases, I think we'll end up waiting. He's very sweet, not aggressive at all, easy to handle, (easier than his opinionated little sister), and has never indicated any sexual interest in a female (or anything else).
                      "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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by FriesianX View Post
                        Hi Kathy, I'll take my vet's word on this one - several vets at UC Davis have observed this now, no explanation as to WHY (yet), but they noting pretty errant, agressive, unpredictable behavior in the crypts...
                        <smile>...Everyone has an opinion and not saying one is any more right or wrong than another Just an observation. In our experience, it's just like dealing with any other stallion and depending on the breeding, temperament and handling of the boy will have a direct correlation to their behavior - good or bad.

                        I will say that with a cryptorchid, leaving the retained testicle, there is a higher incidence of testicular cancer in the retained testicle - thought to be as a result of the higher temperature of the body.

                        Hope that helps!

                        Kathy St.Martin
                        Equine Reproduction Short Courses
                        http://www.equine-reproduction.com
                        Equine-Reproduction.com Now offering one on one customized training!
                        Leg-Up Equestrian Assistance Program, Inc. A 501(c)(3) non-profit charity

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I had one who had one retained testicle.

                          He was sold at 3 months of age and the owner & I had an agreement that if he hadn't dropped by 24 months I would pay for 1/2 the surgery (it's FAR more expensive than normal gelding) up to a certain amount. I was SURE he would drop by then.

                          Well, the sucker never did drop...the buyer was a nurse so she was groping him constantly...alas, the ball never did appear. Finally he started to get alittle on the muscle, so he was gelded at about 20-22 months. Her vets said -- "if it hasn't come down by now, it never will..."

                          So the damn horse wasn't even mine anymore and he managed to find a way to cost me $$$!

                          As for letting your guy run with his little sister -- REAL bad idea. Just 'cause you don't see the behavior doesn't mean it ain't being done.

                          Just last year I had three friends/fellow breeders who:

                          a. Had a yearling colt WITH testicles (obviously) impregnate their 22 yr. mare
                          b. be surprised one spring morning by finding a newly born foal in their pasture; the mare had been in with a stallion, but they had never seen him show any interest and because of an old injury, they were positive the stallion could not mount or breed.
                          c. Find a mare come up pregnant after being in with a VERY old stallion. Apparently they tried to breed them, but the mare (a maiden) totally freaked out and tore away. Naturally, the old guy went after her, but she was fast and he was very, very old <g>. They left them together in a 20 acre pasture and every morning they'd go out and see the young maiden in one corner of the pasture trembling and the poor old dude panting and heaving like he was going to have a heart attack in the opposite corner. Honestly, they watched and watched and never saw the two within 30 ft of each other. Imagine their surprise when the mare was confirmed in foal several months later!! Apparently they DID get within 30 ft of each other....

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Mine was dropped when he was born. Darn boy came out ready to go. He even passed his meconium before getting off the ground or breaking the umbilcal cord - got his mom to pass the placenta at the same time too.

                            When he was being castrated and under sedation he tried to pull them up and keep them. I had no desire to have a stud so there was no way he was keeping them.

                            I hope it all goes smoothly with the vet on Wednesday.
                            Cloverfox Stables

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If you sometimes see "little buds" (two) then you're probably fine. They are probably hiding in the inguinal canal and sucked up even higher than normal due to the cold. When he grows they can be temporarily pulled higher, (assuming the distance gets longer between their orgin and the exit point) until his testicles develop more, become heavier and pull down on the cord.

                              Regarding fillies, they can come into heat as early as 8-9 months. They've always come into heat before a year of age around here although not necessarily always as obvious. Sometimes I can only smell the change in their urine but they aren't acting obvious. Last year I had a pitiful little group of 8 and 9 month old fillies standing in a group squatting and peeing on each other.

                              Your 8 month old filly in with her older brother is risky. While it isn't as certain as putting in a more mature colt his age, it is still a risk and I don't think you'd want to be dealing with a pregnant yearling filly.
                              Altamont Sport Horses
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                              • #16
                                Yup, I had one like this, nothing showing and two years old. Half TB colt, homebred, homegrown, 16.2. I used to point his condition out to visitors, pointing to the offending absent parts, saying, "How do you like my colt?" Then had to assure them that he had NOT already been gelded. He acted like a gelding. I was terrified that he had fully retained both of them, and that it was going to be expensive. I could not palpate anything there. But my vet could, both of them. On heavy sedation, two, the size of grapes, showed up. And were removed.

                                So yours may be retained, or they may just be abnormally small. Good luck.
                                www.cordovafarm.weebly.com

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                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Under sedation, both his testicles appeared. He could have a regular gelding, but he is going to have surgery to repair a small umbilicle hernia next week, and will be gelded at the same time.

                                  Thanks for all your advice.
                                  "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

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                                  • #18
                                    That's good news!
                                    Visit Sonesta Farms website at www.sonestafarms.com or our FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/sonestafarms. Also showing & breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

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                                    • #19
                                      When you do the gelding, don't forget to throw the testicles up on the barn roof. It's an honored tradition in the racing world.

                                      Or, if you aren't in a position to do that, dogs LOVE the male parts.
                                      "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                                      Thread killer Extraordinaire

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                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        I remember being at my uncle's cattle ranch during gelding season when I was a kid. I did not partake in the prairie oyster eating by my uncle and the ranch hands -- and the ranch dogs.
                                        "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

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