Definition of Cryptorchidism
Cryptorchidism, sometimes called retained or undescended testes, is the absence of one or both testicles in the scrotum of a male puppy by the time it reaches 6 months of age. Testes normally descend within 6 to 8 weeks. However, they can remain in the abdomen or may never develop at all. Cryptorchid dogs can still be fertile, depending on the number and location of their retained testicle(s). Breeders should check puppies for this disorder before placing them in their new homes. Most cryptorchids show no signs of discomfort or pain. In fact, many owners don’t know that their puppies have this disorder until they are checked by a veterinarian or develop aggressive or otherwise unpleasant intact male tendencies. Dogs with retained testicles have a greatly increased risk of developing testicular infection, torsion and cancer. The condition is also hereditary. Affected dogs should be neutered.