Undescended Testicle and Fertility – More Puppies?

water gordon
Photo by Bob Segal

I just read an article by Carol Beuchat PhD titled Cryptorchidism is complicated – The Institute of Canine Biology that left me going “hmmm?”.  I believe that sharing information is good and I did think the findings in this study were interesting and surprising, thus meriting a share, especially with other breeders.

Carol Beauchat says in her opening paragraph “A dog with one testicle can kiss a show career goodbye because it fails to meet the minimum threshold of quality for a male dog. Presumably this is because not having a matched pair reveals some deficiency of maleness, despite the fact that the dog can nevertheless be fertile. Most breeders send the cryptorchids on a trip to the vet that removes them from the gene pool before they are sent off to meet the family that will be their wonderful forever home.” and, yes, this is what we breeders have been taught to do. If we’re going to breed dogs, this recessive trait will occur somewhere along the line, and most active Gordon Setter breeders will be faced with a choice about a cryptorchid puppy at some point.

Back to the interesting stuff. The first finding was that carrier x carrier matings produced significantly larger litters than normal x normal matings. What? More puppies instead of fewer? As a breeder, I had assumed we’d see smaller litters and this threw me off. Next I read that carrier x carrier matings also produced significantly more males and slightly fewer females than normal x normal matings. Well, I’ll be.

Now, none of this changed my opinion as to whether we should immediately change our practice of neutering cryptorchids thus deleting them from the gene pool, but I do think we should continue to watch and learn, obviously if further study of cryptorchidism merits a second look at our current practice we may want reconsider that position, who am I to say?

Today, I’m simply sharing information along with reference material on cyrptorchidism. Every good Gordon Setter breeder and dog show exhibitor should know what this means pertaining to dog show careers and breeding programs, along with the health of any affected Gordon Setters.

Canine Cryptorchidism in the Dog  Cheryl Lopate, MS, DVM Diplomate, American College of Theriogenologist

Canine Cryptochidism: Undescended Testicle in Dogs

Sally Gift

2 thoughts on “Undescended Testicle and Fertility – More Puppies?”

  1. From our Facebook reader:
    Peggy Davis – This is interesting. I can say that I had an accidental litter. The bitch was placed and they had a male with one testicle. Needless to say the owners did not think anything would happen…..well she delivered 15 puppies of which 11 were male. This is pretty much what the study concludes….


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