Reproduction Forum

Drug compounding, the ethics of treating cryptorchids, and sexually transmitted diseases were the hot topics discussed by equine practitioners at the Reproduction Forum, led by Steven Brinsko, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACT, associate professor of theriogenology at Texas A&M University, and Mats Troedsson, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACT, of the University of Florida.


Cryptorchids are colts with at least one testicle that hasn’t descended into the scrotum; this descent usually occurs by 10 days after birth.

Forum leaders raised the question of ethics in treating cryptorchid horses–is treatment doing the horse any good? Are veterinarians propagating the cryptorchidism horses by treating the condition? Or are the owner’s finances the only benefit of treating these horses?

The heritability of cryptorchidism in horses is unknown, although studies in other species suggest the condition is highly heritable, and practitioners are aware that certain breeds (e.g., Percherons, Welsh ponies) are more susceptible.

Forum leaders questioned whether it is correct to treat this condition, given that it appears to be passed on to the stallion’s progeny. Additionally, testicles retained in the abdominal cavity are incapable of normal spermatogenesis due to the elevated temperature and more prone to neoplasia (cancer).

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