Testicular Descent

A discussion of cryptorchidism in young stallions is fraught with controversy. Everyone agrees on what constitutes cryptorchidism, but that sometimes is as far as agreement goes. We know that the condition involves the retention of one or both

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A discussion of cryptorchidism in young stallions is fraught with controversy. Everyone agrees on what constitutes cryptorchidism, but that sometimes is as far as agreement goes. We know that the condition involves the retention of one or both testicles in a stallion, either in the abdominal cavity or the inguinal canal. Just exactly why the descent of the testis or testes into the scrotum fails to occur is not definitely known, athough there are several theories.


The real controversy begins when the subject of treatment is brought into the conversation.


There are individuals, for instance, who feel a discussion on treatment protocols is unwarranted because the condition is hereditary. The only recourse, they would maintain, is castration.


Others will argue that it has not been proven scientifically that cryptorchidism is inherited. Unless the testis is retained within the abdominal cavity, they would likely advocate the use of hormonal therapy to stimulate descent of the testis

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Les Sellnow was a prolific freelance writer based near Riverton, Wyoming. He specialized in articles on equine research, and operated a ranch where he raised horses and livestock. He authored several fiction and nonfiction books, including Understanding Equine Lameness and Understanding The Young Horse. He died in 2023.

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