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The story of a lost testicle. All ends well, don’t worry!

March 17, 2021

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Recently a colt’s vet was asked to come and castrate him. Following a thorough examination it was discovered there was only one testicle to be found and the horse was then sent to the Camden Equine Centre to solve the mystery of the lost testicle.

Cryptorchidsm, or horses with one or more retained/undescended testicle, are rare. It is important before attempting to castrate a colt that both testicles are present, as field conditions do not allow for the retained testicles to be removed safely. The retained testis may be located in the inguinal canal, close to the body wall and can easily be removed under general anesthesia. But if the testicle is retained within the abdomen the technique for removal in this situation is different. Identifying the location of the retained testicle is important in order to choose the most appropriate surgical approach. This is most usually done using ultrasound.

The testicle of the horse in this video was located inside the abdomen. The horse underwent a standing laparoscopic removal of the testicle.

This is a keyhole surgery that is performed in the standing sedated horse, with appropriate painkillers, epidural and local anaesthesia. As you can see in the video, the testicle is then grasped and cut under visual control to assure it is removed entirely and to ensure that there is no bleeding from the testicular vessels. The testicle is then removed through a small incision in the abdominal wall. This laparoscopic technique allows for a significantly shorter post-operative recovery period.

Camden Equine Centre has expertise in all methods of equine castration, so please don’t hesitate to call us to discuss the most suitable method for your horse.

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