I have written before about some of the health problems we have had to deal with in our cats. Malteser has asthma, Emmy has epilepsy. Well, we can now add to the list an undescended testicle or ‘feline cryptorchidism’.
Feline Undescended Testicle/Cryptorchidism
What Is Feline Undescended Testicle/Cryptorchidism?
Feline cryptorchidism is when one or both testicles fail to descend into the scrotum. The testicles originate in the belly area of a kitten. They gradually descend into the scrotum, usually in place by the time the kitten is two months old. I have learnt all this today!
In some cases, the testicles don’t descend or get part of the way and stop. If both testicles fail to descend it is known as ‘bilateral cryptorchidism’, if it is only one it is known as ‘unilateral cryptorchidism’. It is a rare condition, said to affect less than 2% of male cats and then often in exotic breeds such as Persians. It can be an inherited condition. You can read more than you ever want to know about this feline undescended testicle/cryptorchidism here.
We discovered that poor Treacle, one of Scrappy’s kittens and now seven months old had unilateral cryptorchidism when he went in to be neutered.
The Dangers of An Undescended Testicle
Untreated a cat with this condition would not be in any discomfort or have any pain until a crisis arises and there are two main ones.
- The undescended testicle floats around in the abdomen. Sometimes it can twist causing something known as ‘testicular torsion’ which is extremely painful for the cat and comes on suddenly.
- The other main problem is a risk of tumors and testicular cancer that may start to show as behavior change.
The only treatment is surgery to find and remove the undescended testicle (in Treacle’s case). On the discovery of cryptorchidism the simple neutering surgery we were all expecting became major abdominal surgery akin to spaying a female.
In fact poor old Treacle has a larger scar than the three spayed females we currently have recuperating in a back room. He has six metal clips holding the wound together and now has to recuperate for 12 days until the clips can be removed. He has had pain killing injections and antibiotics of course. The prognosis for the future is good now the surgery has been done.
Getting Used To The Idea
The night before Treacle went in to be neutered I had cuddled him and told him that once this was done he could come in the house more regularly. He already was coming in for ‘visits’ to get Stevie Mouse and Emmy used to the idea they were going to have a new brother.
The morning I had to catch Treacle and his brothers Rolly and Rabby, I opened the front door. Treacle calmly walked in the front door, got in the cat carrier and sat down, like he was ready to go. He really is a dear little chap.
I took the boys to the vet yesterday, left them and went back to pick them up this morning. It was quite a shock when they told me about Treacle I have to say. He was on the operating table when they discovered the problem and as surgery is the only solution for it they had to go ahead with the bigger operation.
Now Treacle is in the house but not in the way either of us had intended. He will stay in with the girls until they get their clips removed in a week’s time and then I will bring him in with me in the main part of the house rather than leave him on his own. He deserves to join the gang in front of the fire after all he has been through bless him!
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