ANY horse with no palpable scrotal testicles is potentially a cryptorchid, while a horse with only one palpable testicle is almost invariably a cryptorchid. In most cases, a horse with no palpable scrotal testicles is a gelding, but up to 15 per cent of cryptorchid cases are bilateral. Left and right testicles are equally likely to be retained, but while retained there is an increased incidence of incomplete cryptorchidisim on the right side. Cryptorchids can be further classified as inguinal, incomplete abdominal or abdominal, depending on the ultimate location of the testicle. Cryptorchidism is an inherited disorder and, although the genetics of the condition are complex and not completely resolved in the horse, the use of cryptorchid stallions is not recommended. This article discusses a surgical approach to the management of cryptorchidism; namely, preinguinal exploration and castration, and suprapubic paramedian laparotomy.
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