◊ Male Genital System Affections◊

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Definition: -

During the early stages of development of the fetus, the testicles are intra-abdominal, and they usually descend into the scrotum before birth. If one or both testicles fail to descend to the scrotum, the condition is called unilateral or bilateral cryptorchidism. The condition may be temporary in foals up to one year, but elder horses are considered cryptorchid animals.

Forms of cryptorchidism: -


It is a condition characterized by one or both testicles retained in the inguinal canal


It is a condition characterized by one or both testicles retained in the abdominal cavity


Both of the testis and the epididymis are present in the abdominal cavity


The testis is present in abdominal cavity while the epididymis is present in the inguinal canal

Etiology: -


2-Hormonal disturbance of the dam during pregnancy

Symptoms: -

1-Absence of one or both testicles from the scrotum

2-The animal is sterile in bilateral affection

3-Retained testicle produce higher amount of sex hormones on expense of reduced spermatogenesis, with increased sexual desire and the animal gets bad temper or becomes vicious (kicking and biting). However these animals are hard workers.

Diagnosis: -



3-Recctal examination in large animals

4-Radiography and songraphy in small animals

Treatment: -

Castration if the animal has bad habits


Definition: -

It is an inflammation of one or both testicles, while epididymo-orchitis means inflammation of both epididymis and testicles. Aside from destruction of affected testicle, the other healthy one may be destroyed as a result of elevated temperature of affected one.

Causes: -

1-Trauma that may occur during transportation or by biting

2-Infection either by non-pyogenic organism like Salmonella and Brucella or by pyogenic organisms like Staph and Strept

3-Infestation by some types of filarial in camel

Signs: -

Signs are usually marked in acute cases while in chronic cases it usually misdiagnoses

A-General Signs

Fever, loss of appetite, and dullness, and loss of sexual desire

B-Local Signs

1-Hotness, pain, and swelling of affected testicle that seems hard on manipulation, this hardness or induration may extend to the epididymis and the whole structure becomes single hard mass of considerable size.

2-Testicle can’t move freely within the scrotum

3-Abduction of hind limbs to reduce pressure on affected testicle

C-Changes in Seminal Fluid

1-Spermatozoa are reduced in number, have abnormal shape, and have reduced viability, accordingly the animal may be come infertile or even sterile in bilateral cases

2-Presence of large number of leucocytes and pus clots in semen

Treatment: -

A-Symptomatic Treatment

Cold application, anti-biotic, analgesic, and sedative

B-Surgical Treatment

Castration to save the other sound testicle

Differential diagnosis: -













Signs of inflammation






Palpability of testicle





Movability of testicle

Impossible in chronic cases











Exploratory puncture




Serous fluid



Definition: -

Inability to protrude the penis from its sheath either as a result of narrowing of its opening, or relative increase in size of glans penis due to inflammation

Causes: -


2-Inflammation as a result of trauma or infection with subsequent cicatrical contraction of the orifice

3-Tuomors of the penis

4-Presence of strands connecting the glans penis to the prepuce

Signs: -

1-Inability to protrude the penis

2-Inflammation of the glans penis (balanitis) and the sheath (posthitis)

Treatment: -

1-Cleaning with application of warm fomentation for reduction of the size of penis

2-Surgical removal of neoplasms or scar

3-Surgical widening of the opening of the sheath

4-Surgical removal of the strand connecting the glans to the prepuce


Definition: -

Inability of the penis to retract into the prepuce that predisposes the glans penis to dryness and infection

Causes: -

1-Strangulation of the penis by hairs around preputial orifice in case of bulls and dogs

2-Paralysis of the penis

3-Inflammatory swelling of the penis by trauma or infection

4-Neoplasmis of glans penis

Signs: -

1-Protrusion of the glans outside the preputial orifice

2-Constriction by the orifice causes congestion and edema of the glans that gradually changes in color and get infected

3-Necrosis and gangrene may be observed in old cases

Treatment: -

1-Remove the cause

2-Warm antiseptic fomentation for reduction of size of the glans penis, application of oily antibiotic for lubrication, reduction of the penis to its normal position, and closure of the preputial orifice by purse string

3-Surgical incision of the preputial orifice

4-Amputation of the penis in case of gangrene or paralysis


Definition: -

Accumulation of serum between the two layers of tunica vaginalis

Causes: -


2-Infestation by filaria

Signs: -

1-Soft fluctuating swelling of the scrotum

2-Atrophy of the testicle in old cases

3-The testicle can’t be felt if the amount of the fluid is large enough

Diagnosis: -



3-Clinical examination and exploratory puncturing

Treatment: -



It is a state of accumulation of blood between the two layers of tunica vaginalis as a result of trauma and treated by castration


It is persistent vasodilation of veins of pampiniform plexus in old horses and treated by castration


Definition: -

Chronic purulent, fibrous, hyperplastic, inflammation of spermatic cord and it covering tunica, that is usually observed after castration in equine and it is usually associated with abscess and fistula  

Causes: -

1-Botromycosis in horses, and actinomycosis or TB in bulls

2-Small surgical incision during castration that predisposes to accumulation of secretions which are a good media for bacterial growth

3-Sepsis before, during or after castration

4-Weak cremastric muscle predisposes to protrusion of spermatic cord through the surgical wound and subjects it for infection

Signs: -

1-Stiffness and lameness of the corresponding hind limb

2-Delay of healing more than 6 weeks with presence of one or more opening discharging pus

3-Examination of these openings reveals connection to a canal

4-Rectal palpation reveals that the stump of spermatic cord is voluminous, hard, and painful

Treatment: -

Surgical excision of affected portion of spermatic cord


Castrating an animal is unsexing a male animal. It isn’t as simple as most people may think, nor is it exactly painless. However, castrating is a practice that has been done on cattle for hundreds of years and is the oldest surgical operation known.

Indications: -

1-To eliminate the incidence of a poor- or inferior-quality bull from breeding superior females and producing less-than-ideal offspring

2-To make males less dangerous and rowdy towards other cattle and humans when they are being raised for beef

3-To meet market demand as far as beef quality and sales are concerned

4-Saving one testicle when the other one has pathological lesion like abscess


Timing: -

Most castrating should be done during early spring or late fall. It can also be done in the winter time, as the cold will constrict the blood vessels making it less likely for an animal to bleed out sooner. The operation is better performed at younger ages, and Bulls can be castrated at 8 months of age although they can be castrated at any time. Castration of old animals predisposes to greater stress, risk of bleeding, and slows the growth rate. On average, calves are castrated around 8 weeks of age or sooner.


It is a process through which the gonads are retained non-functional without surgical removal of them. This process is far more painless, less invasive and less stressful on cattle than traditional methods. It includes chemical destruction of the gonads by injecting them with irritant substances, solution or a vaccine that targets hormones responsible for sexual characteristics and sperm production. This method destroys the testicles and spermatic cords of bull calves weighing up to 150 lbs. It's not as effective on bulls over this weight. Using the Immunocastration, however, is a vaccine that is being developed to target the hormones responsible for the sex characteristics and sperm production of the bull. So far, none of such vaccines have provided the possibility of long-term castration.

A-Banding by Elastrator

Technique: -

Put an elastic ring over the closed end of the elastrator. There are four points on the elastrator, and when the handle is squeezed, this opens up and stretches the green band. Restrain the calf in a sitting or lying position. Press both testicles through the ring and to the lower end of the scrotum. Release the rubber ring, and finally release the calf.

Advantages: -

1-Bloodless (no blood is lost when banding or crushing the cords through the scrotal wall)

2-Less chance of infection occurring because no open wounds are created

3-More painless than cutting because the area quickly numbs after the band is put on, there is a little discomfort, but it goes away after a while.

4-Quick and easy to do if done properly

5-No risk of maggot infestation if done during the fly season

6-Cutting off blood supply enables the testes and scrotum to gangrene and fall off on their own

Disadvantages: -

1-Mistakes can happen; put the rubber ring around the testes instead of the cord, one testicle is only banded because the other hasn't descended yet, ring is too brittle and comes off sooner than the scrotum starts to atrophy, etc.

2-A little painful during the application, but the area goes numb very quickly soon after.

3-Tetanus shot may be required as there is risk of infection as the scrotum atrophies and sloughs off

B-Castration by Burdizzo Pincher

By this operation neither the skin of the scrotum incised nor the gonads removed. A machine named Burdizzo which is a castration device that employs a large clamp designed to break the blood vessels leading into the testicles. Once the blood supply to the testicles is lost, testicular necrosis occurs, and the testicles shrink, soften, and eventually deteriorate completely. When the device is used the operator crushes the spermatic cords one after one, leaving a space in between in order to maintain uninterrupted blood-flow to the scrotum. The burdizzo is used primarily on farm animals such as cattle and sheep. Because an incision is not required, castration by burdizzo is usually bloodless and, according to some research, has a lower risk of infection, compared with traditional methods. While the risks of blood loss and infection are low, anesthesia is a must, as the burdizzo causes blunt force causing trauma to the spermatic cords, which are thickly wrapped in nerve fibers.

Technique: -

1-Restrain the calf

2-Work the cord to the outer side of the scrotum

3-Apply the Burdizzo about 1-1/2 to 2 inches above the testicle

4-Close the clamp and leave it in position for about a minute.Remember when closing the clamp, you need to close it so that it crushes the cord, not so that it is merely a light pressure to the area. Ensure that the penis is not included in the crushed tissues

5-Repeat with the second testicle

Advantages: -

1-Desirable for show steers because of the large and well-shaped cod that is formed in well-finished steers.

2-Similar advantages as described above with banding.

3-No tetanus shot required because there is no scrotal atrophy occurring

Disadvantages: -

1-Best done by an experienced operator or veterinarian

2-One cord can only be cut at a time, and can’t slip from the clamps of the Burdizzo

3-Mistakes are likely to occur if not done properly: the cord may be incompletely crushed and the animal may develop stagginess later.


It is a process through which the gonads are removed surgically

Advantages: -

1-Easy to see that two testes are present

2-Quick and a highly common practice used among ranchers

Disadvantages: -

1-Risk of blood loss, infection and maggot infestation

2-Cannot be performed during fly season

3-Knife may not be sterilized, inducing infection

4-Cutting the cord may not be done properly increasing the chance of blood loss for the animal

5-More painful for the animal than banding, depending on the method of cutting used

6-Can cut oneself whilst castrating the animal: knives are sharp and must be handled properly and safely

A-Covered Castration

It is a process through which the scrotum is incised surgically (start with the lower testicle to lower possibility of contamination) and the gonads are removed covered with tunica tunica vaginalis. Thee testicle is pulled and the spermatic cord freed from the neck of the scrotum till appearance of the cremastric muscle, that was transfixed with two ligations. The emasculator is used to cut in between the two ligations. The other testicle is treated in the same manner. In equine the scrotum is left without suturing.

Advantages: -

1-low incidence of intestinal herniation through the stump of the spermatic cord as it closed with trans-fixation ligation

2-Lower incidence of peritonitis

Disadvantages: -

1-Higher possibility of slippage of the trans-fixation ligation and internal hemorrhage as the three structures of the spermatic cord are all ligated in the stump as one cord

B-Uncovered Castration

It is a process through which the scrotum is incised surgically in the same manner as covered castration, however the tunica albogenia is incised too, and the three constituents of the spermatic cord are dissected and separated, and every one of them is ligated alone, then the testicle is removed by emasculator in the same mentioned manner.

Advantages: -

Lower incidence of internal hemorrhage as the artery itself is ligated

Disadvantages: -

Higher incidence of intestinal prolapse through the open spermatic cord, and higher incidence of peritonitis