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Epididymitis and Orchitis in Dogs

By: Dr. Bari Spielman

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Epididymitis is the inflammation of the epididymis, the elongated cordlike structure along the edge of the testis that provides for storage, transit and maturation of sperm. Orchitis is an inflammation of the testicle.

Causes

  • Infectious organisms (Brucella canis, distemper)
  • Disseminated systemic mycosis (blastomycosis, coccidiomycosis)
  • Rickettsial disease (Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever)
  • Infection associated with the prostate or bladder
  • Contamination by urine from severe abdominal trauma
  • Direct trauma to the scrotum
  • Bite wounds
  • Lymphocytic orchitis (immune-mediated disease)

    Epididymitis and orchitis are more common in dogs than cats. There is no breed predilection for most. Lymphocytic orchitis has been seen primarily in beagles.

    What to Watch For

  • Swollen testicle
  • Pain
  • Excessive licking of scrotum
  • Listlessness
  • Anorexia
  • Reluctance to walk
  • Open wound or abscess

    Diagnosis

  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Biochemical profile
  • Urinalysis
  • Serology (blood test) for Brucella canis
  • Abdominal X-rays
  • Ultrasound (abdomen, testicles and epididymis)
  • Semen evaluation and culture
  • Prostatic lavage or aspirate for cytology and culture
  • Culture open wounds in the area

    Treatment

  • Removal of the underlying cause if identified
  • Appropriate antibiotic therapy (based on culture and sensitivity)
  • Cold compresses
  • Hospitalize for supportive care if needed
  • Castration when stable if not a valuable breeding animal

    Home Care

    Follow the instructions given to you by your veterinarian. Continue therapy for the entire recommended time. Consider having your pet neutered and treat any and all underlying disorders.

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