Epididymitis and Orchitis in Dogs

Overview of Canine Epididymitis and Orchitis

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 of Epididymitis and Orchitis in Dogs

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

Symptoms of Epididymitis and Orchitis in Dogs:

Diagnosis of Epididymitis and Orchitis in Dogs

Treatment of Epididymitis and Orchitis in Dogs

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.

In-depth Information on Canine Epididymitis and Orchitis

Because the testis and epididymis are in close apposition, any inflammatory or infectious process involving one usually involves the other, although on occasion, isolated orchitis or epididymitis may be seen. The onset of disease may be acute (sudden onset over a short period of time) or chronic (slower onset over weeks or months).

Orchitis and epididymitis have many possible causes, and typically, bacteria are involved. Individuals may have no clinical signs, or they may be quite ill and painful. Several other disease processes need to be considered and often present with similar clinical signs.

Diagnosis In-depth

Certain diagnostic tests must be performed to diagnose epididymitis and orchitis and exclude other disease processes that may cause similar symptoms. A complete history, description of clinical signs, and thorough physical examination are all an important part of obtaining a diagnosis. In addition, the following tests are recommended to confirm a diagnosis:

Your veterinarian may recommend additional tests to exclude or diagnose concurrent conditions. These tests are not always necessary in every case, but they may be of benefit in certain individuals, and are selected on a case by case basis. These include;

Therapy In-depth

Therapy should be initiated once appropriate bacterial cultures have been obtained.

The recommended therapeutic approach depends on the wishes of the owner. If fertility is of no concern, neutering should be the ultimate goal. If maintaining reproductive potential of an individual dog is important, this may not be an option – except for cases with uncontrollable infections. Stable patients can be treated as outpatients as long as they are monitored closely for response to therapy. With appropriate therapy, most patients do quite well, although breeding capability is often compromised. It is important that all recommendations by your veterinarian are followed very closely, and any questions or concerns that arise during the treatment protocol are addressed immediately.

If fertility is to be maintained and neutering is not an option:

Follow-up Care for Dogs with Epididymitis and Orchitis

Optimal treatment for your dog requires a combination of home and professional veterinary care. Follow-up can be critical, especially if your pet does not rapidly improve. Administer all prescribed medication as directed. Alert your veterinarian if you are experiencing problems treating your pet.

The prognosis for maintaining fertility in dogs following epididymitis and orchitis is guarded to poor. Spermatoceles, which are cystic distensions of the epididymis, are not an uncommon sequele. Breeding dogs should be examined and evaluated on a regular basis as recommended by your veterinarian to assess their status regarding fertility and sperm production.

Most patients, other than with regard to fertility, generally have a full recovery and do well.