Spermatocele in Dogs

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Overview of Spermatocele in Dogs

A spermatocele is a cystic distension of the epididymis, the elongated cordlike structure that provides for storage, transit, and maturation of sperm that can occur in dogs. This condition is usually associated with a blockage of the epididymis. The accumulation of sperm eventually results in an inflammatory process, and the development of a nodule of tissue, referred to as a sperm granuloma. They can be unilateral or bilateral.

Causes of Spermatocele in Dogs

  • Trauma
  • Adenomysis is a condition characterized by the ingrowth of the epididymis lining into the deeper tissues, which may be associated with excess estrogenic stimulation.
  • Hyperplasia is an overgrowth of the lining of the epididymis.

    Spermatocele is seen in intact (non-neutered) male dogs of any breed. The risk of developing this disorder increases with age.

  • What to Watch For

    Signs of Spermatocele in Dogs may include: 

  • Spermatoceles are rarely associated with pain
  • Dogs with one-sided involvement generally remain fertile, and the condition often goes undiagnosed.
  • Infertility is often seen if both testes are involved.
  • Diagnosis of Spermatocele in Dogs

  • Thorough testicular examination
  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Biochemical profile
  • Urinalysis
  • A scrotal ultrasound may detect a spermatocele
  • Assay for canine follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) may reveal a normal concentration associated with bilateral blockage of the epididymis
  • An obstruction of the duct should be suspected in a dog that is unable to produce sperm; however, there is normal spermatogenesis (sperm production) on testicular biopsy
  • Treatment of Spermatocele in Dogs

  • There is no medical management available to unblock an obstructed (blocked) epididymis
  • Surgical correction can be attempted, although it is not routinely performed in veterinary medicine
  • Home Care

    If a breeding stud is infertile, have your dog evaluated by your veterinarian. Dogs without sperm rarely recover.

    A spermatocele is a cystic distension of the epididymis, the elongated cordlike structure that provides for storage, transit, and maturation of sperm. This condition is usually associated with a blockage of the epididymis. The accumulation of sperm eventually results in an inflammatory process, and the development of a nodule of tissue, referred to as a sperm granuloma. They can be unilateral or bilateral.

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