There are different distinct forms of canine testicular tumors. Some are benign, others degenerate more frequently into Cancer. A testicular tumor can therefore be very serious if left untreated. It is one of the most frequently diagnosed cancerous forms in dogs after skin tumors. Let’s take stock of the causes of these tumors, the clinical manifestations that should alert, the treatment possibilities and see what is the best prevention solution.
The different canine testicular tumors
Not all testicular tumors in dogs that are caught on time will develop into cancer. There are four types.
It is by far the tumor of the testicles the most aggressive which must be the subject of a specific treatment protocol as soon as possible. The risk is that it becomes malignant, which is the case in 15 cases out of 100. Metastases can proliferate more specifically in the lymph nodes of the lumbar area.
The dogs most frequently affected are on average old from 9 to 11 years old and present a testicular ectopia, by far the most frequent cause. This tumor affects cells in the wall of the seminiferous tubules or Sertoli cells. Almost 35% of testicular tumors in dogs are sertolinoma.
This tumor affects the cells that make up sperm. Seminoma is identified in nearly 31% of testicular tumors in dogs, and it is particularly common in male cryptorchids, namely presenting a ectopic testis (undescended testicle). Testicular seminoma is cancerous in 8 out of 100 cases.
Involved are cells in the testicular wall that secrete testosterone. They are called Leydig cells. Leydigoma is diagnosed in a quarter of canine testicular tumors and is only very rarely cancerous. It is therefore a benign tumor in most cases.
The mixed tumor
We speak of a mixed tumor when anarchic development of several types of cells occurs in a testis. It can escalate into cancer.
Main symptoms of a testicular tumor in dogs
Testicular tumor can only affect the whole male sex dog, that is to say who was not castrated. More generally diagnosed in old dogs, these tumors are of hormonal origin. It is essential to consult a veterinarian at the slightest suspicion because if a tumor of the testes is slow to be diagnosed and therefore treated, it can degenerate into generalized cancer.
It can also be noted that some dog breeds are more predisposed to this type of tumor. This is for example the case of the Yorkshire terrier, the Cairn terrier, the German Shepherd, the Fox terrier, the Weimaraner, the long-haired collie, the Boxer and the Pekingese.
The main clinical manifestations that may lead to suspect the presence of a testicular tumor in a dog are:
- Testicular asymmetry (atrophy of a testicle or on the contrary an increase in its volume),
- The hardening of a testicle,
- The deformed appearance of the tumor testis,
- An abdominal mass in the case of testicular ectopia,
- A change in the animal’s behavior due to an abnormal secretion of certain sex hormones,
- A decrease in fertility,
- The appearance of a “feminization” syndrome (atrophy of the penis, softening of the bursae, atrophy of the testes, swelling of the mammary glands) as soon as the tumor cells secrete a large quantity of female sex hormones: estrogen,
- A progressive and localized alopecia (loss of hair) always symmetrical,
- Severe anemia following dysfunction of the bone marrow (aplastic anemia),
- One or more perineal hernias which are nothing other than a complication of a prostate disorder due to the tumor.
Be careful, however, some testicular tumors are asymptomatic at least at the beginning.
Testicular tumor in dogs: diagnosis and treatment
The veterinarian begins by carefully examining the dog’s genital and urinary tract and then takes a blood sample for analysis. He must also practice Additional tests abdomen, including imaging such as X-rays or ultrasound in order to also check the animal’s prostate. An imaging test of the testes is also essential. This allows him on the one hand to locate the tumor properly and on the other hand to search for the existence of an ectopic tumor testis or hidden testis, that is to say which has not descended into the scrotum.
This investigation is completed by a biopsy. It is the removal of a few tumor cells, fundamental to confirm or deny the diagnosis of a cancerous anomaly. Finally, the veterinarian looks for possible metastases by means of a assessment of extension. Metastases can be localized to the brain, thymus (a primary lymphoid organ), lungs or abdomen.
Once the diagnosis has been made and therefore the testicular tumor has been confirmed and identified, the veterinarian prescribes treatment on a case-by-case basis. A castration East always practiced (removal of both testicles in general) and this surgical intervention can also concern an ectopic testicle.
Today there is a minimally invasive solution that allows you to observe the different organs of the dog (laparoscopy or laparoscopy) thanks to a tiny opening in the abdominal wall. The animal can thus be treated surgically without opening its abdomen thanks to the laparotomy. We also talk about laparoscopic surgery.
A chemotherapy complements the surgical procedure in the event of metastases discovered during the extension assessment. But in this precise case, the vital prognosis is sometimes engaged. On the other hand, in the total absence of metastases, the chances of recovery are extremely high, whatever the type of tumor if it is treated quickly.
Prevention of testicular tumors in dogs
The castration of a dog is here best solution to protect it against any form of testicular tumor, and this is even more obvious to cryptorchid dogs because the chances of developing testicular cancer are even greater. It is therefore essential to have your dog sterilized as soon as possible, as castration has no harmful effect on these animals, contrary to many received ideas which unfortunately have a hard tooth.
It is also necessary to ensure regularly consult the veterinarian so that the dog is followed from an early age and that in case of suspicion, an early diagnosis is made. The earlier a testicular tumor is treated, the more likely it is to heal. It is recommended that dog owners insure their companion with an animal health mutual. This allows you to be partially or fully reimbursed for veterinary procedures. It is perfect for treating your dog inexpensively.