Infection of the Testicles (Orchitis)
Infections and injuries of the testicles are common causes of male infertility.
Signs of orchitis are pain and swelling of the testicles and licking at the scrotum. The testicles become enlarged and hard. The dog assumes a spread legged stance and walks with a stilted gait. Frequently, the epididymis is also involved.
Scrotal and testicular injuries can be caused by dog bites, puncture wounds, frostbite, and weed, chemical, and thermal burns. Infections are caused by bacteria that infect scrotal injuries or are spread through the spermatic ducts from the bladder or prostate. Distemper or brucellosis may be causative agents.
Diagnosis is made by veterinary examination.
Testicular infection is treated with antibiotics that are selected based on culture and sensitivity tests. Corticosteroids, NSAIDs, and cold packs to the scrotum reduce swelling and inflammation. Following resolution, the testicles may shrink and become small and firm. These testicles no longer produce sperm. A persistent low-grade infection may occur in some cases. The removal of the testicles is then recommended.
Dog bites and injuries to the scrotum are quite likely to become infected. To prevent orchitis, all scrotal injuries (even those that appear to be minor) should be examined and treated by a veterinarian.
Please contact your veterinarian if you suspect your pet may be infected with this condition.
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