Like most dogs, German shepherds are not born with their balls hanging loose beneath their abdomens. This process has to occur when the puppy is out of the mother’s womb. However, not all German shepherds will have their balls drop. And such can bring a concern to most pet parents and also breeders.
Puppy German shepherds who don’t drop their balls soon risk attracting conditions like testicular cancer or testicular torsion.
And such dogs require urgent medical attention. So, what is the ideal age that male german shepherds drop their balls? And when can we say your GSD is late?
Let’s dive in to learn more.
When Do German Shepherd Balls Drop?
For reproduction to happen, the German shepherd testicles need to drop into the testicles. And the ideal age of German shepherd balls dropping to their testicles is by two months.
German shepherd puppies who don’t drop their balls by this age need serious examination.
If your German shepherd balls don’t fall in the scrotum and are still not well-formed in the scrotum, then we can say your dog has cryptorchidism. Often referred to as retained testicles.
These keep testicles live in the warmth of the adnominal cavity instead of hanging inside the scrotum.
Consequently, we can have two versions of cryptorchidism. Unilateral and bilateral cryptorchidism.
Unilateral cryptorchidism occurs when one testicle is retained inside the dog’s abdomen, whereas the other hangs inside the scrotum. Therefore, if you try to touch the dog’s testicles, you will feel only one soft mass of tissue, the testicle inside the scrotum. You will find that this is the most popular form of cryptorchidism.
The other version is bilateral cryptorchidism. Often, this is a rare type of cryptorchidism, whereby both testicles don’t go into the scrotum. So if you try to feel the scrotum, you will not fill any mass of tissues; instead, you will only feel some blood vessels.
Dogs with this type of cryptorchidism need urgent medical care, as it often can lead to infertility. And it can be painful for the dog if it grows with this condition.
Where Are The Balls Located If They Are Not Inside The Scrotum?
Most people assume that German shepherds with cryptorchidism don’t have balls or testicles. However, that’s not the case. These dogs still have their balls, but they have not descended into the testicles.
These kept testicles will lodge themselves in the inguinal canal. This is a passage in which the testicle used to descend into the scrotum.
When the dog is still young, you can still feel these testes as they drop in your German shepherd’s scrotum.
When not in the inguinal canal, your German shepherd’s balls may lodge underneath the subcutaneous tissue.
What Are The Symptoms Of Cryptorchidism?
Often the key sign of cryptorchidism in German shepherds is an empty scrotum. If your German shepherd is still one month old and his balls have not dropped, you must be patient and give this physiological process time. However, you should be scared if your German shepherd is turning six months and his balls have not lodged themselves inside the scrotum sac.
Germans shepherd whose balls have not dropped down can’t sire children. The temperatures in the abdomen will not be favorable for the growth and reproduction of sperms.
Such sperms are not motile as the heat inside destroys them.
Diagnosis Of Cryptorchidism In German Shepherds
A physical examination can help figure out whether your German shepherd’s balls have dropped down. To confirm whether a dog has descended testicles, one has to use the thumb and forefingers to feel the scrotum.
Only do this procedure when your German shepherd is standing up for easier exploration. For dogs with dropped balls, you should be in a position to feel both testicles inside the scrotum area.
If you can only feel one testicle, then you most probably have a dog with unilateral cryptorchidism. If you can’t feel the testicles inside the scrotum, then you need to notify the veterinary.
Sometimes physical examination can be hard to determine the position of the testicles. And such will require the use of ultrasound to map where the testicles are.
After that, your veterinary will guide you on the best course of action.
Important read: Taking care of 8 week old GSD puppy.
Complications When The Balls Of A German Shepherd Don’t Fall
German shepherds whose balls don’t fall into the scrotum are at risk of various health conditions
Dogs with cryptorchidism are at more risk of developing testicular cancer than dogs who have their balls drop down.
So much worrying, testicular cancer is the second most form of cancer that affects dogs than any other form of cancer.
Spermatic Cord Torsion
This condition occurs when the retained testicles twist on the spermatic cord. This twisting leads to a cut of blood supply to the testicles and the inguinal canal.
Puppy German shepherds whose balls have not dropped by the age of 6 months are highly likely to become infertile.
Treating Cryptorchidism In German Shepherds
Dogs diagnosed with cryptorchidism will need urgent care to rectify the current health issue.
Neutering is the best option to rectify dogs with cryptorchidism. Often neutering dogs with any form of cryptorchidism is riskier than when doing it to dogs who don’t have kept reticles, the reason being the veterinary has to be invasive and open up your dog’s abdomen to remove the testicles physically. Such dogs have to be put under general anesthesia when undergoing this surgery.
Afterward, the dog’s abdomen will be sutured back. Then, your dog can be placed on some oral antibiotics, topical antibiotic creams, and some pain relievers.
After a week, the doctor will remove the sutures and examine the wound. During this whole process, you should talk to your veterinarian if you note any abnormality.
Although it’s an option still in the research phase, most ethical breeders and dog enthusiasts are always against this procedure. Often, this procedure involves inducing your dog’s retained testicles to drop in the scrotum.
Often this procedure is considered unethical by most breeders, as the defective genes risk trickling down to other generations. However, again, this procedure is not 100 percent guaranteed.
Can German Shepherds With Cryptorchidism Develop Other Health Complications?
Yes, dogs with retained balls are more likely to get cancer and hip and elbow dysplasia than dogs with dropped testicles or balls.
Can Retained Testicles Affect The Temperaments Of A German Shepherd?
There is no connection between the dropping of balls and the temperaments of the German shepherd. So with that, German shepherds with retained testicles can still have similar temperaments like dogs with dropped balls.
Can Dogs With Retained Ball Mate?
Yes, German shepherds with retained balls can mate. However, such should never be allowed, as this defect can be transferred from one generation to another.
Is Cryptorchidism Common In German Shepherds?
Yes, German shepherds can have retained balls. However, small dog breeds like Yorkies, Pomeranians, and Chihuahuas are more susceptible to this condition.
German shepherds with this condition are often because of unethical breeding procedures
What Causes German Shepherd’s Balls Not To Drop?
Often the reason that causes the GSD’S balls not to drop has never been understood fully. Most people say the genes of the dog can have a play whether they will have this condition.
German shepherds should drop their balls when they reach two months. If your German shepherd has not dropped balls by the age of 6 months, then you will probably have a dog with cryptorchidism. Such dogs should not be allowed to breed; they need to be fixed.