Clinical Exposures: A retained testis and spermatic cord torsion in a boxer - Veterinary Medicine
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Clinical Exposures: A retained testis and spermatic cord torsion in a boxer


3. A photomicrograph of the right testis showing extensive hemorrhages as well as vascular and fibrous connective tissue proliferation in the interstitial area (F). Note the presence of several degenerated testicular tubules (arrows) showing either edema or coagulative necrosis of the lining epithelium (hematoxylin-eosin stain; bar = 100 m)
Histologic examination of the abdominal testis showed widespread hemorrhages, multifocal coagulative necrosis, and interstitial fibrosis of the tubular structures in the testis and epididymis (Figure 3). An increase in Leydig cell population was present throughout the epididymis, and the tubular epithelium was composed primarily of Sertoli cells. Spermatogonia were sparsely evident in several seminiferous tubules. No signs of neoplasia were found. The histologic findings were compatible with spermatic cord torsion. Histology was not performed on the scrotal testis.


In this report, an intra-abdominal-retained testis and spermatic cord torsion were identified in a young boxer. Spermatic cord torsion is relatively uncommon in dogs. Boxers are overrepresented among dogs with spermatic cord torsion, which may reflect the incidence of cryptorchidism in this particular breed.1


As in this case, spermatic cord torsion is more frequently reported with intra-abdominal-retained testes than inguinal-retained or scrotal testes.1,2 It has been hypothesized that the intra-abdominal location of a nonneoplastic or neoplastic testis allows for greater mobility of the testis within the abdominal cavity and may result in spermatic cord torsion.3 After torsion, the nonneoplastic testis enlarges, resulting in venous occlusion, edema, and inflammation.2 Ischemic necrosis, hemorrhage, and edema may be seen histologically in torsion of a nonneoplastic testis.2 However, testicular enlargement may occur before torsion in cases of testicular neoplasia.3 Most reported cases of torsion have occurred in neoplastic testes in which seminoma and Sertoli cell tumors were identified histologically in most of the dogs.1,2


Affected animals may present with clinical signs of acute abdomen including a sudden onset of abdominal pain, vomiting, abdominal distention, anorexia, depression, pyrexia, a stiff gait, and abnormalities in urination.1-4 Abdominal palpation may reveal an enlarged mass.

Ultrasonographic examination of the abdomen combined with color flow Doppler may detect a uniform hypoechoic testis and absence of blood flow to and from the affected testis.5,6 Surgical exploration of the abdomen is required to confirm the diagnosis. In this case, ultrasonographic and color flow Doppler findings correlated well with gross and histologic findings.


In dogs, spermatic cord torsion is usually an acute situation and should be considered in cases of acute abdomen in cryptorchid dogs.7,8 Differential diagnoses may include intestinal obstruction, an intra-abdominal neoplastic testis, and intra-abdominal spermatic cord torsion. Since cryptorchidism is a heritable defect, treatment includes surgically removing both testes. In a retrospective study of 13 dogs with spermatic cord torsion, 77% survived surgery.1

This case report was provided by Lysimachos G. Papazoglou, DVM, PhD, MRCVS; Michail N. Patsikas, DVM, PhD, DECVDI; Nectarios Soubasis, DVM, PhD; and Vasileia Kouti, DVM, from the Department of Clinical Sciences and Georgia Brellou, DVM, PhD, from the Laboratory of Pathology at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 11 S. Voutyra St., 54627, Thessaloniki, Greece.


1. Pearson H, Kelly DF. Testicular torsion in the dog: a review of 13 cases. Vet Rec 1975;97:200-204.

2. Naylor RW, Thompson SMR. Intra-abdominal testicular torsion—a report of two cases. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 1979;15:763-766.


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