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Sperm Ducts Cysts in Dogs

Spermatocele and Sperm Granuloma in Dogs

Sperm duct cysts in dogs refer to two specific conditions: spermatocele and sperm granuloma.

A spermatocele is a cyst found in the ducts or epididymis responsible for carrying sperm. Typically, it occurs due to a blockage in the ducts.

On the other hand, sperm granuloma, also known as cyst epididymis, is a persistent inflammatory issue where a cyst forms in the epididymis, a part of the spermatic duct system. This condition leads to the enlargement of the duct or ducts. Chronic inflammation arises when sperm leak from these ducts into the nearby tissue.

The clinical significance becomes apparent when bilateral obstruction of the duct system occurs, resulting in the absence of live sperm in the seminal fluid.

Symptoms and Types

In dogs, this condition is suspected when they exhibit normal-sized testes but do not have live sperm. Furthermore, it is uncommon for them to experience pain or have visible or palpable lesions.

Causes

  • Trauma leading to a rupture in the epididymal duct, where sperm are transported, stored, and matured, thereby releasing sperm antigens into the surrounding tissue.
  • Adenomyosis, characterized by the invasion of epithelial lining cells of the epididymis into the muscular layers, may contribute; it is often linked to excessive estrogen production.
  • Overproliferation of epididymal cells might precede adenomyosis; while rare in dogs under 2.5 years old, it’s observed to some extent in 75 percent of dogs older than 7.75 years, with risk increasing with age.
  • Complications arising from vasectomy or partial neuter, particularly when surgical procedures were not meticulously performed.
  • Congenital occlusion (blockage) of the epididymal duct, indicating the dog was born with this condition.

Diagnosis

To identify the cause of your dog’s sperm deficiency, your veterinarian will explore various potential factors, including testicular degeneration, underdevelopment of the organs, inadequate ejaculation, and incomplete ejaculation. A thorough physical examination will be performed to assess for any pain or lesions in the reproductive organs. Standard laboratory procedures, such as urinalysis and possibly blood tests, will be employed for analysis. In some cases, a surgical testicular biopsy and a biopsy of the affected epididymal tissue may be necessary to distinguish between a benign and a malignant mass.

Treatment

It’s uncommon for dogs with insufficient sperm counts to recover on their own. Surgical intervention is typically the only effective treatment for a bilateral blockage of the epididymis.

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