Friday, June 26, 2009

Cryptorchidism in Rabbits

Shoo, there's always some drama in life, isn't there? I read that this week Farrah Fawcett (an original Charlies Angel) died and then heard this morning on the news about Michael Jackson. Not quite on the devastation level as Heath Ledger for me, but the end of an era in both cases, I'll bet. Certainly, I never watched the original Charlies Angels, but you couldn't be a child of the 80s and not recognise the name Farrah Fawcett. Michael Jackson on the other hand was a huge part of the 80s and early 90s and although I was never much of a fan, there were more than enough who were. I remember classmates of mine going to his HIStory World Tour concert in Cape Town in high school. Like him or not, he was a legend of our childhoods.

And then there's drama a little closer to home. I took Rex off to the vet again yesterday in the hopes that his other testicle might've dropped and we could finally have him neutered (he's 4 months already now!). Sadly it appears he has something called Cryptorchidism. Our vet has never seen it in a Rabbit before, but he spoke to some specialists last night and got back to me this morning, and it definitely sounds like what our boy has. I spoke to the breeder last night as well and it turns out that Rex's daddy also only has one testicle. So does another of his sons from a different litter. And cryptorchidism is genetic. Generally if cryptorchidism is left, the animal (or human, I gather) has a high risk of developing Cancer as they get older.

/* here it may get a little hairy for those of you not especially interested in bunny-testicles ;) */

So we have a few options:
1. Put him under and remove the fully-functional testicle (annoyingly his undescended one might still allow him to get Coal or Lily pregnant tho :( ) and see if they can massage out the other (this is only possible if it's in the inguinal canal).
2. Put him under, remove the fully-functional one and cut him open to remove the undescended on ... this may involve a bit of a search.
3. Don't do anything now and wait a month or two before trying option 1 in the hopes that the undescended one (if in the inguinal canal) will be bigger and therefore easier to massage out.

At the moment (haven't been able to chat to Varen since the vet phoned tho), my vote is for the two-phased approach. Go for option 1 sometime next week (luckly the normal neutering procedure isn't very invasive and they recover quickly), and remove our very immediate chance of a litter of babies arriving in about a month. And then, if they don't manage to get the undescended on at the same time thru massage, in 2 or 3 months send him off to a specialist to see if they have a better chance with the massage and if not, they can open him up and get it out. Obviously this does leave a very little chance he could still get one of the girl's pregnant, but I'm really hoping the massage will work (even if it's only in a few months time) rather than them having to open him up and go searching for it. But I can't leave him 100% unneutered for another few month with 2 girls around ;)


Unknown said...

two surgeries sounds a bit stressful, I say if you wanna take him in now to prevent baby bunnies being made within the next month, then do the big op and remove both at the same time.

hmmm I didn't care at all about Heath Ledger dying, he was an actor, saying lines someone else wrote, doing something that so many other people can do, but MJ was an icon, a legend, the King of pop music, a spectacular dancer, a brilliant singer, known by everyone on earth, and a special soul. Rest in peace Michael.

Squidsquirts said...

Ooh. Poor rabbit.
Interestingly, or perhaps TMI, I suffered from the same thing (I mean personally, not with a rabbit)- had an op to put it where it should be, and have:
A)Not dropped dead of cancer, and
B)Managed to father some children.
There's something about the topic which I am unlikely to blog about, though...
Hope your bunny pulls through...

tanyadeville said...

oh no!That is not great news :( shame man!

I know how u feel... my dogs one testicle was in his Inguinal canal and they had to go in and cut it out :( ... (it became inflamed coz it was stuck - so they couldnt massage it out)

poor bunny boy! hope everything sorts itself out!

Louisa said...

Our Husky had that - which was sad cause my brother actually wanted to breed with Diablo. The vet gave our boy a year to get the missing one out before he recommended we do the more invasive surgery to remove it. It could cause cancer for him due to over heating and it's also not ethical to breed with a dog that has that defect.

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