In a normal castration, the two testes and the associated epididymis (sperm storage site located next to the testes) are removed.
A gelding is termed “proud cut” if the horse has been castrated, but all or a part of a testis remains after castration. This can happen when one testis has not fully descended into the scrotum (cryptorchid) when the castration is performed. It is considered unethical and improper to only remove one testicle from a stallion.
In this case, this apparent gelding will typically display stallion-like behavior due to the testosterone produced by the remaining testicular tissue. Proud-cut geldings are usually infertile.
If your vet suspects that your horse has a retained testicle, they will use diagnostics, including the measurement of testosterone in the blood, to determine whether this is the case.
Once diagnosed, surgical removal of the testicular tissue (a different procedure than routine castration) is advised.
Note: Some geldings, particularly those gelded later in life, continue to display stallion-like behavior despite complete removal of all testosterone producing tissues during castration.
Other Diagnoses Considered
Prognosis & Relevant Factors
The prognosis is good with surgical removal of the remaining testicular tissue.
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