Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Small or Different Size Testicles

Code Orange - Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office Hours

Code Yellow - Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment

Code Orange - Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office Hours

  • If there is swelling and pain associated with this problem.
  • If the results of the Whole Horse Exam (WHE) in the resting horse indicate fever (Temp >101F/38.3C) or heart rate greater than 48 BPM.

Code Yellow - Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment

  • If the results of the Whole Horse Exam (WHE) suggest the horse is otherwise normal.
  • If the area does not seem to be painful.

Small or differently sized testicles in stallions and growing colts can result from a variety of causes. Small testicles may result from congenital abnormalities or testicular degeneration caused by a variety of conditions. It may or may not be associated with infertility.

Differently sized testicles may result from a recently dropped (cryptorchid) testicle. Large testicles can result from infection, inflammation and tumors. The question always is which of the two testicles is normal?

Swelling of the scrotum on one side is an observation that can be caused by a list of potential conditions and is discussed in a related observations fast fact “Swelling of Scrotum in Stallion”. Scrotal trauma is common in breeding stallions and is the most common reason for scrotal swelling.

Viral diseases such as EVA and EIA can also cause a testicle to swell.

WHAT TO DO

In all cases, assess your horse’s general health using the Whole Horse Exam (WHE), and share your findings and concerns with your vet. Pay particular attention the presence or absence of pain response when the area is palpated. Also look for heat and/or swelling.

For breeding stallions, any change in the scrotum should be discussed with your vet immediately. For testicular diseases, time can be of the essence. Do not breed the stallion again until a full veterinary evaluation has been performed.

WHAT YOUR VET DOES

By looking and feeling, your vet should be able to determine which of the two testicles is normal. Further information can be gathered through the use of ultrasound, rectal palpation and other diagnostics.

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

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