Pets

Pet column: Dog with testicular tumor needs to be castrated

 
 
Khuly
Khuly

khulyp@bellsouth.net

Q: Our vet says our 10-year-old beagle Wilbur has a tumor in his testicle, but my husband is completely against neutering him. He did some research online and says that since most of these tumors are benign, he’d rather have Wilbur live out his days in peace. What do you usually recommend?

A: Ask your husband this: Do you think Lance Armstrong made a decision about treating his own testicular cancer on the basis of a WebMD blurb? I think not. Nor do I believe you should listen to your husband’s misinformation about the inherent evils of canine castration. Here’s the straight story:

Testicular tumors are common in intact male dogs. In fact, up to 27 percent of unneutered male dogs will eventually develop one or more testicular tumors, accounting for up to 7 percent of all tumors found in male dogs.

A variety of tumors affect the testicles. Indeed, it’s common for more than one tumor type to affect the same patient. The most common testicular tumors include the interstitial cell tumor (50 percent), seminoma (42 percent) and Sertoli cell tumor (8 percent). The latter two often affect dogs with undescended (cryptorchid) testicles.

Most testicular tumors are benign. Some, however, may spread to other parts of the body (most notably, the lungs and lymph nodes) or invade nearby tissues in aggressive ways.

Because malignant behavior becomes more likely the longer these tumors reside in the testicle, and also because these dogs are considered genetically predisposed to more tumors of the testicles, castration is considered the only reasonable course of action in an otherwise healthy dog.

Those who oppose castration in cases like Wilbur’s tend to be wedded to a notion that dogs prefer their “manlihood” to the preservation of their health, comfort and longevity. Letting Wilbur “live in peace” with a treatable tumor is cruel.

Sure, every surgery has risks, but those who would decline to treat their dogs are wrong.

Do your best to help change his mind. Here’s an idea: Tell him testicular pain is a future possibility. Men are averse to that idea.

Dr. Patty Khuly has a veterinary practice in South Miami. Her website is drpattykhuly.com. Send questions to khulyp@bellsouth.net.

Read more Lifestyle stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
 <span class="cutline_leadin">Meatless Wednesday:</span> Tortellini and fresh spinach cook directly in a broth perked up with white wine and garlic. The soup makes an easy, midweek family meal.

    Seven-day menu planner

    Plan your meals a week at a time or pick and choose your favorites. Each meal comes with a shopping list.

  • Ask Nancy

    Ask Nancy: My mother won’t listen to her doctors

    Q. My sister and I are constantly taking my 86-year-old mother to the doctor for her real and/or imagined problems and the doctor will make suggestions or prescribe treatments. She either disagrees with what the doctor says and requests to see a different doctor, or decides that she doesn’t want to do the treatment or take the medicine. How do we get her to comply with what the doctors prescribe?

  •  
 <span class="cutline_leadin">Chef’s knife:</span> Chef Tom Azar prefers to use an 8-inch chef’s knife, sharp, in his kitchens.

    Cooking

    A cut above: Sharp knives are a home cook’s greatest tool

    For home cooks, buying the right knives is only half the game. Proper storage and professional sharpening also are key.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category