Can Neutered Dogs Have Testicles?

Hi! A friend of mine brought his recently adopted three-year-old Pitbull King over this weekend. My friend contends King is neutered, yet you can clearly...


Hi! A friend of mine brought his recently adopted three-year-old Pitbull King over this weekend. My friend contends King is neutered, yet you can clearly see his testicles. Is it possible he IS neutered? I have two dogs (neutered of course!), if King is not fixed, could this cause problems between all the dogs if he continues to visit? This visit went very well. Thank you!

Buffalo, NY

Neutered dogs do not have testicles. A couple of things could be going on with King.

Dogs that are neutered early in life (as I imagine yours were) have their testicles removed when they are very small. The scrotum does not develop in these dogs. However, dogs that are neutered later in life will have fully developed scrotums prior to the surgery. After surgery their scrotums will be intact but devoid of testicles. Connective tissue and tied off blood vessels in the scrotum can sometimes look like testicles from a distance.

It also is possible that King is not neutered. I have known many animals who were declared to be neutered before the testicles descended from the abdomen into the scrotum. Often the people adopting the animal assume, wrongly, that it is neutered because no testicles can be found on the pet at the time of assessment. Here is an example: the other day a client brought a “spayed female” cat to my office for a check up. A glance under the tail revealed that the cat was in fact an intact male!

Since it sounds like King was adopted after the surgery supposedly took place, a vet should take a look at King to assess the situation.

Statistically speaking, intact male are more likely to be involved in inter-dog aggression. However, that does not mean that all intact males have trouble getting along with other dogs–most have no such problems. Testicles certainly are not the only cause of dog fights. I know this because I spend so much time treating female dogs that have been in fights.

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    1. My dog is nine months old and I just bought him home from bwing neutered. I checked his incision and low and behold there was his testicles. I was told they would shrink that they were just swollen from surgery. Is that possible? Every dog I’ve had neutered before didn’t have. Any sign of them. I am very concerned.

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