Epididymitis is an inflammatory disease of the canine epididymus.
Epididymitis may occur unilaterally or bilaterally, and concurrently involve the testis, vas deferens, prostate and bladder.
This disease is a rare condition in male dogs and is usually associated with:
- Testicular torsion
- Spermatic granulomas, Sertoli cell tumor and seminoma
- Secondary to prostatitis
- Pseudomonas spp
- Brucella canis
- Mycoplasma canis
- Rhodotorula glutinis
Affected dogs usually present with vague symptoms of anorexia, dysuria, fever, tenderness in the groin region and testes. In purulent epididymits, hematuria and pyuria may be noted on urinalysis.
In chronic cases, tsticular atrophy and azoospermia is common.
Comparison of testes may reveal tenderness in one or both, or there may be marked size differences palpable.
Diagnosis usually requires ultrasonographic imaging, fine-needle biopsy for bacterial culture and histopathological examination. Samples of seminal fluid, blood and urine can also be used for culture of bacterial agents.
PCR testing of blood for Brucella antigens is necessary to exclude this as a possible underlying etiology.
Secondary immune-mediated orchitis may ensue in some cases.
Treatment involves broad-spectrum antimicrobial therapy and possibly hemicastration if only one testicle is affected.
The use of prednisolone is debatable due to a possible recrudescence of infection, but should be considered in cases of testicular torsion or possible underlying immune-mediated disease.
Sterility is a common sequela and owners must be warned against this possible eventuality.
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