Just back from the vets with my 11 month setter and been told that as his testes hadn't yet descended he would need an op. Vet said that as I bought him when he was four months old I should have been advised of this as it can cause problems for the dog and that the breeder would have been advised of this by her vet when doing inoculations. I can't believe I never noticed either, always had bitches.
Do you think the breeder should have made me aware of this?
Potentially stupid question coming up here... Any chance that he may already have been neutered by the breeder? Would there be an obvious difference between a neutered male and one whos testes hadn't descended yet?
I'm a vet and we always check male puppies at vaccination, so breeder should have been told. It has implications for you as he will prob be infertile if both testes are retained (and you shouldn't breed, he may pass the trait on) and at higher risk of testicular tumours, meaning you need to get him neutered and the surgery will be more complicated and more expensive than a routine castration. I think you have a valid grievance.
Yes, the breeder should have made you aware and I would certainly be pursuing them for a contribution towards the surgery costs (the difference over and above what a normal castration would cost).
It doesn't make him any less of a pet but the breeder should have informed you so that you could make an informed decision about taking him on knowing that he would likely need surgery.
It is highly unlikely that he was castrated already as. Very few vets would perform the operation on such a young puppy and, in any case, the retained testicles can usually be felt up in the abdomen if you know what you're looking for.
You can't palpate them if they are within the abdomen. Sometimes they are in the inguinal canal and can be felt under the skin in the groin, which makes the surgery more straightforward as you don't need to enter the abdominal cavity. Occasionally you can't feel them in the groin until the pup is anaesthetised. They are often underdeveloped so smaller than normal and if pup is tense or wriggly they're not easy to find, so you are not going to be sure until the day if abdominal surgery will be necessary. Either way the surgery is going to be more expensive than a standard castration. Is your pup insured? Some companies will pay for the surgery if pup was insured before you became aware of the problem.
No insurance but I do have a savings account for the dogs and cat. There's no way they could have descended and went back up? (Clearly I'm on a roll with the stupid question) I just want to be absolutely sure before I contact the breeder, would a vet be able to give me an estimate of cost for op or would it be a case of how long is a piece of string?
Yes at 4 months of age the breeder should have told you. Testicles should be present by 12 weeks with most being down around 4 or 5 weeks, they can come down as late as 6 months but you shouldn't breed from a late developer. If they were decent they would also have offered to knock the cost of neutering off the price (assuming you payed a substantial amount for it).