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Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.
Based on the information that you shared, it seems to me as though your vet is giving you the right direction to go with treatment and also possible diagnoses. This is one of the hazards that goes along with owning an intact dog: sometimes testicular issues can arise. What he is experiencing now is known as Orchiditis, or inflammation of the testes (unilateral, in this case). Treatment for brucellosis is wise even if trauma or other ailment is suspected. If you want to be sure, you can request that your vet perform a blood test to determine if this is the cause. We can also see an acute onset of idiopathic epididymitis (which may or may not be linked to breeding, and it sounds like he's not had access to any females.) You should know soon if the doxycycline will work to cure his symptoms. If not, your vet may recommend further diagnostics and possibly even referring you to a specialist for an ultrasound or biopsy of the testicle.
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You'll need to work on getting him eating again and some NSAIDs and pain medication may be useful for that. Although he doesn't seem painful, testicular swelling can be very uncomfortable and might have something to do with why he has been lethargic and avoiding food.If blood work was drawn, do you know if your vet is testing for brucellosis or just performing the standard panel of blood work?I don't believe he's in a critical situation right now, not to the point where he'd need to be hospitalized. I think home care with antibiotics is a suitable start.Curing brucellosis is unlikely, you are correct. Going forward, you certainly would want to have him neutered so as not to put other dogs at risk in the unlikely event that he bred one of them.Your vet has educated you correctly regarding just doing surgery to neuter him as we never put ill animals under anesthesia if it can be avoided. Not only are they more likely to have complications, but their recovery time post-op will be delayed during which time even more problems can arise.
It sounds to me like they're on the right track and educating you properly. I understand your hesitation with a new vet, I think that happens to the majority of us.I think you're at least 50/50 for swollen testicles with or without brucellosis. It is one of our more major concerns because of the implications it can have for breeding adults, especially the female (aborting full litters of puppies, for example). There are plenty of other things that can cause swollen testicles, too, that may not be connected to this. Even though you've never witnessed your pup breeding, if he spends any time away from you and you cannot be 100% sure your vet is doing the right thing by making doubly sure that this is not the case. We'd certainly want to rule out the worst case scenarios first, right? That's what your vet is working to do with the antibiotic therapy and blood work.Although he's young, we can see tumors in the testicles, as well as infections that aren't related to brucellosis, swelling of the epididymis due to infection, etc. That's where the information above comes in regarding biopsy and ultrasound to see if there is something going on inside of or around the testicle that we cannot appreciate from the outside with palpation alone.
Was what he eating full time before this all started?
If he can't have chicken, try cooking some ground beef or ground turkey. You can also add a little low fat cream cheese or cottage cheese for palatability.
Checking in, JACustomer. I didn't hear back from you yesterday. How is your companion?