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The present study examines testis descend in the colt from the date of birth and in the first weeks of life. Especially palpation and ultrasonography of the scrotum and inguinal region are the main part of the methodology. Data was to be collected of the time course of testicular descent, the localization of the testes, comparison of palpation and ultrasound, testicular size, the defensive behavior of foals and about the differences between races. In addition, the practicability and diagnostic relevance of the methods were to be established.
This is a field study in which 25 colts of different breeds were examined under different conditions from the moment of birth to the age of 240 days at various intervals by palpation and ultrasonography. The main results of this work entail that testes descend completely takes place in the first days of life in most of the cases. Furthermore, it was found that testes descend on the left side is completed earlier than on the right side, which is in contrast to the existing literature. Another finding of this study is that sonography concerning scrotal or inguinal structures has a significantly lower diagnostic sensitivity than palpation. Thus, it is concluded that sonography is not a suitable method for the diagnosis of testicular descent in colts. Regarding the size of the testicles it was no statistically significant relation to age, considered side of body or localization of the testicle found. The defensive behavior of the colt does not have any effect on the results of the palpation examination, however, it does on the sonographic presentation. Here it can be concluded that a good sonographic presentability can be associated with a stronger defensive behavior. There were no observed differences between Warmblood foals and pony foals. During data collection for this study many exemplary ultrasound images of the scrotal and inguinal region of the colt at different times could be assembled.
The individual cases illustrate a broad physiological range of assumable palpatoric and sonographic findings. Points of criticism are mainly the not standardized conditions of a field study, the relatively small number of colts, the different intervals of examinations and the division of the investigations in only two time groups for evaluation when interpreting these results. Finally it should be emphasized that the present work is the first to have dealt with sonographic diagnosis of testicular descent in colts shortly after birth.