Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Testicular and scrotal trauma

Contributor(s): Jonathan Statham, Ash Phipps , Paul Wood

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  • Cause: trauma maybe occur from kick during mating, fighting between bulls and jumping over fences.
  • Signs: scrotal edema and hemorrhage, orchitis, secondary bacterial infection.
  • Diagnosis: history and clinical signs. FNA with cytology may be utilized.
  • Treatment: surgical closure of wounds or irrigation and management of contaminated or infected sites.
  • Prognosis: temporary or permanent effect on fertility.



  • Kicks during mating.
  • Fighting (particularly when bulls are introduced to a new bull herd).
  • Jumping over fences.
  • Trauma may occur following ‘mis-service’ (eg, slipping off of a female mid-mount or attempting to serve a cow through a hazard such as a barbed wire fence).
  • Iatrogenic presentations include dramatic testicular swelling following castration using the Burdizzo method or the inappropriate use of elastrator rings . Castration: methods

Predisposing factors

  • Anatomical location of the pendulous testicles in the scrotum. 


  • Trauma to scrotum results in pain, scrotal and preputial edema, scrotal hemorrhage, elevated scrotal temperature, pain, hematocoele formation or rupture of the tunica albuginea (often leads to testicular Hematoma Hematoma Penile hematoma). 
  • If hematocele occurs this may lead to adhesions within the scrotum (particularly between the visceral and parietal tunics).
  • Testicular/scrotal trauma may be associated with unilateral or bilateral enlargement of testicles and Orchitis Orchitis.   
  • Severe trauma to the scrotum may result in epididymal duct blockage which can lead to sperm-free seminal fluid ejaculate.
  • Puncture wounds or lacerations of the scrotum can result in additional problems such as secondarily bacterial infection.
  • Intrascrotal hemorrhage and/or edema often becomes organized if left untreated to form fibrous tissue; also cicatricial (healed) scar formation that obstructs the epididymis may interfere with thermoregulation of Spermatogenesis Spermatogenesis leading to degeneration of seminiferous tubules and progressive testicular atrophy.


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Further Reading


Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMed Resource.
  • Migbaru K, Sisay G & Kasa T (2014) Study on Gross Testicular Disorders of Bulls Slaughtered at Addis Ababa Abattoirs EnterpriseJournal of Reproduction and Infertility (2), pp 45-49.
  • Statham J M E (2010) Differential diagnosis of scrotal enlargement in bulls. In Practice. 32 p2-9.
  • Penny C (2009) The development of a UK bull breeding soundness evaluation certificate. Cattle Practice 17, pp 64-70.
  • Eppink E (2006) A survey of bull breeding soundness evaluations in the south east of Scotland. Cattle Practice 13 pp 205-209.
  • Penny C (2005) Practical semen collection and examination techniques for breeding soundness evaluation of bulls. Cattle Practice 13 pp 199-204.
  • McGowan M (2004) Approach to conducting bull breeding soundness evaluations. In Practice 26 pp 485-491.
  • Entwistle K & Fordyce G (2003) Evaluating and reporting bull fertility. Australian Association of Cattle Veterinarians.

Other sources of information

  • Smith B P (1996). Large animal internal medicine. pp 140.