Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Varicocele

Contributor(s): Jonathan Statham , Paul Wood

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Introduction

  • Dilation and tortuosity of the veins of the pampiniform plexus and the cremasteric veins can result in varicoceles.
  • Cause: unknown.
  • Signs: dark red nodules 1-3cm diameter in the fascia of the spermatic cord proximal to the testis.
  • Diagnosis: clinical examination, ultrasound.
  • Treatment: none.
  • Prognosis: larger varicoceles may affect thermoregulation of the testis, resulting in subfertility or testicular degeneration.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Dilation and tortuosity of the veins of the pampiniform plexus and the cremasteric veins can result in varicoceles. 
  • The etiology is unknown but, in humans, deficiency of valves in veins draining the testis is considered likely. Deficiency of elastic and fibrous tissue in surrounding fascia is another possibility.
  • Varicocele is sometimes observed in stallions and in about 1 to 2 per cent of rams, in which occurrence increases with age, but is rare in the bull.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMed Resource.
  • 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.

Other sources of information

  • MSD Manual (2016) Reproductive System. In: Merck Veterinary Manual. 11th Edn. Merck & Co Inc, Kenilworth, USA. p p1321-1408.
  • Chenoweth P (2015) Bull Health and Breeding Soundness. In: Bovine Medicine. 3rd Edn. Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, pp 246-261.
  • Logue D N & Crawshaw W M (2004) Bull infertility. In: Bovine Medicine – Diseases and Husbandry of Cattle. 2nd Edn. Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Oxford. pp 594-626.
  • Entwistle K & Fordyce G (2003) Evaluating and reporting bull fertility. In: Australian Association of Cattle Veterinarians. Brisbane, Australia.


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