Skip to main content



M.Karunakaran, E.B.Chakurkar2, U.Ratnakaran3, P.K.Naik4 and N.P.Singh5


National Dairy Research Institute,

Eastern Regional Station, Kalyani, West Bengal



The present study reports a case of left hemiscrotal enlargement of a 3 year old Duroc boar. The semen evaluation showed an increase in the percentage of abnormal sperm cells, presence of proximal and distal droplets, loose heads, coiled tails, drastic reduction in progressive forward motility and sperm membrane integrity. The ultrasonography revealed several hypo-echogenic cavities in testicular tissue. The affected left testis (3kg) weighed three times more than the right testis (1kg). The development of  hydrocoele in the present study was suspected to be a traumatic injury.

Key words: hydrocoele, testis, boar, ultrasonogarphy, sperm abnormalities



Hydrocoele is the pathological collection of fluid in the membranes surrounding the testicles, causing swelling in the scrotum. It occurs when production of fluid by the vaginal tunic is increased or resorption is decreased (Schumacher and Varner, 2007). Hydrocoeles can  develop in adults as a result of infection, inflammation, or injury to the testicle. In most domestic animals hydrocoeles may be formed as an extension of ascites since the vaginal cavity communicates with peritoneal cavity (Abitt et al., 1995). A hydrocoele can occur on one side or on both sides of the scrotum, which later leads to scrotal swelling. Ultrasound scanning is recommended to confirm the hydrocoele condition. Spermatogenesis may be affected due to disturbances in the thermoregulation of testis because of accumulated fluids (Schumacher and Varner, 2007).


A Duroc boar aged about 3 years was in regular semen collection programme in the Pig Research Farm, ICAR Research Complex for Goa, Old Goa. A gradual increase in the size of the left hemiscrotum was observed over a period of six months. On palpation, the left hemiscrotum was about 3 times the size of right side and no pain was evinced by the boar. A fluctuating and nondisplaceable mass was surrounded around the testis. The animal was exhibiting difficulties in the gait as the scrotum was heavy, pendulous and hanging upto the hock joint. On resting, the enlarged scrotum used to get trapped between body and floor which caused pain and discomfort to the animal. No other clinical signs were observed. Ultra sonography (Logiq Book Xp) of the left hemiscrotum revealed multiple hypo-echoic cystic cavities with large amount of peritesticular fluid around the testis.  The right hemiscrotum had a normal texture and no abnormalities.


Seminal parameters of the boar were analysed to assess the effect of hydrocoele on the sperm production. The mean values of seminal parameters of the boar before and after development of testicular hydrocoele (6 ejaculates each) were;  volume of the ejaculate (202.5 vs 188.3,ml), sperm cell concentration (603.3 vs 580 millions/ml), progressive forward motility immediately after collection (71.7 vs 36.7%), total sperm abnormalities (7.8 vs 30%), presence of proximal  and distal droplets (3.4 vs 24.2%, Figure 1), detached heads (3 vs 15.2%), coiled tails (2.2 vs 8.3%), functional membrane integrity in the neat semen (55.8 vs 20.2%).On post mortem examination, there was thickening of the testicular envelope with fibrous pockets filled with brownish watery fluid between the parietal and visceral layers of the vaginalis. The right testis was one third size of the left testis; the weight of right and left testes was 1.000 and 3.100kg, respectively. The scrotal skin along with accumulated fluid weighed 2.935kg. Epididymis of left testis had very limited quantity of sperm cells.


          Figure 1. Sperm cells with proximal and distal droplets



Acquired hydrocoeles have mostly been reported in humans (Gyapong et al., 1998), dogs (Yu et al., 2011) and stallion (Fouad et al., 1980). In the present study, the clinical appearance of the boar matched with signs of a hydrocoele as described by Caspari et al (2012) in Duroc boar. Currently ultra sound is used as an important diagnostic tool in all types of scrotal pathology (Waberski et al., 2011). Simple hydrocoeles are anechoic while complex hydrocoeles contain many internal echoes with separations. Hydrocoeles may be caused by trauma, infection, neoplasia or idiopathic origin (Schumacher and Varner, 2007). The septation observed in this hydrocoele may occur as a consequence of haemorrhage (Caspari et al., 2012). In the present case, the cause for hydrocoele development might be trauma to testis as the boar was housed together with another boar in a single pen and there were mounting each other and frequently falling down with the scrotum between body and floor. The Duroc boars naturally has more voluminous and pendulous scrotum in comparison to other breeds, which makes them more susceptible to physical trauma. Therefore, the cause of the complex hydrocoele in this boar appeared to be traumatic. In this boar the mean volume of the semen ejaculate and sperm cell concentration was not much affected. But, quality of the ejaculate was severely affected as revealed by significant reduction in progressive forward motility and increase in sperm cell abnormality including detachment of sperm cell head, presence of more number of cells with proximal and distal droplets, which indicated severe damage to spermatogenesis in the affected testis. Insufficient thermoregulation due to development of hydrocoele might be the reason for the poor sperm quality in the present case.




Abbitt B, RA Fiske, TM Craig and JW Bitter. (1995). Scrotal hydrocele secondary to ascites in 28 bulls. J Am Vet Med Assoc, 207: 753-756.

D.H.Yu, Y.S.Roh, H.Park. G.H.Woo, S. Ejaz, K.Lee, C.W.Lim, J.Park and B.Kim. (2011). Scrotal Hydrocele in a  Dog with Dirofilaria Infestation and Cholangio-cellular carcinoma. Pak Vet J, , 31(4) 375-378.

Fouad K. Hydrocoele vaginalis testis in a stallion [in German] (1980). Tierarztliche Praxis, 8:479-480.

Gyapong Jo, RH Webber, J Morris and S Bennet. (1988). Prevalence of hydrocele as a rapid diagnostic index  for lymphatic filariasis. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg,  92: 40-43

Kai Caspari, Dr vet med; Heiko Henning, Dr ved med; Christine Schaller, Dr vet med; Nicolas Kuhn, Dr vet med; semen quality and quantity in a boar with a complex  hydrocele, Journal ofSwine Health and Production- July and August 2012 page 174- 178


Schumacher J, Warner DD. Surgical correction of  abnormalities affecting the reproductive organs of  stallions. (2007). In : Youngquist RS, Threfall WR, eds.  Current Therapy in Large  Animal Theriogenology.2nd ed. St. Louis, Missouri: Saunders Elsevier, 26

Uehara M, Takeda K, Tei H, Shimizu K, Imazu T, Yoshimura K, Kiyohara H. (2010).A case of liposarcoma of spermatic cord with a hydrocele. Acta Urologica  Japanica, 56:127-129.

Waberski  D, Schapmann E, Henning H, Riesenbeck A, Brandt H. (2011).Sperm chromatin structural integrity in normospermic boars is not related to semen storage and fertility after routine AI. Theriogenology, 75:337-345.



Your rating: None

Please note that this is the opinion of the author and is Not Certified by ICAR or any of its authorised agents.