Pet Subjects: Telegraph vet Pete Wedderburn answers your questions

Pete Wedderburn
Credit: Patrick Bolger

Dear Pete

We have a five-month-old border terrier whose testicles have not appeared yet. How long should we wait until we have them removed? Our vet tells us there is a cancer risk later on if they are left alone.

MW, Pembrokeshire

Credit: petographer / Alamy Stock Photo

Dear MW

If testicles do not appear, this means that they are still located in the abdomen. The relatively warm temperature there makes retained testicles prone to developing cancer, but this is unlikely to happen until the dog is middle-aged or older. If the testicles have not appeared by five months of age, they are not likely to do so, but there is no harm in waiting till he is a fully grown adult before having the surgery done.


Dear Pete

I’ve recently adopted a five-year-old mare, and she has an apple-sized soft swelling on her underside, on the left of her teats. It isn’t painful, but should I worry about it?

RB, Reading

Dear RB

It’s always worth getting the opinion of a vet with unexpected lumps of any kind. This could be a hernia, a blood clot, the remnants of an old injury or something else altogether. Your vet would examine it, perhaps using ultrasound for a full assessment, and may even suggest a simple needle biopsy. It’s unlikely to be a serious concern, but it’s always safer to have a professional opinion.


Rescue animal:

Zig Zag

Ten-year-old 13hh cob Zig Zag is a talented pony who schools well and loves to jump. Visit

To view outcomes of rescued pets, see Send queries to [email protected] or tweet @PeteTheVet. All sick animals should be taken to a vet.

Pet Subjects by Pete Wedderburn is published by Aurum Press (£12.99). To order your copy for £10.99 plus p&p call 0844 871 1514 or visit