Spontaneous and Age-Related Testicular Findings in Beagle Dogs

Michael J. Goedken, Roy L. Kerlin, Daniel Morton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


This study was conducted to characterize spontaneous testicular and epididymal microscopic findings in eighty control beagle dogs from toxicity studies. Hypospermatogenesis, characterized by randomly scattered missing spermatids and/or spermatocytes within seminiferous tubules, was observed in 75% of dogs six to seven months of age and declined to fewer than 10% in dogs over eleven months of age. Atrophy/hypoplasia of seminiferous tubules, characterized by subcapsular triangular clusters of tubules containing no germ cells, was observed in 25 to 40% of dogs under twelve months old, decreasing with age to 14 to 17% in dogs twelve to thirty-six months old. Retained spermatids, multinucleate giant cells, intracytoplasmic vacuoles (presumably in Sertoli cells), and swollen spermatocytes were common findings of minimal severity. Six- and seven-month-old dogs had lower testicular weights, less filling of the epididymal tails with sperm, and a two-fold higher incidence of abnormal epididymal content compared to dogs more than eight months of age. Most male beagles were histologically sexually mature by eight to nine months of age. This study confirms published reports that dogs at least ten months of age at necropsy usually are adequate for routine microscopic evaluation of the testes. If evaluation of spermatogenesis is critical, the incidental findings can be minimized by using males over twelve months of age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-471
Number of pages7
JournalToxicologic Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Toxicology
  • Cell Biology


  • background findings
  • beagle dogs
  • epididymis
  • hypospermatogenesis
  • spontaneous
  • testis


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