Spay (Ovariohysterectomy)

By Dr. Karen Burgess

Who is it for?
Female animals

What is it?
Surgical removal of ovaries and uterus.

When is it done?
Typically performed at 6 months of age or older, shelters will often do at a much earlier age.

Why is it done?
To prevent breeding/reproduction, has also been shown to significantly decrease the incidence of breast (mammary) cancer in dogs. Risk if spayed after 2nd heat of breast cancer is 26%, if spayed after 1st heat is 8%, if spayed before 1st heat 0.5%.

How is it done?
Preanesthetic bloodwork performed, intravenous catheter placed and intraop fluids administered, monitoring performed by a registered technician and include blood pressure, EKG, blood oxygen levels, and carbon dioxide levels. The animal is sedated and then administered anesthesia via a tube in the windpipe. After surgery the pet is monitored for the remainder of the day until discharge. Pain medication is administered during the procedure and sent home with the pet. The incision may have stitches or not that would be removed in 10-14 days.