Lots of people ask me about how we neuter dogs, and especially about ovariectomies- our recommended procedure for speying healthy bitches – so here’s some videos:
From our factsheet:
If you aren’t going to breed from your dog, neutering gives many health benefits including a reduced risk of mammary cancer (if performed before the second season) and the prevention of womb infections in later life. Did you know there are two different ways of performing this operation?
Traditionally, UK and the majority of US vets perform ovariohysterectomy. This means the complete removal of the ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus (womb) down to the cervix.
The majority of European vets and an increasing number of US and UK vets now perform an ovariectomy instead, which is removal of the ovaries only.
Why the Difference?
It used to be thought that neutering a dog without removing the womb would leave that dog open to womb infections later in life. Recent studies now indicate there is no difference in the risk of infection between the two operations as removing the ovaries eliminates the hormones whose fluctuations can trigger womb infections.
Removing the womb with the ovaries carries greater risk of bleeding during and after the operation, longer surgical time, greater pain after the operation and a bigger surgical wound that is more likely to have complications.
By leaving the womb behind we are leaving an organ that can potentially develop cancer in later life. However, the occurrence rate for womb cancer in dogs is only three in every thousand. A small number of dogs may also have a minor vulval discharge 24-72 hours post ovariectomy. This is entirely normal and usually lasts only 24-48 hours.
Which should I choose?
At Mansion Hill, we recommend ovariectomy for dogs over 5kg (10lbs). This type of spey operation gives the same long term health benefits as the ovariohysterectomy with the added advantage of being a shorter procedure with a smaller wound, which will be less painful and have lower risk of postoperative complications such as bleeding and wound infections.
We believe these significant benefits outweigh the small risk that the dog will go on to develop womb cancer in later life.