Canine ovariohysterectomy, or spay, is the removal of a female dog’s reproductive organs, including both ovaries and the bulk of the body of the uterus and uterine horns. The dog’s lower reproductive tract is left intact. Spaying is considered an elective procedure that is the owner’s choice; however it is highly recommended for all female dogs that are not being retained for breeding purposes (for show or to advance the breed, etc.). It is recommended to spay before puberty (before 6 months of age). This procedure eliminates the chance for pregnancy and, depending of the sexual maturity of the dog when performed, greatly reduces the risk of reproductivehormone associated cancer. Spaying also decreases the possibility of reproductive tract infections (pyometra, vaginitis), though they may rarely occur. Spayed females require about ⅓ fewer calories, too.
Home Care Instructions
- Most spay patients with an uneventful convalescence will be fully recovered in 2 weeks (the amount of time for full depth skin incisions to heal). Usually progress exams and follow up appointments are not necessary.
- A spay is a major abdominal surgery; your pet should be kept quiet with restricted activity for 34 days (leash walks, no stairs, etc.) to put less strain on the sutures.
- To reduce the possibility of postoperative swelling and infection, it is imperative that the surgical site be kept clean and dry for at least a week, including no baths or grooming during this time
- Your pet should also be prevented from excessive licking or chewing at the surgical sites for about a week. If an ecollar (Cone of Shame) is needed, please see the front desk staff. If your dog rips or chews out the sutures, please call. Your dog will be sent home with a mandatory Cone of Shame after the suture line in repaired.
- Please examine the area around the incision about twice a day for 10 days; if excessive swelling, redness, pain, or discharge is noted, please contact us at Pickrell Veterinary Clinic.
- If there are any general signs of illness (i.e. vomiting, diarrhea, lack of energy, lack of appetite, fever (greater than 102.5), pale gums and/or mucous membranes, distended abdomen), please do not hesitate to call. There may be mild vomiting or diarrhea for a day or so after the anesthesia. Mature dogs may be slower for 35 days as they recover from this surgery. If there are any questions, please do not hesitate to call.