Ovariohysterectomy in Dogs

Ovariohysterectomy is the medical term for spaying a female dog. Ovariohysterectomy is best performed on a puppy around 5-10 months of age. If necessary, the surgery can be performed at an earlier age without any noticeable side effects. Ovariohysterectomies can be performed at any age, however the surgery is much less complicated and there are fewer risks when the animal is young.

Even though a spay is considered routine surgery, there is nothing routine about any abdominal surgery performed under general anesthesia. Most Veterinarians consider a dog spay to be major surgery, especially when spaying older bitches that have had several heat cycles or have had puppies.

Having your female dog spayed is an obligation that comes with pet ownership. All humane organizations, animal shelters and veterinarians promote the concept of pet population control by having dogs and cats spayed and neutered. The cost of a dog spay is inexpensive, especially when you consider what is involved.

Pre-Surgical and Post-Surgical Considerations

Your pet should be current with her vaccinations.

No food should be given 12-18 hours before the surgery and no water should be given 2-4 hours before the surgery.

Your dog’s activities should be restricted for 5-7 days after the surgery.

Sutures often need to be removed 10-14 days post-surgically. Ask a hospital technician about suture removal.

Call the veterinary hospital if you notice any problems or have questions regarding your dog’s health.

The main reason for spaying a female dog is to prevent heat periods and unwanted pregnancies. Ovariohysterectomies also greatly reduce the risk of mammary cancer and certain skin disorders. After the spay, uterine infections and ovarian problems are nonexistent.

For more information, see the article “Decision To Have Your Male Dog Neutered And Your Female Dog Spayed.”