Considering an Ovary Sparing Spay? An Ovary Sparing Spay (a hysterectomy) is advantageous for some dogs. Recent research has shown that leaving the ovaries intact in large and giant breed dogs increases their life span, decreases their risk of bone cancer and prevents many cases of incontinence.
These advantages are not without risks. Leaving the ovaries increases the risk of pyometra and mammary cancer. To limit the risk of pyometra, we judiciously remove all traces of the uterus during surgery. Since we can not remove the risk of mammary cancer, we suggest yearly exams (biannually when your dog is over 8 years old). Exams should include a mammary examination and an ultrasound, biopsy or removal of any suspected growths around the mammary glands.
Before any surgery, we recommend bloodwork to make sure that your dogs kidneys, liver and other organs are working well. Older dogs will require an iv catheter placement and fluids given during surgery. Many younger dogs may also benefit from this procedure. Pain medication is given prior to surgery and additional medication will usually be sent home with you. Besides relieving pain, the medication reduces inflammation and speeds healing.
To completely remove the uterus requires a longer incision than is typically made during a regular ovariohysterectomy (spay). It heals just as quickly as a shorter incision but precautions should be taken as with a normal spay. After surgery you must restrict the dog from jumping and running as in a conventional spay. You should use an E-collar or other device as needed to keep the dog from licking the incision.
Due to the longer incision and longer surgery time, after surgery your dog will be placed on antibiotics. Please follow the instructions and give all of the antibiotics.
The incision should be completely healed in most dogs in 2 weeks and all restrictions may be removed at that time. If your dog does get any excessive swelling, heat or discharge, please request an examination by us or your regular vet immediately.
Feel free to call us with any questions about your dog or this procedure.
Thank you for allowing us to assist you with your dogs care.