What is a Spay?

Ovariohysterectomy is the medical term for spaying a female pet.  The procedure consists of surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus. If the ovaries are not removed, the bothersome heat periods still occur even though pregnancy is impossible. We recommend surgery be performed at 4-6 months of age. Though it is routinely performed, ovariohysterectomy is a major abdominal surgery requiring general anesthesia and sterile operating technique. The main reasons for the procedure are often pregnancy and heat period prevention, but is also necessary when treating severe uterine infections, ovarian and/or uterine tumors, and some skin disorders.

What are the advantages?Ovariohysterectomy Illustration

  • No more heat periods.
  • No unwanted puppies or kittens.
  • Lowered risk of uterine infection.
  • Lower chance for mammary gland cancer developing later in life especially if spay is done before the 1st heat cycle.

Frequently Asked Questions…

  1. Will it make my pet  fat and lazy?  No, obesity is due to excessive caloric intake and can be controlled with proper feeding.
  2. Will it change her disposition, personality, or intelligence? Pet’s  personalities do not fully develop until one year of age, so changes occur naturally without surgery.
  3. Shouldn’t my pet have a litter first? No, there is no advantage to allowing your pet to have a litter. There are too many unwanted cats and dogs in animal shelters as it is.  Also, the earlier the spay is done, the less risk of mammary cancer down the road.

Important Considerations Before and After Surgery…

  • DO make certain your pet should be free of intestinal parasites (worms) and all vaccinations should be current before surgery.
  • DO NOT feed your pet for 12 hours before admittance to surgery.
  • DO feed your pet only 1/4 to 1/2 of normal meal size the night after surgery. Return to normal diet after 24 hours.
  • DO NOT allow excessive running or jumping for seven days after surgery. For dogs, restrict them to leash walking only outside.
  • DO return for suture removal evaluation after 10-14 days.
  • DO NOT allow excessive licking at the incision site.  You should check the incision at least one time daily.  If you have any questions or concerns, or notice any significant swelling or a discharge from the incision, please call the hospital at 918-794-5566.
  • DO keep the incision clean and dry, using hydrogen peroxide as a disinfectant when necessary around the incision line.

Please notify the doctor at 918-794-5566 if the following occur…

  • Your pet removes a suture or otherwise irritates the incision.
  • Your pet refuses to eat or is depressed after the first day home.
  • There is a change in your pet’s general health or behavior.