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Dr. Altman
Dr. Altman, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 12776
Experience:  Practicing small animal veterinarian for 17 years.
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Could you tell me about partial spaying where one ovary is

Customer Question

Could you tell me about partial spaying where one ovary is left intact? Is this routinely done in the uk?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 2 years ago.
Dr. Altman :

Welcome! I am Dr. Altman, a licensed veterinarian and I am happy to answer your questions.

Dr. Altman :

I think what you are referring to is an ovariectomy versus an ovariohystorectomy

Dr. Altman :

The difference is that with the latter the ovaries and the uterus is removed versus the former which only removes the ovaries

Dr. Altman :

The purpose of the ovariectomy is to shorten surgery time and make a smaller incision to remove the ovaries. In the ovariohystorectomy (OHE) the incision is longer and it takes more time because the uterus is also removed. So instead of two ligations of the ovaries for the ovariectomy to remove it from the uterus the entire uterus is removed as well extending the surgery time and the incision.

Dr. Altman :

The most common surgery is the OHE surgery and the most traditional method historically

Dr. Altman :

There are some surgeons now doing the ovariectomy but it hasn't really taken off as well because most vet schools are still teaching the more traditional method. The ones doing the ovariectomy are veterinary specialists/ surgeons that are performing the surgery with another surgery such as an orthopedic procedure or doing it with a laparoscope instead (camera) in which most general practitioners as myself are not trained to use

Dr. Altman :

CLICK HERE for more information on this comparison

Dr. Altman :

But removing one ovary is not going to prevent a dog or cat from getting pregnant so the surgery of removing one ovary is really never performed

Dr. Altman :

I hope this makes sense, primarily ovariectomy= ovary removal, ovariohystorectomy = ovary and uterus removal

Dr. Altman :

And OHE is much much more commonly performed, the ovariectomy is a newer procedure in the last five years that specialists are beginning to use more frequently with laparoscopy (camera) with a few tiny holes to the abdomen, faster healing, faster recovery

Dr. Altman :

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Dr. Altman :

Another article:

OVARIECTOMY IS LESS INVASIVE PROCEDURE

Over 25 years ago, French vets switched from the ‘ovariohysterectomy’, removing the ovaries and uterus, to the ‘ovariectomy’, removing just the ovaries. This is a less invasive procedure. The incision is smaller and much less tissue – only the two relatively small ovaries – is removed. By the later 1990s all continental veterinary schools had switched to the ovariectomy as their first choice neutering procedure.

British vets worried that leaving the uterus intact would lead to increased womb infections later in life but Dutch vets have shown conclusively that this is not the case. In the absence of female hormone the uterus contacts down to a thin strand. Infection is only possible if female hormone drugs (progestogens) are given to the dog and there are virtually no medical reasons for this to be done. (Cervical cancer and uterine cancer are both very rare in dogs so leaving these organs intact does not increase cancer risk.) If, however, the uterus appears unhealthy, it is also removed and we perform the more extensive ovariohysterecomy.

The procedure itself is straight forward. On arrival at the clinic your dog is given a ‘pre-med’ consisting of a sedative and two forms of pain killer, one of which also has a sedative affect. During surgery a further pain killer is given. The incision is usually repaired with stitches under the skin (to reduce an interest in licking) and medical ‘superglue’ is added. A light dressing is then applied to cover the area and further reduce the risk of licking. She goes home later that day, together with non-steriod anti-inflammatory tablets or drops (pain killer) to give for several more days. Most dogs want to return to normal activity within three days but, of course, your dog should be restricted to short leash exercise for a week after surgery.

KEYHOLE SURGERY

‘Keyhole’ or ‘laparoscopic’ or ‘minimally invasive surgery’ is the normal for many human procedures (such as appendectomies or gall bladder removal) and is a procedure of choice for operations such as liver biopsy in dogs. However, because dogs don’t have interfering belly buttons, a canine ovariectomy can be carried out through a single small midline incision of approximately two to three centimeters while keyhole surgery requires three incisions – one for carbon dioxide, one for the camera and one for surgery. At present we don’t see any advantages to laparoscopic ovariectomies in dogs.


Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 2 years ago.
Hopefully this information makes sense! Please let me know how else I can assist you both today
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello Dr Altman, I have done a fair bit of research and in Germany some vets recommend the partial spaying where one ovary is left intact ( to have the continued benefit of hormone production) whilst the uterus, the other ovary and the cervix are completely removed. Given that ovarian cancer is rare the benefits of having hormone production would appear to outweigh any risk with leaving them - other than that the operation would require a greater skill.
The discussion regarding this procedure seems to be largely happening in the US and Germany and I would like to find a UK vet with experience in this field.
Thanks you
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 2 years ago.
It would only be done at a specialty hospital I imagine...the only ones I was able to find were in the States or in Canada.
I can definitely opt out to see if there is another vet that is more familiar with your area and see if they have any other suggestions but the only ones doing surgeries as you describe in the states that I know are the veterinary surgeons at a specialty hospital.
If you prefer this then I will "opt out" and allow another to assist you. Please do not reply after your request so that another can check in on our conversation. It might be a little bit of a wait so please bear with the process in finding someone with these specific needs. In the meanwhile I will continue my search for this information.
Thank you!
Dr. Altman and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 2 years ago.
The other thought I had was if your vet is open to discussing things with the veterinarians in California that are primarily listed in doing these surgeries, they can be walked through this procedure which really is just a variation of a routine spay and have them perform it for you as well...
Thank you for the positive feedback and generous bonus...I wish you both luck in getting the answers you seek!