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Welcome! I am Dr. Altman, a licensed veterinarian and I am happy to answer your questions.
I think what you are referring to is an ovariectomy versus an ovariohystorectomy
The difference is that with the latter the ovaries and the uterus is removed versus the former which only removes the ovaries
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.
The most common surgery is the OHE surgery and the most traditional method historically
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
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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
I hope this makes sense, primarily ovariectomy= ovary removal, ovariohystorectomy = ovary and uterus removal
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
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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’ 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.