Canine Ovariohysterectomy (spay)

Ovariohysterectomy is the medical term for spaying or neutering a female dog. 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. Surgery is optimal at four to six months of age, but can be done in an older dog. Ideally females should be spayed before their first estrus (heat). 

Though it is routinely performed, ovariohysterectomy is major abdominal surgery requiring general anesthesia and sterile operating technique. The involved area of the abdomen is shaved, washed and disinfected (it will take several weeks for the hair to grow back). An incision is made on the midline of the abdomen, just behind the navel. Both the uterus and ovaries are removed so all that remains of the reproductive tract are the cervix and vagina. The incision is closed in three layers; the muscle wall is sutured, then the area under the skin, and finally the skin. The two inner layers of suture dissolve after the area is healed. The skin layer is closed with non-dissolving sutures, staples, or surgical glue. If sutures or staples are used, they must be removed ten days following surgery. When surgical glue is used, no further action is required. 

Generally, the patient will stay overnight at the clinic following surgery, and go home the next day. Pets returning home after surgery should be kept in a quiet, warm and comfortable part of the house, and discouraged from any type of jumping, running or rough play. Allow you pet to resume normal activity gradually. Check the incision daily for swelling, bleeding, discharge, redness or reopening of the wound. Prevent your dog from scratching, licking or biting stitches or staples 

Prevention of pregnancy and heat periods is the main reason for the surgery, but the procedure is often necessary in treating severe uterine infections. 
 

FAQ

Why should I have my dog spayed?

We recommend spaying all female pets. The benefits to your pet's health and to help reduce the pet overpopulation crises makes this decision easier. It should be remembered that owners of Guide Dogs for the Blind, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People and Dogs for the Disabled routinely have their dogs spayed.

What are the advantages of spaying in the female dog?

  • Prevention of heat or estrus

  • When in "heat", the female experiences an urge to escape in order to find a mate. This is eliminated.

  • It eliminates for possibility of false pregnancy following the "heat cycle".

  • Prevention of uterine infection (pyometra).

  • The prevention of breast cancer. dogs spayed before the first "heat" have less than 0.5% chance of developing breast cancer.

  • Elimination of the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer

  • Sterilized pets tend to live an average of two to three years longer than unsterilized pets.

Is spaying performed for any other reason?

  • Treatment of intractable false or phantom pregnancy

  • Females with irregular or abnormal cycles due to ovarian cysts

  • Spaying is also carried out on occasions to correct certain behavioral abnormalities

  • Treatment of uterine infection (pyometra) or cancer

  • Dystocia (difficult birthing) or post caesarean section surgery

Will spaying make my dog fat and lazy?

No. Obesity is due to excessive calorie intake. Proper feeding and exercise can control weight. Removal of the ovaries may cause a slowing of metabolic rate. Appropriate decrease of caloric intake may be necessary. A decrease in the amount of food or a change to a lower calorie content food such as light or less active would be appropriate.

Will it change her personality, disposition or intelligence?

No. Dogs' personalities do not fully develop until one or two years of age and are not related to estrogen and progesterone levels. If there were a personality change in a dog spayed at a young age, it would have occurred without the surgery.

Are there any problems associated with spaying?

A very small percentage of dogs have trouble holding their urine as they become older. This is normally controllable with medidogion.

Shouldn't my dog have a litter first?

No. There is no advantage in allowing your dog to have a litter of puppies before surgery.

Canine Castration (neuter)

Orchiectomy or castration is the surgical removal of the testicles which produce sperm and are the primary production site of the hormone testosterone.  Following surgery the empty scrotal sac shrinks.

 

The operation is performed under general anesthesia, so your pet will not experience pain during the procedure. The area above the scrotum is shaved, washed and disinfected. A small incision is made and both testicles are removed through this incision. The incision is closed in two layers; the area under the skin is sutured with dissolvable suture and the skin is most often closed with surgical glue.  Recovery is generally uneventful and aftercare is minimal.

 

In general, pets returning home after surgery should be kept in a quiet, warm and comfortable part of the house, and encouraged from any type of jumping, running or rough play. Allow your pet to resume normal activity gradually. Check the incision daily for swelling, bleeding, discharge, redness or reopening of the wound. Prevent your pet from scratching, licking or biting stitches or staples.

 

Advantages of castration

 

There are several health benefits to neutering. The removal of the primary testosterone production sites will cause the prostate gland to shrink, preventing hyperplasia (enlargement) and prostatitis (infection). Other common ailments in unaltered, aging dogs include certain diseases, hernias and tumors of the testicles, anus, and prostate gland and also the reduction of excessive preputial discharge.

 

Sexual behavior usually disappears after neutering. In animals that have experienced sexual activity before neutering, however, some sexual behavior may persist.  (Behavior that appears to be sexually motivated may be linked to other causes. Mounting by castrated dogs, for example, is usually a sign of dominance behavior.)  For most pets, neutering effectively eliminates development and progression of objectionable sexual behavior.

 

If your pet is not intended for breeding, neutering is advised to prevent aggressiveness related to sex hormones.  Fighting and aggression directed at other males is less common after neutering. The intensity of other types of aggression, such as dominance aggression, is also likely to be reduced.  Though neutering is not a treatment for aggression, it can help minimize the severity and escalation of aggressiveness and is often the first step toward resolving an aggressive behavior problem. Specific diagnosis of the type of aggression displayed by our pet, identification of the situations that trigger it and retraining your pet to behave differently are still essential.

 

Neutering does not alter territorial behavior, so there is no need to worry that your dog will not protect your house after neutering

 

Castration usually, but not always, reduces the tendency to roam.

FAQ 

Will castration change my dog’s personality?

 

No.  There is no effect on general temperament or personality.

 

Will castration make my dog fat and lazy?

 

No.  Because of metabolic changes that follow neutering, calorie requirements may decrease.

 

Also, activity declines as a young pet matures, regardless of whether or not it is neutered.  Pets, like people, become less active as they mature, and may gain weight unless calorie intake is decreased.  Before neutering and particularly for sexually mature individuals, energy is channeled toward reproduction.  Males may be more reactive to stimuli in general and more acutely aware of rivals or intruders on their territory. Neutering reduces the intensity of many behavior problems and eliminates or prevents certain types of undesirable behavior.

 

After your pet is neutered, adjust its food intake to prevent excessive weight gain.

 

Will neutering affect my dog’s ability to hunt?

 

No.  Hunting skills are in the dog’s brain and his sense of smell and are not related to testosterone levels.

Feline Ovariohysterectomy (spay)

Ovariohysterectomy is the medical term for spaying or neutering a female cat. 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. Surgery is optimal at four to six months of age, but can be done in an older cat. Ideally females should be spayed before their first estrus (heat). 

Though it is routinely performed, ovariohysterectomy is major abdominal surgery requiring general anesthesia and sterile operating technique. The involved area of the abdomen is shaved, washed and disinfected (it will take several weeks for the hair to grow back). An incision is made on the midline of the abdomen, just behind the navel. Both the uterus and ovaries are removed so all that remains of the reproductive tract are the cervix and vagina. The incision is closed in three layers; the muscle wall is sutured, then the area under the skin, and finally the skin. The two inner layers of suture dissolve after the area is healed. The skin layer is closed with non-dissolving sutures, staples, or surgical glue. If sutures or staples are used, they must be removed ten days following surgery. When surgical glue is used, no further action is required. 

Generally, the patient will stay overnight at the clinic following surgery, and go home the next day. Pets returning home after surgery should be kept in a quiet, warm and comfortable part of the house, and discouraged from any type of jumping, running or rough play. Allow you pet to resume normal activity gradually. Check the incision daily for swelling, bleeding, discharge, redness or reopening of the wound. Prevent your cat from scratching, licking or biting stitches or staples 

Prevention of pregnancy and heat periods is the main reason for the surgery, but the procedure is often necessary in treating severe uterine infections. 
 

FAQ

Why should I have my cat spayed?

We recommend spaying all female pets. The benefits to your pet's health and to help reduce the pet overpopulation crises makes this decision easier.

What are the advantages of spaying in the female cat?

  • Prevention of heat or estrus

  • When in "heat", the female experiences an urge to escape in order to find a mate. This is eliminated.

  • It eliminates for possibility of false pregnancy following the "heat cycle".

  • Prevention of uterine infection (pyometra).

  • The prevention of breast cancer. cats spayed before the first "heat" have less than 0.5% chance of developing breast cancer.

  • Elimination of the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer

  • Sterilized pets tend to live an average of two to three years longer than unsterilized pets.

Is spaying performed for any other reason?

  • Treatment of intractable false or phantom pregnancy

  • Females with irregular or abnormal cycles due to ovarian cysts

  • Spaying is also carried out on occasions to correct certain behavioral abnormalities

  • Treatment of uterine infection (pyometra) or cancer

  • Dystocia (difficult birthing) or post caesarean section surgery

Will spaying make my cat fat and lazy?

No. Obesity is due to excessive calorie intake. Proper feeding and exercise can control weight. Removal of the ovaries may cause a slowing of metabolic rate. Appropriate decrease of caloric intake may be necessary. A decrease in the amount of food or a change to a lower calorie content food such as light or less active would be appropriate.

Will it change her personality, disposition or intelligence?

No. Cats' personalities do not fully develop until one or two years of age and are not related to estrogen and progesterone levels. If there were a personality change in a cat spayed at a young age, it would have occurred without the surgery.

Are there any problems associated with spaying?

A very small percentage of cats have trouble holding their urine as they become older. This is normally controllable with medication.

Shouldn't my cat have a litter first?

No. There is no advantage in allowing your cat to have a litter of kittens before surgery.

Feline Castration (neuter)

Castration is the surgical removal of the testicles. 

Your pet will be given a pre-operative physical examination to help ensure its safety under anesthesia and surgery. The operation is performed under general anesthesia, so your cat will not experience any pain. Hair is removed from the scrotum and the area is cleaned with a disinfectant. Two small incisions are made in the scrotum, the testicles are removed and the cords are ligated (tied), with the incision being left open to heal.

Preparation for surgery

Vaccinations must be current, and need to be given at least one week prior to surgery for adequate protection of your pet. Your cat should be free from intestinal parasites. Food should be withheld after 9:00pm (water is okay to give) the night before the surgery.

Aftercare

Recovery is generally uneventful, and aftercare is minimal.

Effects of castration

When a cat is castrated at four to six months of age, before sexual maturity, the cat's sexual instincts are reduced. In addition to making the cat sterile, castration largely eliminates activities common in intact male cats such as fighting, night prowling, and marking with urine. The objectionable urine odor of the male cat is also reduced. Castrated cats may still want to hunt.

Orthopedic Surgery

We routinely perform the following:

  • Fracture repair

  • Torn cruciate ligament stabilization

  • Patella luxation

  • Osteochondritis Dessicans repair

  • ...and others

This is an area of special interest to Dr. McAllister. She regularly attends continuing education meetings on orthopedics and has invested in specialized equipment needed to perform these procedures.

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