Considering your spay options for your pet? We have the answers you seek. While it is tempting to search the internet for the best surgery options, be careful of what information you base your decisions on. Some information may not fit your and your pet’s specific needs.
Spaying is the term we use for females and it means the surgical removal of sections of the reproductive tract. This renders the pet unable to reproduce.
This, of course, dramatically impacts the hormone levels of the pet. We are learning over time that retaining some hormones may be a beneficial process.
The hardest part of the hormone question is knowing how much hormones are needed for health. Unfortunately, even in the human world, hormone levels vary from day to day, and from person to person over time.
We cannot set a one-size-fits-all number for the ideal amount of estrogen to leave in the body. So while there is some thought that leaving some hormones may be the best option, the exact levels are open to interpretation.
Here are the options for spaying (surgery to prevent pregnancy):
Spaying by removal of the Ovaries and Uterus, also known as an ovariohysterectomy.
This is the traditional procedure done in the U.S. for the past 50 years
Has the lowest rates of mammary cancer
Some concerns of urinary incontinence.
Spaying by removal of the ovaries only, also known as ovariectomy.
This is the traditional procedure done in Europe for the past 50 years
Leaves SOME hormones
Maybe the best middle ground choice
Spaying by removal of the uterus and upper cervix only, also known as ovary-sparing spay
This is the traditional procedure done in humans (hysterectomy)
Leaves the most hormones
May increase the risk of mammary cancer
Spaying by Tubal Ligation
No removal at all, just a series of ligatures/bands placed partway down the uterus to prevent egg release
Everything stays the same as in an intact female except the prevention of pregnancy
Cannot be reversed
Depending on which surgical option you choose, with the doctor’s advice and recommendation, we would review the expectations both before, during, and after the procedure.
It generally takes 10 - 14 days to recover from an abdominal procedure and during the recovery time, they must be on exercise restriction and kept calm and quiet. Normally a surgical suite or cone is used to prevent damage or licking at the surgical site. Sometimes we prescribe a light sedative if they are expected to be too active or an antibiotic if needed.
It is important for us to understand what your long term goals are and that is why we highly suggest a pre-surgical consult. This is a once in a lifetime choice for your dog and we generally do not go back in to make a change later in the pet's life.
A key detail for you to understand is how your choice will affect your dog’s heat cycle. This impacts your lifestyle and other dogs in the area.
The health status of the pet is crucial as well and that would be determined during the pre-surgical consult as well. Bloodwork is mandatory, as are the cornerstones of good surgical care, such as IV and pain medicines. We can give you a complete estimate at the time of the consultation.
If you are travelling from a long distance situation, we would have you consider doing the bloodwork locally and then we can do a phone consultation for a reduced fee to make sure the travel is appropriate for your situation. Some clients choose to come the day before, have the bloodwork checked here, and return in the am for the procedure, stay until the next morning for a quick recheck and then head home. We are here to help you whatever your need is.
Let us know if you have any additional questions or if you would like to schedule either the phone consultation for $40 or the in person consultation for $59. Those fees will apply toward the day of procedure if done within 30 days.