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What is the procedure?
‘Spaying’ is also known as an ovariohysterectomy. This literally means removal of (‘ectomy’) the ovaries and uterus (‘ovariohyster’). This stops the bitch from having regular heat cycles and from being able to reproduce.
Should I get my bitch spayed?
Unfortunately, there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to spaying and ongoing research means advice is constantly evolving. It is a decision that should be based on the age, breed and your aims as an owner, carefully considering the benefits and risks. If you are at all unsure, then don’t hesitate to discuss the decision with us at Orchard Vets.
So, what are the proven benefits?
When should I get her spayed?
Generally between 5 and 30 months old and ideally 2-3 months post-season. However, there are exceptions, such as breeds that are predisposed to urethral sphincter mechanism incompetence (USMI) or in bitches with juvenile vaginitis. In these instances we may recommend spaying later in this interval or after her first season. It is advised to spay 2-3 months after her season to reduce the risks of bleeding during surgery or developing a phantom pregnancy.
What are the potential complications and risks of the procedure?
Spaying is one of the most common operations performed in veterinary practice. Providing the bitch is in good health and aftercare protocols are followed, serious complications are extremely uncommon. However, despite being a routine surgery, minor to major complications can occur and it is important that you are aware of them.
A special mention: Rottweilers
There is some evidence to show that rottweilers are at an increased risk of bone cancer (osteosarcoma) after spaying.
What should I expect after the procedure?
Your bitch will go home the same day as the surgery. She will be given a buster collar or medishirt to prevent her from licking her incision. She will need to have her exercise restricted, only going out to the toilet on the lead for the first 3 days.
We will see her for a check up 3 and 10 days post surgery to make sure she has recovered from the anaesthesia and that there are no complications that need addressing. At the 3 day check up exercise will be discussed and gentle lead exercise may be advised depending on the progression of healing