Even More to Say About a Better Way to Spay

In January I wrote a piece called, “A Different Way to Spay” (http://speakingforspot.com/blog/?p=1931) describing two techniques for performing spay surgeries.  The method widely embraced in the United States is ovariohysterectomy (OVH) in which both ovaries as well as the uterus are removed.  The second way to spay- popular in many other countries- is ovariectomy (OVE) in which only the ovaries are removed and the uterus is left behind.  

Charlotte, OVE spay at 7 months © Kathie Meier

Since publishing the piece, many of you wrote to me expressing your frustration at not being able to find a veterinarian willing to perform OVE surgery.  I’ve written about those comments and provided an overall update on this topic for PetConnection.com- I sure hope you will read it (http://www.petconnection.com/blog/2011/03/15/a-better-way-to-spay-your-dog-that-you-probably-never-heard-about/).  Additionally, Dr. Tim McCarthy, a wonderful PetConnection colleague provided a response blog discussing the benefits of performing spays via laparoscopy- a form of minimally invasive surgery (http://www.petconnection.com/blog/2011/03/17/another-better-way-to-spay-that-you-probably-never-heard-of/).     

I look forward to your feedback about both articles.  If you are new to PetConnection, I hope you will follow my blog posts there as well as the ones you find here at Spot Speaks.     

Best wishes for good health,      

Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook          

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.   



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4 Comments on “Even More to Say About a Better Way to Spay

  1. Hi Clara,

    Thanks so much for reading my blog and then taking the time to respond. The 2011 paper you cited is actually discussed within the blog post and I made mention of the fact that there was no difference in length of surgery between the two procedures even though the OVH length of incision was longer. I wonder if this has to do with the fact that the surgeon who performed all of the surgeries is board certified. My point of the blog is/was- assuming all OVE and OVH parameters are equal, why remove the uterus when there is no good reason to do so.

  2. I was very interested in this article and decided to do a bit more research. As a rescue organization, we are always looking for ways to reduce not only the cost of sterilization, but also the surgical risks as many of our animals come from neglectful situations. Common practice in our area is the OVH surgical procedure, so I wanted to look into it further. There is, however, another study published in 2011 that states there are no surgical time differences nor post-operative differences.

    J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2011 Jan 15;238(2):189-94

    So I think more research needs to be done before the North American veterinary community will embrace the different surgical technique, but I always appreciate Dr. Kay giving us information to help us make informed choices and decisions for the care of our animals.

  3. Hi Dr. Kay,

    Why not leave both or one ovary for maintaining hormone balance, and remove the uterus? I have heard that some vets are doing this with great success. I do believe that the gonads are there for something.


  4. One of the dangers with OVH is nicking of the bladder. Is that danger increased with OVE due to the limited field of view? I find it interesting that a vet is so ready to throw his/her peers under the bus for failing to grab on to OVE when the data presented in the article is sparse at best as the values, pro and con, of OVE as compared to OVH. Many vet colleges have vets who come from European countries..even some deans of some vet colleges..who would have been taught OVE according to this article and yet the supposed advantages of the OVE have remained for the most part kept a secret from N. American vets..that doesn’t seem likey..it seems to me we are only getting a part of this story.

    Sherryanne Farr