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  1. #1
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    Question Spaying a dog by only removing the ovaries???

    I was talking to my vet today about having my female Boerboel/Ridgeback spayed (vet owns a full sister who she spayed months ago using this method) and she told me she was doing spays now by only removing the ovaries. Told me is was less invasive, offered the same results (no heats, breedings) and had a faster, easier recovery. Anyone have an opinion/experience with this???
    www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
    Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma



  2. #2
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    I do not have personal experience with it, but I know that there are many clinics now going with just a straight overiectomy. It sounds like this may become the new norm for spaying dogs.



  3. #3
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    Sounds like you would still have risk of pyometra?

    If that's the case, then no. Skip it. As someone who has been through a closed pyo, it's just not worth it.

    If you're looking for a less invasive spay, look at a laproscopic spay.



  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simkie View Post
    Sounds like you would still have risk of pyometra?

    If that's the case, then no. Skip it. As someone who has been through a closed pyo, it's just not worth it.

    If you're looking for a less invasive spay, look at a laproscopic spay.
    I specifically asked about pyo and the vet said there had been no issues. According to her - no ovaries, no hormones...uterus shrivels up from non-use/stimulation. I wasn't worried about a standard spay...vet told me this was how she was doing them now. Makes sense if there are no other side effects. Just thought I'd ask here. "Someone" on this forum know "something" about "everything"!!!
    www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
    Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma



  5. #5
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    Removing the ovaries only is becoming a more popular choice because it is a less invasive procedure-smaller incision, less painful to dog, easier recovery. It is very common in Europe.

    For a pyometra to develop you need the hormonal influence (progesterone) so if you remove the ovaries, the bitch cannot cycle and even with the uterus left in pyometra is not a concern. I think the only concern would be uterine cancer, which is uncommon

    A nice paper that compares the two techniques-

    http://igitur-archive.library.uu.nl/...0technique.pdf



  6. #6
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    Thanks!! I knew I could count on you guys!!!
    www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
    Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma



  7. #7
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    It is common in Europe. My only concern is that if adrenalin disease starts, you can in theory have estrogen produced which could influence the uterus.



  8. #8
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    Was it a lap spay she was offering? We only remove the ovaries when we do lap spays. Must faster recovery time.



  9. #9
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    Another take on the spay issue (also done more commonly in Europe) is to remove the entire uterus and one ovary, but leave the other ovary for the protective effect against osteosarcoma, spayed bitch incontinence, and hypothyroidism, all of which are more common in spayed than intact bitches, while eliminating the risk of pyo. I will try to find the link to it, but it was mentioned to me by a former president of the British Small Animal Veterinary Society.


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  10. #10
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    My 20 month old BC mix had a laparoscopic spay, with just the ovaries removed, at 7 months. Recovery was super quick, she had only two tiiiiny incisions, you could hardly see them and no exeternal stitches. We really didn't have to keep her quiet at all, which is why I chose this method...I couldn't imagine keeping a 7 month old BC quiet while a larger incision healed. Vet said she could go back to normal activities the next day, just keeping her out of the pond until the incisions healed to avoid infection. She really didn't seem to be in any pain afterward either, just groggy from the anestethetic the first night home (it was a day surgery, dropped her off and picked her up five hours later).

    My understanding is that there is no increased risk of pyometra if the ovaries are removed before the first heat. With each heat the dog has before the ovaries are removed, there is a slight increased chance of future pyometra, as the uterus was exposed to progesterone.



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Houndhill View Post
    Another take on the spay issue (also done more commonly in Europe) is to remove the entire uterus and one ovary, but leave the other ovary for the protective effect against osteosarcoma, spayed bitch incontinence, and hypothyroidism, all of which are more common in spayed than intact bitches, while eliminating the risk of pyo. I will try to find the link to it, but it was mentioned to me by a former president of the British Small Animal Veterinary Society.
    I think I'd be worried about stump pyometra if an ovary was left? I'd be interested to read the link and see if that's a concern at all.



  12. #12

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    Ridgeback fan here - do you have a photo of your dog?



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canaqua View Post
    I think I'd be worried about stump pyometra if an ovary was left? I'd be interested to read the link and see if that's a concern at all.
    Haven't found the link yet, but this was not a problem, I believe they removed the cervix too, so no stump.

    I would not remove the ovaries (or testes) of a large dog like the OPs until the growth plates of the long bones had closed, removing the ovaries (or testes) can delay closure of the long bones so the dog can end up with unnaturally long legs.


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starhouse View Post
    Ridgeback fan here - do you have a photo of your dog?
    I've got a bunch of pictures, but haven't put them on Photobucket or facebook, yet. She looks like a Ridgeback on steroids!! Mom had 16 :-O, Live, healthy pups and all looked like clones as little pups...now some (ours) is favoring the Boerboel build with a bit more Ridgy shaped head. She is super smart, but a bit hardheaded...as in she'll "come", but "wait a minute, I'm busy"!!! The male Boxer we have is SUPER smart and more "Johnny on the spot" when you call. The BB/RR, "Mako" as in shark, is super lovely and at 8.5 months, showing protective instincts. She is already almost as tall at the Boxer, Bravo, who is 4 months older, but Mako is probably heavier!! She is acquiring the RR speed for running. She used to have to ambush the Boxer...now she can run him down!!!
    www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
    Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma



  15. #15
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    did any of the pups get the ridge?

    I love my ridgie mix
    *^*^*^
    Himmlische Traumpferde
    "Wenn Du denkst es geht nicht mehr, kommt von irgendwo ein kleines Licht daher"



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Houndhill View Post
    Another take on the spay issue (also done more commonly in Europe) is to remove the entire uterus and one ovary, but leave the other ovary for the protective effect against osteosarcoma, spayed bitch incontinence, and hypothyroidism, all of which are more common in spayed than intact bitches, while eliminating the risk of pyo. .
    Having had spayed females develop in one case osteosarcoma (my heart dog!) and in another incontinence, I'll look into this more.
    Yvonne Lucas
    Red Moon Farm
    redmoonfarm.com


    "Practice doesn't make perfect. PERFECT practice makes perfect." - Jim Wofford

    "Some days you're the dog, some days the hydrant." - Jim Wofford



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nootka View Post
    did any of the pups get the ridge?

    I love my ridgie mix
    About 2/3 of the pups have the ridge. From what I see...the ones with the ridge tend to look more refined like the RR father. I commend this woman...she ONLY wanted 3 pups...one for herself as an eventual "replacement" for the RR she brought with her from South Africa, one for her adult daughter (who has trained her pup as an upper level service dog) and one for me (as pay back for a giant favor I did her and to take the place of "Ambush" the Boerboel we lost at 18 months to osteosarcoma). I was flabbergasted when the female had 16 pups, but my friend took two weeks off from her job (a medical professional) and fed/cared for the pups round the clock. Every pup was fat and healthy and she sold them to people all over the USA. Reports from all of the buyers who keep in touch say they LOVE their dogs!! It worked out well.
    I loved my Boerboel and he was lost way too young to a horrible disease, but I must say the RR/BB cross is a fantastic dog. Loving, devoted, pleasant to live with and VERY athletic!!! She and the Boxer have four modes...Playing, sleeping, eating, and more playing!!! I'll dig up some pictures!!
    Nootka...what is your RR crossed with??
    Last edited by crosscreeksh; Jan. 11, 2013 at 09:24 PM. Reason: Added thought.
    www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
    Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma



  18. #18
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    I know a vet who has practiced this method for quite a while, and actually does a lot of the humane society spays with ovary removal only via laprascope. Others find it more complicated (well, not complicated...but not as easy as their tried and true lets take everything out spay). I dont think theres much benefit to leave the rest in...but it doesnt appear to cause problems either. I'd go for whatever your vet feels more confident doing!

    I would not feel comfortable leaving one ovary in...just like a retained testicle, its still hormonal tissue that "should" become inert, but theres still a decent chance of it becoming a cancerous tumor.



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by SquishTheBunny View Post

    I would not feel comfortable leaving one ovary in...just like a retained testicle, its still hormonal tissue that "should" become inert, but theres still a decent chance of it becoming a cancerous tumor.
    Squish, the reason for leaving an ovary is not that it "should" become "inert", but that it continues to produce steroidal hormones which have beneficial physiological effects that are protective as far as osteosarcoma, hypothyroidism, spayed bitch incontinence, growth and maturation. Of course the relative risks seem to depend upon the age and size of the dog. A recent study in Rotties found that the longer a bitch kept her ovaries, the longer she lived.

    For those of us with giant breed dogs with a very high risk of osteosarcoma (it is one of the three leading causes of death in Irish Wolfhounds) it seems to make sense to carefully consider what risks you may be exposing them to by totally eliminating the sources of steroidal hormones (ovaries or testes).

    The reason for removing one ovary is that having just one seems adequate to make enough hormone to be protective, and if by chance future health problems develop, it is a very simple surgery requiring one small incision to remove the remaining ovary (very important though to know which one you left!)

    I currently have six intact bitches ranging in age from 1-8 years, and would only surgically remove a uterus if health concerns such as pyometra required it. I have had multiple and unneutered IWs for 40 years, and have only had one pyometra, successfully treated with a spay, in that time, but have sadly lost many to osteosarcoma, and might have lost more if I routinely spayed and neutered. I have also never had an accidental breeding and do not find it difficult to manage intact animals.

    With human females requiring such surgery, ovaries are spared if possible, and we are beginning to recognize that ovaries might be useful for bitches for other than reproductive reasons too. I think the vets are beginning to realize they might have been oversold on the positive consequences of s/n for all dogs across the board as more information is being published.

    It is considered somewhat unethical to s/n for reasons of owner convenience in Europe, many more companion dogs are kept intact. Of course they do not have the overpopulation and numbers of irresponsible owners we have here in the US.



  20. #20
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    Houndhill - thats fine. Not something I would be comfortable doing (but I dont have large breeds who are prone to osteosarcomas). I also lost a dog who had an ovarian tumor that had metastasized before the ovary couldbe removed. She was a small breed dog. Im sure you can understand the risks to both sides of the story.

    Do you know what the stats are on intact females and osteosarcomas? I know that in Rotties there is a higher chance of developing it when spayed/neutered before age 1. The two we diagnosed last week were both intact females (One was a chessie, the other a standard poodle) I thought it was fairly rare. Both these dogs have had litters before but Im not sure of how recently. I am unsure the age of the poodle but the chessie is only 5. Also, a golden we CT'd a few months ago was an intact female, but only 8 months old. She had osteosarcoma on her rib.

    Im not against keeping intact animals at all, just curious.



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