Author

Stephen J. Birchard DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVS

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Ovariectomy vs. Ovariohysterectomy: Which is better, and why?


Ovarian remnant (arrow) in a dog found several years after ovariohysterectomy

Making a Rational Choice Between Ovariectomy and Ovariohysterectomy in the Dog: A Discussion of the Benefits of Either Technique
BART VAN GOETHEM, DVM, AUKE SCHAEFERS-OKKENS, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ECAR, and JOLLE KIRPENSTEIJN, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVS & ECVS
Veterinary Surgery 35:136–143, 2006

Summary and Commentary: In this paper, the authors reviewed the pertinent literature on studies addressing the choice between ovariectomy vs. ovariohysterectomy for gonadectomy in female dogs. The papers were analyzed for study design, surgical technique, and follow-up information.

No difference in short term or long term complications were seen in dogs undergoing the 2 techniques, including urogential problems, endometritis or pyometra, and urinary incontinence. Based on these findings, the authors concluded that ovariectomy is the preferred sterilization procedure for dogs since it is a faster and technically easier technique.

This is certainly not a new paper, or a new concept. I thought this topic would be a good follow up to our discussion of gonadectomy in Vizslas. Ovariectomy has been the “spay” of choice in several European countries for many years, yet in the USA ovariohysterectomy remains the most common procedure performed. Laparoscopic ovariectomy appears to be becoming a more popular choice among surgeons who have the equipment and expertise.

Question:
If you believe that the long-term results are the same between these 2 procedures, why do we still perform ovariohysterectomy rather than the simpler ovariectomy? What is your opinion? How do you spay dogs and why?