When your female animal undergoes an ovariohysterectomy–or “spay”–she will no longer have a heat cycle. Thus, pregnancy is no longer possible. It also means the chances of having mammary tumors (breast cancer) are greatly reduced. Finally, it means that common uterine infections in older animals are prevented. But what is the process of spaying animals?
Process of Spaying: Pre-Surgical Exam
Most veterinarians require a pre-surgical examination of the animal to make sure she is healthy before undergoing surgery. This is typically done on the visit before your pet is spayed, but it can be done on the day of the surgery. Your pet will also have to be up to date on vaccinations, particularly the rabies shot, before having an ovariohysterectomy.
Process of Spaying: Pre-Anesthetic Bloodwork (Optional)
Bloodwork is optional. However, most veterinarians highly recommend choosing to have pre-anesthetic bloodwork done to be sure they will not damage any organs during the procedure. I opted out for my cat, since she was young and quite healthy. But my puppy had recently gotten into something that made her pretty sick, so I paid $53 to make sure the surgeon wasn’t going to damage her liver or kidneys. Fortunately, the bloodwork came back perfectly.
Process of Spaying: General Anesthesia
Before surgery begins, the veterinarian will put your pet under general anesthesia. The most commonly used anesthesia is isoflorane gas. The amount is closely monitored, but you should be aware than any surgery requiring anesthesia can be risky.
Process of Spaying: Shaving and Cleaning
Your pet’s abdomen will be shaved and scrubbed. The surgical area needs to be clean and sterile before an incision is made. Sterile instruments will be used to perform the surgery. The hair will grow back after the incision has healed.
Process of Spaying: Surgery
An ovariohysterectomy means the ovaries and uterus are removed. A small incision will be made in your pet’s abdomen; then the ovaries and uterus will be removed, and the blood vessels tied off. The surgery is finished after three layers of the incision are closed: the abdominal wall, the tissue under the skin, and the skin. The veterinarian will likely use dissolvable sutures, so you probably won’t have to go back to have the stitches removed.
Process of Spaying: Recovery
After the surgery, your pet will go into recovery. She will wake up within ten to fifteen minutes, and she will probably receive pain medication at this point. Pain management helps greatly in the recovery process. Since an ovariohysterectomy is an invasive process, it will probably take a few days before your pet is back to her normal activities.
Dog Spay Surgery, ThePetCenter.com
What is an Ovariohysterectomy (Spay) in Dogs? Casselton Veterinary Service
**Note: This author does not claim to be a veterinary professional. Always follow your veterinarian’s recommendations when you have your pet spayed**