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Spaying Your Pet: Ovariectomy vs. Ovariohysterectomy

Here at Hoof & Paw Vet Services, we offer a wide range of surgical procedures including what is commonly referred to as spaying.


A “spay” is a surgery to remove both ovaries which are the source of hormones responsible for estrus cycles in female dogs and cats. This surgery is crucial for controlling overpopulation and preventing various diseases in female dogs and cats. However, most people are unaware of the different types of spay procedures available. When both ovaries are removed it is an ovariectomy surgery (OVE) versus when both ovaries AND the uterus are removed in a surgery it is a ovariohysterectomy (OVH).


Historically, in the United States and Canada ovariohysterectomies (OVH) were routinely performed, but ovariectomies (OVE) are becoming more common in the recent years. On the other hand, ovariectomies have been standard procedure in Europe for decades. One would think that uterine diseases could be better prevented with OVH as compared to OVE. However, uterine diseases do not occur without hormones produced by the ovaries, except for very rare tumors. A study of dogs found that 85-90% of these rare uterine tumors are benign, so the risk of developing a malignant uterine tumor following OVE estimates to be approximately 0.003% (Findji, Ovariohysterectomy vs Ovariectomy, Clinician’s Brief, March 2014).


OVE is believed to create less surgical trauma as fewer intra-abdominal structures are involved; therefore, there may be fewer complications with OVE as compared to OVH. Additionally, incisions tend to be smaller, anesthesia and surgical times tend to be shorter, and postoperative pain tends to be less with OVE versus OVH. For these reasons, ovariectomies are a recommended spay technique for animals with a healthy uterus here at Hoof & Paw Vet Services.


By staying informed about the latest surgical techniques and research, our team ensures that every procedure at Hoof & Paw Vet Services is performed with the utmost care and consideration for your pet's well-being.


For any questions, give us a call at 540-338-5888

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