Ovariohysterectomy is a surgical neutering technique which removes both ovaries and uterus.
In dogs, this is the most frequently performed surgical procedure and is used primarily to prevent estrus cycling, vaginal prolapse, pyometra, female reproductive tumors, mammary tumors and risk of pregnancy.
Ovariectomy is not normally recommended due to the inherent risk of the bitch developing pyometra.
An alternative to ovariohysterectomy is use of depot GnRH agonists such as deslorelin.
There are various surgical techniques which are used, and this surgical procedure is usually performed by either an ventral midline approach, flank approach or via laparotomy.
Complications of ovariohysterectomy in dogs include immediate post-operative hypotension and hypothermia, sepsis, hemorrhage associated with uterine ligature slippage, swab retention (gossypiboma), wound dehiscence with consequent risk of peritonitis, seroma formation, ovarian remnant syndrome, ureteral stenosis (due to ureteral trauma) and long-term development of incontinence.
At best, complications associated with elective procedures can harm the doctor-client relationship. At worst, these can present legal and financial problems.
Surgical experience with this procedure is a determining factor with duration of procedure and post-operative complications.
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