What is a spay ?

There are two methods of spaying your pet: ovariohysterectomy and ovariectomy.
Ovariohysterectomy is the removal of both ovaries and the uterus; it was previously believed that leaving the uterus would predispose the animal to developing uterine infections or pyometra. However, new research has shown removing the ovaries by themselves, and leaving the uterus, is enough to prevent a uterine infection and also eliminates the possibility of pregnancy. The uterus is a larger organ thus removing both uterus and ovaries increases the trauma to the pet. Removing just the ovaries decreases the trauma and is a less invasive approach.

Why ?
The benefits of spaying your pet include population control, and preventing heat cycles. Dogs that have had between 1-3 heat cycles also have increased risk of mammary gland tumors.

When ?
Veterinarians recommend small breed dogs be spayed at 6 months of age and large breed dogs between 6-8 months.

Negative effects of spaying your pets include estrogen responsive incontinence or hormonal incontinence in which your pet may leak urine when sleeping due to lack of estrogen. This problem can be corrected with an estrogen supplement given once a week.
In large breed dogs spaying can cause joint problems and certain tumors if spayed before their first heat cycle and is why large breed dogs are being spayed later than small breed dogs. Joint problems may include elbow or hip dysplasia, cruciate ligament rupture.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding having your pets spayed or neutered discuss your options with your veterinarian.