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Ovariectomy or ovariohysterectomy - comparison of long-term effects
Neutering of bitches is a routine surgery in small animal practice. If ovariectomy or ovariohysterectomy is performed, is a common point of discussion. In this study, 135 dog owners answered questionnaires concerning their bitches neutered years ago with either ovariectomy or ovariohysterectomy.

The present study compares long-term effects of ovariectomy versus ovariohysterectomy in the bitch. Questionnaires were sent to 264 owners of bitches, in which ovariectomy or ovariohysterctomy had been performed as a routine neutering procedure 8-11 years earlier. Complete data were available for 69 bitches of the ovariectomy group and for 66 bitches from the ovariohysterectomy group. There were no indications that endometritis had developed in bitches of the ovariectomy group. None of the bitches was sexually attractive to male dogs after neutering. The occurrence of a clear to white vaginal discharge was reported in two bitches of each group, but none of these four bitches appeared to be ill during the period when the discharge was present. Furthermore, with the exception of urinary incontinence, no problems were reported that could be related to the surgical neutering. Six of the ovariecto- mized bitches and nine of the ovariohysterctomized bitches eventually developed urinary incontinence. Of these 15 bitches (11 %), 12 weighed more than 20 kg. Bouvier des Flandres bitches were at a higher risk of developing urinary incontinence than were those of the other breeds. The possibility that the urinary incontinence was due at least in part to other conditions must be considered, since eight of the bitches were 9 years or older before urinary incontinence occurred and seven of the incontinent bitches also had polyuria or polydipsia. There were no significant differences in the incidence of urogential problems listed above between the bitches of the ovariectomy and ovariohysterectomy group. It is hypothetized that a uterine disease such as CEH-endometritis cannot develop after complete ovariectomy, unless progestagens are administerd. The results of this study indicate that ovariectomy does not inrease the risk of CEH-endometritis or other complications in comparison with ovariohysterctomy.
It is concluded that there is no indication for removing the uterus during routine neutering in healthy bitches. On the contrary, ovariectomy should be considered the procedure of choice.


Source: Okkens, AC, Kooistra, HS, Nickel, RF (2003): Comparison of long-term effects of ovariectomy versus ovariohysterectomy in bitches
In: Der Praktische Tierarzt, 2003, Vol 84, Iss 2, pp 98-101




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