When is the right time to spay?

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The best time to spay a bitch is halfway between seasons when her uterus has the least blood supply and her hormone levels have decreased. This reduces the risk of surgical complications and hormonal dysfunction.

Since most bitches have a season approximately every six months, it is moto spay a bitch three months after a season.

Spaying your dog

  • Neutering in bitches (known as spaying) involves the surgical removal of the whole reproductive system, from the ovaries to the cervix.
  • An operation called ovariohysterectomy is carried out under anaesthetic, where the abdomen is opened and the womb and ovaries are taken away.
  • Following the procedure, the bitch will no longer have seasons and will be unable to get pregnant.
  • Benefits of spaying include avoiding unwanted puppies, greatly decreased chances of developing mammary tumours in later life, and helping to control behavioural problems such as aggression and hyperactivity.
  • Older unspayed bitches are also prone to a life-threatening infection of the womb called pyometra.
Vet Roberta Baxter explains the differences between an Ovariohysterectomy and an Ovariectomy...

(A) Vet Roberta Baxter says: Ovariohysterectomy (removal of the womb and ovaries) is the traditional method of spaying a bitch. It is generally done through a mid-line incision on the stomach.

Ovariectomy, or ovary removal, is technically easier, although it does still require internal ligatures. It is just as effective in preventing pregnancy and reducing the risk of breast cancer, although pyometra (womb infection) can still occur. 

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The wound may be slightly smaller following an ovariectomy, and consequently recovery time may be - but isn't always - faster.

Most vets will have been trained to perform an ovariohysterectomy, and so will have far more experience of doing this procedure. However, some vets do routinely perform ovariectomies.

Go for the procedure that is recommended by your local veterinary surgery. Surgeons are safest when performing the procedure they are most familiar with, and recovery times are generally minimised in such situations.

Travelling a long distance for a different procedure would be inadvisable. Most dogs recover rapidly from spay operations, so I would have no anxiety about having a normal spay.