Spaying & Neutering
Spay (ovariohysterectomy): Removal of both ovaries & uterus
Hysterectomy (ovary-sparing spay): Removal of uterus to prevent pregnancy and uterine infection (pyometra), but leaving ovaries and estrogen production intact
Neuter (castration): Removal of both testicles
Vasectomy: transection of the vas deferens, leaving testicles and testosterone production intact but preventing sperm from leaving the male reproductive tract
This is a controversial topic! Spaying and neutering are important to prevent pet overpopulation, protect from certain diseases such as mammary (breast) cancer, and make our pets better citizens to live with.
However, we are now finding that the resulting profound alteration in hormones is strongly linked to increased risks for cruciate ligament injuries and bone cancer in large breed dogs, and tumors of the spleen and heart.
It is worthwhile to evaluate the individual breed and family history for these different diseases to decide if and when spaying/neutering would be a benefit. We can also perform an ovary-sparing spay (hysterectomy) surgery in cases where this would be more appropriate than a traditional spay.
For all patients, our doctors can discuss the individual lifestyle considerations of your pet with you and make recommendations about what sterilization options might be appropriate and when.