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Ovary-sparing spay

(23 Posts)
Chrisalice Mon 30-Nov-15 09:41:21

Does anyone know of UK practices performing this procedure?

pigsDOfly Mon 30-Nov-15 13:42:07

Can't offer an answer to your question I'm afraid so probably not being helpful, but just wondered what the thinking is behind this.

I thought that one of the advantages of spaying - including the removal of ovaries - was that it will, among other things, remove any risk of ovarian cancer.

I'm guessing the idea is to keep the hormones that the ovaries produce. Does it make a huge difference to the health of the animal? Would it have the same effect if you spayed later rather than say, at 6 months?

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 30-Nov-15 13:43:35

The two main choices are ovarohysterectomy - ovaries and uterus removed or ovarioectomy -ovaries removed.
Ovary sparing spay is very uncommon as there are some not insignificant risks to leaving the ovaries including stump pyometra and mammary tumours.

Chrisalice Mon 30-Nov-15 14:34:04

A number of studies point to health and behavioural benefits of retaining the ovaries and so hormones, which to my mind offset the risks, particularly with current dog.

Chrisalice Mon 30-Nov-15 14:55:15

PigsDOfly, I would need to find where I bookmarked some actual studies but a few of them are referenced in these articles...

drsophiayin.com/blog/entry/can_spaying_make_dog_behavior_worse another study indicated a link to increased noise sensitivity, I think, would need to find it again.




Chrisalice Mon 30-Nov-15 15:09:51


pigsDOfly Mon 30-Nov-15 15:10:49

Thanks for those links Chrisalice. I'll have a good read this evening - taking the dog for a walk now. It's an interesting subject.

My dog was spayed 4 years ago so I'm not looking for her. Spaying is quite a contentious subject anyway, and this seems to bring out even more fors and against (I Googled it before I posted on your thread).

One forum that my Google turned up said there is a vet in Dorset that does this but I don't know how recent that is; probably not too out of date, as I imagine it's a fairly new procedure here.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 30-Nov-15 15:19:34

I would be interested in studies that look at incidence of mammary tumours in bitches who have had ovary sparing spay as the studies you gave linked makes no mention of this. This review discusses how 50% of mammary tumours are malignant and how at diagnosis 50% of that malignant group have already mets.

Chrisalice Mon 30-Nov-15 16:09:56

I've not seen any studies, would hope its not more than for intact females?

Chrisalice Mon 30-Nov-15 16:42:41

A list of UK vets performing the procedure on this page www.facebook.com/notes/ovary-sparing-spay-and-vasectomy-info-group/veterinarians-who-perform-alternative-altering-procedures/479964972088894

Chrisalice Mon 30-Nov-15 17:02:13


Lonecatwithkitten Mon 30-Nov-15 17:19:14

Well previous studies shows rates of mammary tumours are up to 98% lower in bitches without their ovaries hence my questions. Mammary tumours would be at number one in my reasons for removing ovaries.
From reading the studies you post it seems to me you are swapping a small risk of several tumours for a very high risk of mammary tumours, but as I say I would be interested in seeing long term numbers.

Chrisalice Mon 30-Nov-15 17:26:39

That last paper and others cast doubt on previous work on mammary tumours figures based on a recent review paper. In fact surprising though it seems they reported:
This is the first study of the effects of neutering on an array of joint disorders and cancers in the same breed of dog, using a single database and examining the variables of gender and early and late neutering versus leaving the dogs gonadally intact. No cases of MC were diagnosed in intact females in this study. This finding is partially explained by the relatively low frequency in which MC is diagnosed in Golden Retrievers [16]. While this finding contrasts with the general concern expressed about the risk of MC in gonadally intact females [12], [21], [22], it is consistent with the recent findings from a systematic meta-analysis finding a weak link, if any, between neutering and reduced risk of MC [13].

Also I considered what I could find of the breed specific incidence of different ailments.

Chrisalice Mon 30-Nov-15 17:48:47

Another study journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0102241

Veterinari Tue 01-Dec-15 09:15:56

Actually evidence on age and benefits of neutering is contentious
Unfortunately the widely-touted recommendation of spaying before the first season to drastically reduce the risk of mammary tumours does not have a strong evidence base - its something which has persisted in veterinary teaching despite little research or evidence. A systematic review of the data in 2012 found that

"One study found an association between neutering and a reduced risk of mammary tumours. Two studies found no evidence of an association. One reported “some protective effect” of neutering on the risk of mammary tumours, but no numbers were presented. Due to the limited evidence available and the risk of bias in the published results, the evidence that neutering reduces the risk of mammary neoplasia, and the evidence that age at neutering has an effect, are judged to be weak and are not a sound basis for firm recommendations."

It is unlikely to be detrimental in terms of mammary neoplasia to spay early, but the benefits may not be as strong as widely believed. Also for breeds with already high-risks of other types of neoplasia, neutering can increase these risks, which can be significant depending on the breed and type of neoplasia (e.g. possibly osteosarcoma in rottweilers) but again this is an area of ongoing research.

There's increasing evidence of potential problems of early neutering in some breeds relating to cranial cruciate ligament rupture or patellar luxation and this is an area of ongoing research news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_detail.lasso?id=10977.

It may be that neutering later, once the dog is skeletally mature my confer some protection. Larger breeds may also be at increased risk of urinary incontinence if neutered before maturity.

There are also various behavioural considerations that should be weighed up

This is the British small animal vet assoc statement on neutering (you'll notice they don't recommend neutering to prevent mammary cancer in bitches because there isn't enough evidence to support this)

There are of course many benefits to a traditional spay, and it may be that the question isn't so much 'should we spay?' but for some dogs the significant issue might be 'when should we spay?'

asilverraindrop Tue 01-Dec-15 13:27:26

With this sort of thing and an owner with strong views I, personally, would be willing to go along with the views of the owner; as others have said, there basically isn't enough evidence one way or another, and what's true for a population isn't necessarily true for an individual anyway. So if someone came to me requesting this, I would be open minded and willing to do it if the owners had weighed the evidence (such as it is) fully. It's going to be technically easier than a conventional spay. Incidently, it was a recognised possible technique around 1950. Things so often come full circle if you wait long enough.

ExAstris Tue 01-Dec-15 14:06:04

Miriam Favre-French at Acorn Vets in Manchester has told me she can do OSS, though I haven't taken her up on it yet as had DS2 in NICU and life got a bit busy. Do update if you speak to her. Facebook has a responsible intact dog owners group with lists of vets that will do OSS and vasectomy.

It's a balancing act partly based on breed as to whether removing ovaries is a good idea. Spaying before maturity increases the risks of various cancers and thyroid issues, behaviour issues, etc, though it reduces the risk of mammary tumours, eliminates the risk of pyometra. Spaying after maturity doesn't carry the same risks of cancer that early spay does, but also doesn't reduce the risk of mammary tumours. OSS keeps the same lower risk of cancers as intact dogs, but also removes the risk of pyometra (assuming competent vet removes ALL of the uterus including cervix to eliminate risk of stump pyo). A dog with ovaries but no uterus still cycles I think but doesn't bleed and cannot get pregnant.

Chrisalice Tue 01-Dec-15 14:16:09

Thank you ExAstris, she is on the list I found yesterday and I rang the practice and they confirmed that she does offer this procedure.

ExAstris Tue 01-Dec-15 21:01:15

Thanks for the update. Did they mention a rough price (obviously I know it'll vary on weight etc)? I forgot to ask.

Chrisalice Wed 02-Dec-15 08:14:13

She said it was approx the same as a traditional spay, which is interesting as an American source suggested it was a more involved procedure because of the need to take care to remove all tissue that could lead to pyometra, so I expected it would be more expensive.

ExAstris Wed 02-Dec-15 10:36:23

Oh that's useful. Thank you.

omarhaboubi Tue 29-Nov-16 11:04:58

Hi guys,
I'm looking for an ovary-sparing procedure for my dog. however that facebook link is no longer valid. does anyone have a list of vets that do this procedure?
many thanks

Setterlover Tue 29-Nov-16 18:48:23

Yes, my vet will do it. It's the only type of spay I would consider after reading all the evidence I could find over a long period of time. I'd rather not say whichever as it's very outing but I'd try the big teaching vet schools 😀

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