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Which type of spay do you guys recommend?

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  • Which type of spay do you guys recommend?

    Hey all! Peach will be twelve months July 7th and it is just about time to get this chick spayed. I'm looking for opinions on what the best approach is that will be best for her. I have discussed this last month with our vet and she does a standard ovariahysterectomy but if we feel strongly that we want a different approach she is open to that. So here's what I've gathered so far. Input & experience would be much appreciated and then we'll get this little girl booked:

    Full Ovariahysterectomy: most common procedure, total removal of ovaries and uterus, no sex hormone production. Can be a risk factor for osteosarcoma in giant breeds and can be a factor in female incontinence.

    Ovariectomy: Least invasive option, can be done laparoscopically with minimal scarring and healing time. Same issues above with removal of sex hormones and also leaves the redundant uterus, BUT uterus typically isn't prone to pyometra without influence of hormones from the ovaries.

    Hysterectomy: Removes the uterus only, spares the hormone producing ovaries. Decreases the risk of osteosarcoma and incontinence. BUT, she would still essentially go through the heat cycle mentally, she just can't get pregnant and if I understand correctly wouldn't go through the bleeding either. Can experience false pregnancies and lactation. I will admit as a pretty holistic person I'm quite interested in this option, I feel that generally hormones that are produced naturally are responsible for more than we can even pinpoint, but at the same time I'm not sure how much psychological stress she might go through from cycling. Has anyone else done this one?

    Very open to thoughts and suggestions. Much appreciated!
    sigpic

    Peach, merle Great Dane
    Born July 7 2014
    Peach & Emily!

  • #2
    We just did the traditional spay (laparoscopically) with Asaah with no issues so far. But she was 2 at the time, and is 3 now. I think if I was going to do the ovary-sparing spay, I'd want to find someone experienced in them. Seems like it's hard to find vets who are experienced in vase times and ovary-sparing spays.
    sigpic
    Chaucey
    Asaah ~ xxx Asaah LaLa, CGC, registered therapy dog

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    • #3
      I agree that finding a vet who is experienced with the OSS is a must. You don't want a vet who would just go in blindly. I would join the Ovary Sparing Spay and Vasectomy Info Group on Facebook - they have compiled a list of vets who are experienced in the procedures and have a wealth of informantion.

      The primary risk is a stump pyometra if the surgery isn't done precisely. You can't just go in haphazardly like they do for in and out traditional spays. The incision generally has to be larger so they can better visualize what they're doing to make sure it's ligated correctly.

      The long term benefits definitly outweigh any risks though. The main justification for traditional spaying is to prevent mammary tumors but that risk is already incredibly low and the increased chance with intact hormones is incredibly small. You're correct that she may still show the symptoms of heat cycles and would be enticing and receptive to males but there is no bleeding.

      Nature designed them to have these heat cycles so there shouldn't be any physiological trauma. If you're going to go with a non traditional spay then I would leave the ovaries intact. Those hormones are necessary for more than just mating.

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      • #4
        Echo was spayed when the rescue went to spay her, but then she came into heat and bled a little a few months after I got her. Swelled up, mouse (my neutered male dane) and her acted like a mated pair...then she went through a falsie...ugh. every five months this happened. Turns out she probably had an emergency hack job spay and they left ovarian tissue and the uterine stump, which is why she would spot a bit.

        So every five months we had spotting, emotions, swelling everywhere...humping dogs, and a falsie for two months. It was awful, seriously.
        Tracy
        sigpic
        Mouse April 2010
        Echo -- run free, Sweetie! Jan 9, 2007 - April 24, 2014 Lost to osteosarcoma at 7 years, 3 months. RIP.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by emeko View Post
          Hysterectomy: Removes the uterus only, spares the hormone producing ovaries. Decreases the risk of osteosarcoma and incontinence. BUT, she would still essentially go through the heat cycle mentally, she just can't get pregnant and if I understand correctly wouldn't go through the bleeding either. Can experience false pregnancies and lactation. ...Very open to thoughts and suggestions. Much appreciated!
          Don't forget about the big risk associated with the hysterectomy: mammary adenocarcinoma.
          Warren Briggs, DVM
          www.ocvh.com
          www.youtube.com/ocvhdocs

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          • #6
            Originally posted by briggsdvm View Post
            Don't forget about the big risk associated with the hysterectomy: mammary adenocarcinoma.
            It isn't anywhere near as big a risk as most vets would lead owners to believe. You also just end up trading one potential risk for another bigger one by removing hormones that were never meant to be removed. Many of the "studies" showing an increased risk of tumors were full of bad science to say the least.

            Unless there is an immediate medical reason for removing the ovaries they should left intact. Hormones that control growth are only the tip of the iceberg.

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            • #7
              Okay, so I've been discussing this more with the other half, and we're wondering: if we leave Peach with her ovaries, she'll still have to be guarded and kept away from male dogs for about a month every time she cycles, right? I do agree that hormones are important, but I'd also feel bad about canceling her play dates and dog park visits for a whole month (I know some dog parks aren't great, but i'll go on record that ours is super awesome with a great group of regulars and wonderful dogs. I'm on the committee and we typically go almost every day). She also walks a lot with us, and we're not sure how much we'd have to coop her up for her safety during her cycles. Peach's daddy isn't super keen on the boys pestering his little girl even if she can't have puppies lol.

              For a very active and social dog, would it be better for her to have her ovaries out? And if so, would it be in her best interest to have one heat cycle at least before she gets fixed?
              sigpic

              Peach, merle Great Dane
              Born July 7 2014
              Peach & Emily!

              Comment


              • #8
                Considering dog parks aren't a necessary activity she would be fine not going for a few weeks once or twice a year. The way I would look at is that there are many health benefits to leaving the hormones intact and none for going to dog parks with other dogs - none that can't be duplicated elsewhere in a more controlled environment that is.

                She would still be receptive to mounting and display some of the behavioral changes but pregnancy would be impossible. You'll have to decide if the extra work to keep her away from males to avoid any skirmishes is worth the lifelong health benefits.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Thalimar View Post
                  Considering dog parks aren't a necessary activity she would be fine not going for a few weeks once or twice a year. The way I would look at is that there are many health benefits to leaving the hormones intact and none for going to dog parks with other dogs - none that can't be duplicated elsewhere in a more controlled environment that is.

                  She would still be receptive to mounting and display some of the behavioral changes but pregnancy would be impossible. You'll have to decide if the extra work to keep her away from males to avoid any skirmishes is worth the lifelong health benefits.
                  Until a person has actually shared their life with a huge great dane bitch and dealt with the issues that female hormones can cause, encouraging the average dog own to choose this option isn't wise or kind. I've lived it, it was not easy on Echo at all--it was upsetting to her, and curtailed her social life. Echo was a loving and sensitive girl and had zero aggression in her, thank goodness--I don't want to think about how she would have reacted to the pulsing hormones if she was at all crabby about things or felt the urge to run off when her heats hit. Just be cautious about making people think they are being horrible owners for removing the sex hormones in their girls.
                  Tracy
                  sigpic
                  Mouse April 2010
                  Echo -- run free, Sweetie! Jan 9, 2007 - April 24, 2014 Lost to osteosarcoma at 7 years, 3 months. RIP.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mnmouse View Post
                    Until a person has actually shared their life with a huge great dane bitch and dealt with the issues that female hormones can cause, encouraging the average dog own to choose this option isn't wise or kind. I've lived it, it was not easy on Echo at all--it was upsetting to her, and curtailed her social life. Echo was a loving and sensitive girl and had zero aggression in her, thank goodness--I don't want to think about how she would have reacted to the pulsing hormones if she was at all crabby about things or felt the urge to run off when her heats hit. Just be cautious about making people think they are being horrible owners for removing the sex hormones in their girls.
                    The OP came here looking for advice and opinions on alternative sterilization methods. All dogs react differently and its up to the OP to weigh the pros and cons for which they came here to discuss. They certainly won't get unbiased advice from the majority of vets.

                    They are obviously open to leaving the hormones intact and are seeking advice on the matter. They are already educated on the knowns and unknowns of hormones. Shall we just mention all the possible negatives and none of the positives? How is that any different than what you are saying?

                    In no way did I accuse anyone of being a horrible owner. If one wants to interpret answering the questions posed with both the pros and cons as such then so be it.

                    Besides - your experience was the result of an improper spay. That isn't reason enough to simply dismiss any benefits of an OSS automatically.

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                    • #11
                      My girl is only 4 months old and I plan on getting the OSS - Can't be any worse than dealing with teenage girls...they are ALWAYS mean, emotional, hungry and have boys wanting to mount them! lol At least with a Dane I get a couple months in between PMS
                      I have 2 males that will be getting Zeuterized next month - it will def be a learning exercise having them all together in the future -

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MyZoo View Post
                        My girl is only 4 months old and I plan on getting the OSS - Can't be any worse than dealing with teenage girls...they are ALWAYS mean, emotional, hungry and have boys wanting to mount them! lol At least with a Dane I get a couple months in between PMS
                        I have 2 males that will be getting Zeuterized next month - it will def be a learning exercise having them all together in the future -
                        I would have loved her the same but this is why I'm so glad we had a boy. Not to mention the endless pink dresses my MIL would have sent every week.

                        I feel for anyone who has girls.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mnmouse View Post
                          Until a person has actually shared their life with a huge great dane bitch and dealt with the issues that female hormones can cause, encouraging the average dog own to choose this option isn't wise or kind. I've lived it, it was not easy on Echo at all--it was upsetting to her, and curtailed her social life. Echo was a loving and sensitive girl and had zero aggression in her, thank goodness--I don't want to think about how she would have reacted to the pulsing hormones if she was at all crabby about things or felt the urge to run off when her heats hit. Just be cautious about making people think they are being horrible owners for removing the sex hormones in their girls.
                          I appreciate all the input from both sides. The above is kind of what I'm concerned about-- that it's not necessarily easy on a girl to go through a life of heat cycles, never having puppies, and being kept away from her buddies while she goes through it. I do understand Echo's spay wasn't done properly, but it sounds like psychologically it wouldn't be that far off from an ovary sparing spay.

                          I know dog parks aren't a necessary activity, but it's one of the things we do and enjoy together, so I do count it as an important way to socialize and exercise (especially during her first year so far, where she hasn't had a back yard of her own).

                          It's still a tough decision, and I was kind of hoping there might be a few more people on here with actual experience owning a girl with her hormones in tact. I realize there could be quite dramatic differences in how different girls handle it, so it would have been nice to hear a few actual accounts. Of course with it being a newer less known approach I understand why there aren't many. I think whichever spay we decide to go with I'm still going to wait until after her first real heat, because I think has a recessed vulva and she's had uti infections before. Hopefully one heat helps with that and then we can decide what to do with her 2 months after that. She's almost 12 months now, so I have a little bit of time to decide, but I'd imagine the first heat will be coming soon.
                          sigpic

                          Peach, merle Great Dane
                          Born July 7 2014
                          Peach & Emily!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by emeko View Post
                            I appreciate all the input from both sides. The above is kind of what I'm concerned about-- that it's not necessarily easy on a girl to go through a life of heat cycles, never having puppies, and being kept away from her buddies while she goes through it. I do understand Echo's spay wasn't done properly, but it sounds like psychologically it wouldn't be that far off from an ovary sparing spay.

                            I know dog parks aren't a necessary activity, but it's one of the things we do and enjoy together, so I do count it as an important way to socialize and exercise (especially during her first year so far, where she hasn't had a back yard of her own).

                            It's still a tough decision, and I was kind of hoping there might be a few more people on here with actual experience owning a girl with her hormones in tact. I realize there could be quite dramatic differences in how different girls handle it, so it would have been nice to hear a few actual accounts. Of course with it being a newer less known approach I understand why there aren't many. I think whichever spay we decide to go with I'm still going to wait until after her first real heat, because I think has a recessed vulva and she's had uti infections before. Hopefully one heat helps with that and then we can decide what to do with her 2 months after that. She's almost 12 months now, so I have a little bit of time to decide, but I'd imagine the first heat will be coming soon.
                            You might talk to some breeders who have experience with keeping intact bitches. Not the same, but pretty similar.
                            sigpic
                            Chaucey
                            Asaah ~ xxx Asaah LaLa, CGC, registered therapy dog

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                            • #15
                              I just experienced my first ever female in heat. She came in on 5/30/15 and had finished up bleeding/dripping by 6/18/15. She was 2 days shy of 11 months old. I decided to wait until after her first heat for all hormones to be in place because we dealt with spay incontinence with our first girl when I spayed her at 6 months old for the next ten years. Celle didn't turn into a witch or a difficult girl ... she was bothered and was pre-occupied with keeping herself clean. She seemed more confused than anything. Her vulva swelled huge ... I'd never seen that before. I was concerned about perimeter breaches under the fence, so I was constantly checking the fence line for digging. Even though we have a 6 foot fence I still never let her out of sight, and mostly kept her on leash even within the fence. I will be spaying her in September, and didn't realize owners were choosing to keep the ovaries; but I am choosing to have them also removed. Having her tacked at the same time is my next big decision. Ps: although the bleeding was minimal, I had some splatters on the wall next to her crate when she would wake up and flap her ears.
                              sigpicCelle: 7/1/14, my current problem child
                              Chance: 9/3/05, the stray kitten that Jena brought home
                              Jena: 6/2/99 - 10/6/09 R.l.P. my heart dog (merle GD)

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