Ovariohysterectomy (Spay or OHE)
When people acquire a female puppy or kitten, among that topics typically discussed is when to have them spayed. Usually, we recommend considering spaying your pet around 6 months of age. If you’ve adopted an adult female pet, ovariohysterectomy can be considered at any time you and your veterinarian feel it is appropriate.
Ovariohysterectomy is a surgical procedure that is performed under general anesthesia. When patient has this procedure performed at our hospital they have a pre-anesthetic physical examination and laboratory testing performed, to be sure they are an appropriate anesthetic candidate, and an intravenous (IV) catheter will be placed to secure access to a vein. The catheter allows us to administer medications and IV fluids before, during and after anesthesia. The common medications administered include analgesics (pain medication) and anesthetics. However, venous access is also used to administer other medications as well. Your pet’s heart rate, blood pressure, heart rhythm (ECG),and blood oxygen level will be monitored throughout the procedure. An ovariohysterectomy requires an abdominal incision and then the ovaries and the uterus are removed. Patients are typically discharged 12-24 hours after an OHE. This is one of the benefits of utilizing a 24 hour facility since we can allow your pet to rest comfortably with medical supervision while they recover from the effects of anesthesia and surgery and we do not have to discharge patients prematurely because the hospital is closing.
You will go home with medications to manage your pet’s post-operative discomfort, typically tramadol or buprenorphine and a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory like carprofen (dogs only).
When your pet is discharged a technician will review the discharge instructions. Here are the standard post-operative recommendations:
- Watch the incision daily for any signs of redness, swelling or discharge. Report any changes to the hospital immediately.
- Use the E-collar supplied to prevent any licking or chewing of the incision.
- Your pets activity should be limited to leash walks or in the case of a cat, confinement to a small room. No running, jumping or playing allowed for 10-14 days.
- Typically our patients do not leave with any skin sutures that require removal, however, if there are skin sutures present they will need to be removed in 14 days.