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#135985 - 02/23/11 01:13 PM Spay - Hysterectomy vs. Ovariohysterectomy
whitewolf Offline
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At a dog behavior seminar last weekend I heard that a hysterectomy is better than a traditional ovariohysterectomy because it allows the dogs to keep the hormones produced by the ovaries, so their bodies can function in a more normal state than if everything was removed and their bodies no longer had access to the hormones produced in the ovaries. Makes sense at first glance, so I've been going through Google looking for more information. So far, other than a few references to a study that linked ovary retention to longer life span, I haven't found much good information on the subject.

Anyone have any references or personal experiences with this?
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#135991 - 02/23/11 01:38 PM Re: Spay - Hysterectomy vs. Ovariohysterectomy [Re: whitewolf]
Chris Wild Offline
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No experience, but a couple thoughts I have that would be interesting to hear the answers to:

I would suspect that these bitches would still come into heat. Heat cycles are governed by hormones, and during a traditional spay missing a small amount of ovarian tissue can lead to a situation where the bitch still comes into heat. She can't get pregnant of course, but the smell and discharge and attractiveness to boys is still there. So I would certainly think leaving all of the ovaries would as well. If one has to still deal with smelly drippy butts for 3-4 weeks every 6 months, that would sort of eliminate one of the reasons for spaying in my book.

What, if any, effect does this have on the reduction of mammary cancer risk? I would think none, again due to the presence of hormones, which IMO sort of eliminates another one of the main reasons to spay.

This would eliminate any possibility of pregnancy, and pyometra, 2 big reasons to spay. But also doesn't cover those other couple of points that I consider reasons to spay too. If one needed to spay early, before maturity, it would be a good option as it would allow the dog to mature normally. But with mature dogs where development has already happened and those hormones have already played their part, I don't see it as valuable of an alternative.
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#136014 - 02/23/11 03:44 PM Re: Spay - Hysterectomy vs. Ovariohysterectomy [Re: Chris Wild]
Virginia Offline
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I would surmise that you're right on both points, Chris. If you leave the ovaries, the dog is still producing all those hormones like estrogens, androgens, etc. and so the estrus cycle should still continue. The uterus doesn't really play a large part in synthesis of those hormones so a hysterectomy probably wouldn't do a whole lot regarding that.

And with mammary cancer...estrogen is known to be a weak carcinogen. Anyone remember back when women took hormone replacement therapy? When the WHI published their study on carcinogenic effects of estrogen, women stopped taking HRT by the boatloads, and the incidence of breast cancer dropped dramatically in the following years. This is in humans, of course, but I believe the process is the same for dogs. Continuous exposure to estrogen has been linked to the initiation of mammary tumors, and the progression of tumor formation.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7074608

I think someone posted about this topic a while back, and I recall reading about how a hysterectomy was better than the full ovariohysterectomy procedure? I'd like to see some studies on why this could be. From my own perspective it seems like one of the benefits would be that it's slightly less invasive of a surgery.

ETA - also, if you remove the ovaries, wouldn't that decrease the risk of ovarian cancer too?


Edited by Virginia (02/23/11 03:45 PM)

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#136015 - 02/23/11 03:51 PM Re: Spay - Hysterectomy vs. Ovariohysterectomy [Re: Virginia]
Virginia Offline
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Interesting article I found while browsing around:

The role of estrogens in the pathogenesis of canine hip dysplasia.

But take it with a grain of salt, I oddly enough can't access it from work, so I can't read it, I can only access the abstract.

Abstract
Urinary estradiol-17β was measured by gas chromatography in each of 22 normal or dysplastic dogs that had received intramuscular injections of estradiol. Measurable quantities of estradiol-17β were not found in urine from these dogs prior to administration of the exogenous hormone. The level of urinary estradiol-17β was lower in normal dogs than in dysplastic dogs after injection of the hormone. Larger quantities of the hormone occurred in the urine of older dogs of dysplastic lineage after estradiol-17 β injection. These results indicate dogs with hereditary hip dysplasia have a lower than normal capacity to metabolize biologically-active estradiol.

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#136128 - 02/23/11 11:22 PM Re: Spay - Hysterectomy vs. Ovariohysterectomy [Re: Virginia]
whitewolf Offline
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Hmm interesting, I knew they'd still have hormonal cycles with the ovaries left intact, but didn't realize they'd still have the discharge as well. I thought with the uterus gone the ovaries wouldn't really be connected to anything?

Good point on the mammary cancer as well, I did see something that linked estrogen with mammary cancer in dogs.

So far it doesn't really sound like the tradeoff would be worth it.

Thanks guys!
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#136136 - 02/24/11 12:09 AM Re: Spay - Hysterectomy vs. Ovariohysterectomy [Re: whitewolf]
Chris Wild Offline
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Originally Posted By: whitewolf
Hmm interesting, I knew they'd still have hormonal cycles with the ovaries left intact, but didn't realize they'd still have the discharge as well. I thought with the uterus gone the ovaries wouldn't really be connected to anything?


Heat cycles in dogs are not the same as cycles in women. A dog's reproductive cycle is actually quite different in the mechanics with which it works, when the uterus renews lining, and such. And obviously with timing since dogs ovulate during their cycle and that is when they are fertile, whereas women ovulate in between cycles.

Anyway, with dogs, the bleeding is mostly vaginal. So lack of uterus doesn't prevent the discharge since that's not where it's coming from.
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#136138 - 02/24/11 12:58 AM Re: Spay - Hysterectomy vs. Ovariohysterectomy [Re: Chris Wild]
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#136272 - 02/24/11 07:00 PM Re: Spay - Hysterectomy vs. Ovariohysterectomy [Re: BowWowMeow]
Catu Offline
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Not exactly the same topic, since the article talks about traditional OVH compared to removing the ovaries and leaving the uterus, as opposed to leaving the ovaries and removing the uterus.

I find the OVE very interesting, it seems that those thing that would make you worry are not that frequent. I'd like to read more about this, sounds good, but I need more proof to be sold.
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#295257 - 09/24/13 12:06 AM Re: Spay - Hysterectomy vs. Ovariohysterectomy [Re: Catu]
dobiehund Offline
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I ve had 6 or 7 dogs over the years ( 3 now ) that had hysterectomies. Some had only one others had both ovaries left. I ve always felt that the hormones have alot to do with development, health and normal function. There seems to be some recent new information that indicates benefit from the presence of the hormones. They have all done very well with this and lived to at least normal life expectancy. Most were done at 5 to 8 years of age some as result of pyrometra. A couple had a cystic ovary so we left the healthy one. A couple things I saw here that I think are incorrect about this based on my experiance and what I ve read. The heats are nearly dry maybe alittle pink clear discharge at the worst. They smell very little and dont attract males much. Most this is uterine in origin . In older dogs the brest cancer rate is set so a late spay has no benefit to that . A hysterectomy gives most the advantages of a spay ( no pyrometra,pregency ,uterine cancer) and reduced heat cycle problems while retaining hormone function. Ovaian cancer is still possible but the rate is only about 1% . Im not sure why to remove the overies and leave the uterus. There seems to be mounting evidence that the hormones role goes way beyond reproduction . I dont think I ll be considering a full OVH unless the ovaries are unhealthy.

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