A spay (ovariohysterectomy) is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of the uterus and both ovaries. This is most commonly done to help control pet overpopulation. There are also several health benefits gained by spaying your pet. Spaying your pet before her first heat cycle virtually eliminates the potential of future mammary cancer development. Spaying also eliminates the risk of uterine infections such as metritis and pyometra.
So what happens when your pet comes in for surgery??? Your pet is examined to make sure he is healthy. If you have elected, blood is drawn for pre-anesthetic lab work. A sedative injection is given to help relax your pet in preparation for anesthesia and surgery. An injection is given to induce general anesthesia, then a tube is placed into your pet's throat and he is connected to an anesthetic machine that mixes an anesthetic gas with oxygen. This mixture is breathed by your pet to maintain adequate anesthesia during the surgery. If you have elected, or if it is deemed necessary, an IV catheter is placed and your pet is started on fluids. The surgical area is prepared by clipping the hair from the site and then using disinfectant agents to scrub and clean the area. Your pet is then transferred to the surgery table, monitoring devices are attached and a final preparation of the surgery site is done. At this point the actual surgery begins.
An incision is made in the area of the umbilicus (belly button) the ovaries and uterus are brought out through the incision. Sutures are used to tie off the blood vessels and then the ovaries and uterus are removed. Dissolvable sutures are used to close the muscles and fatty tissue under the skin. The skin is closed with glue or sutures. After the surgery is complete, your pet is cleaned and disconnected from the anesthesia machine. Post operative pain medications are administered along with any other medications that are necessary. Your pet is then moved to a cage and monitored until he is awake. In most cases your pet will be able to go home the same day.