This question and one of the comments got me thinking:

What is the benefit of an ovarian-sparing spay?

First comment:

but the heats would be "clean" heats right? No uterus no mess?

Second comment:

I wonder if the "clean" heats still attract males and if performance venues would still prefer you to pull from a trial if the your bitch was in season?

What are the differences between a normal heat cycle and one which is spayed (uterus only)?

1 Answer 1


I was reading through the answers of the other topics and there is some miss-information on keeping the ovaries.

1) There are no benefits to keeping the ovaries, keeping the ovaries means:

Mammary tumors are more common in female dogs that are either not spayed or were spayed after 2 years of age. The risk of a dog developing a mammary tumor is 0.5% if spayed before their first heat (approximately 6 months of age), 8% after their first heat, and 26% after their second heat. Cats spayed before 6 months of age have a 7-times reduced risk of developing mammary cancer and spaying at any age reduces the risk of mammary tumors by 40% to 60% in cats.

  • Can still have a pyometra, the infection would occur in the stump that is left from removing said uterus.
  • Pets will go into heat as usual, there is no mess but you get the temperament that goes along with it such as roaming, constant howling (cats), possible aggression towards other pets and restlessness.
  • Males will still be a little too interested.

Essentially spaying by just removing the uterus does no good for the pet, only a convenience for the owner because they don't have to deal with the mess. In some parts of Europe they spay by removing ovaries only which has the same effect as a full spay.

There are benefits to prolonging a spay but that is not black and white, it's very breed dependent. Pros and cons should be discussed with the veterinarian as they will be the one examining the pet, after that the owner can make a choice.

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