What is the benefit of an ovarian-sparing spay? It seems like this would be a great way to avoid Pyometra but also keep the benefits of hormones. Ovarian cancer would still be a risk but I don't know the rate of occurrence on that.

  • I had an ovary sparing spay done for my Mastiff when she was about 15 months old. She had not gone into her first heat at that point. About 4 months after her surgery, shewent through her first heat. No mess, but yes, she did still attract male dogs. We didn't really have any issues though. The heat lasted about 3.5 weeks, during which she was a bit mopey and less energetic. All in all, I would highly recommend the ovary sparing spay, although if your bitch is a show dog, I would think you'd be discouraged to show her during her heat cycle, as she would present a distraction for the male dogs.
    – Jaquie
    Commented Aug 15, 2015 at 15:33

1 Answer 1


An ovarian-sparing spay means that you still get the hormones. However, this also means that you still get the heat cycles. Removal of the ovaries generally causes the metabolism to slow down somewhat, which can result in weight-gain. Keeping the ovaries avoids this issue if it is a concern.

When I researched this issue in the past, it mostly seemed to come down to whether or not you were comfortable with your pet continuing to have heat cycles and whether or not you were comfortable with the hormonal/metabolism changes and potential weight-gain. Some conditions become lower risk with the removal of the ovaries (certain forms of cancer, for eg.). Some conditions become higher risk (eg. obesity). There did not seem to be a clear-cut "winner" from the information I read. That said, most of my research centered specifically around cats. There may be a more evident "best option" when applying the question to other animals.

  • 1
    but the heats would be "clean" heats right? No uterus no mess?
    – Beth Lang
    Commented Feb 27, 2014 at 22:56
  • 1
    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?
    – Beth Lang
    Commented Feb 27, 2014 at 22:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.