Surgery -- Canine Ovariohysterectomy

A midline incision is made slightly caudal to the umbilicus through skin and subcutaneous tissues using a #10 blade (Figure 13).

An incision is made through the linea alba and enlarged with scissors or scalpel.

The horn of the uterus away from the surgeon is withdrawn with a spay hook, and the cranial portion of the ovarian suspensory ligament is detached from the body wall using the forefinger (Figure 14) in order to expose the ovary (Figure 15).

The ovarian vessels are clamped with 2 carmalt clamps or hemostats, and the ovarian pedicle is ligated with #2 catgut for large dogs, #1 catgut for smaller dogs (Figure 16).

The ovary (still attached to the uterus) is then severed from the ligated pedicle between the two clamps placed above the ligation (Figure 17).

Thumb forceps are used to hold the pedicle as the clamp is removed, so that the pedicle may be inspected to insure there is no bleeding before releasing the pedicle back into the abdomen.

The same procedure is applied to the 2nd ovary.

The horns are elevated until the uterine body is exposed. Two clamps are applied above the cervix, and the uterine body is ligated with catgut (Figure 18).

The body (and horns) of the uterus is severed above the ligation; again, thumb forceps are used to hold the pedicle as the clamp is removed, so that the pedicle may be inspected to insure there is no bleeding before releasing the pedicle back into the abdomen (Figure 19).

The midline is sutured with 4-0 stainless steel (Figure 20) using simple interrupted sutures (Figure 21).

The skin incision is also closed with 4-0 stainless steel (Figure 22).

Sutures should be loose enough to allow for skin swelling (Figure 23).

A subcuticular skin closure may be performed using PDS #2-0 (a continuous pattern may be used); or Nexaband can be used to close very small skin incisions (<2cm) in puppies and kittens.

Figure 13 -- Midline incision with #10 blade

Figure 14 -- Detachment of suspensory ligament

Figure 15 -- Exposed ovary

Figure 16 -- Ligation of ovarian pedicle

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Figure 17 -- Ligated ovary held between two clamps

Figure 18 -- Ligation of the uterine body

Figure 19 -- Inspection of the uterine pedicle

Figure 20 -- 4-0 stainless steel for suture

Figure 21 -- Suture of midline with #4-0 stainless steel

Figure 22 -- Closure of skin incision

Figure 23 -- Completed skin sutures

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