The technical name for a bitch spay is an ovarohysterectomy, which means the removal of the ovaries and uterus. You will, more commonly, hear people saying that their bitch has been spayed, neutered or dressed.

The operation is a one off procedure and is not reversible. Once your bitch has been spayed she will never be able to have puppies.


  • The main advantage is that your bitch will not come into season every six months. This will save you any mess associated with the season and will stop the persistent amorous advances of the neighbourhood male dogs allowing you to exercise your pet freely, all year round, without running the risk of her getting pregnant and producing unwanted puppies.
  • Another advantage is a reduction in the incidence and severity of mammary tumours.
  • Mammary tumours or breast cancer is very common in the un-spayed older bitch and early spaying drastically reduces the risk. Mammary tumours are almost never seen in bitches spayed before the first season.
  • Prevention of pyometra is another major benefit of spaying. Pyometra is an infection of the uterus which occurs in later life, characterised by the filling of the uterus with pus and a bitch that rapidly becomes unwell. A few are presented too late or are too frail to survive surgery and as a result die from the condition.


  • Small risk of surgery complications – such as anaesthetic complications, post operative bleeding, swelling and patient interference with the wound.
  • Risk of weight gain – this is easily managed by changing you dog onto a neutered dog food such as Royal Canin.
  • Some owners feel that the coat of some of the longer haired breeds can become excessively ‘woolly’ after castration.
  • Another disadvantage is that there is an increase risk of urinary incontinence in spayed bitches compared to their entire counterpart. This is not particularly common and usually responds to diet and medicines and occasionally surgery.


For large breed dogs we recommend spaying 3 months after their first season to reduce the risk of urinary incontinence later on in life.

For smaller breed dogs (under 20kg) we advise to spay at the age of 6 months.

We are always ready to discuss your individual requirements and feelings, to decide what is best for your bitch.

For further information and advice please contact the surgery – 01376 513247


On the morning of the procedure a Veterinary nurse will admit your dog to the hospital. They will weigh your dog and go through the consent form with you.

An intravenous catheter is placed into the vein on the forelimb, this requires the fur to be clipped from this area. A catheter gives direct access to the bloodstream in case of an emergency and delivers the anaesthetic safely and securely.

A premedication is a combination of a mild sedative and pain relief, this helps to relax your dog. Premedications are given prior to the procedure and an anti inflammatory injection is given at this point to give maximum pain relief.

Once the premedication has had the desired effect your dog will be taken to the ‘Preparation room’ and an anaesthetic agent will be given via the catheter.

Once asleep an endotracheal tube is passed through the mouth down into the trachea (windpipe) to maintain an airway. This is attached to an anaesthetic machine and a Veterinary nurse will monitor her fully thorough out checking heart rate, respiratory rate and temperature every few minutes.

Your dog will be moved to a sterile operation theatre and her procedure performed.

Once the procedure has ended your dog will begin to wake up and once the nurse is satisfied she will to be transferred to kennels to recover. .

A Veterinary nurse will contact you to arrange a time for your dog to be collected and to let you know how she is recovering. On collection a nurse will go through all the after care information you will need to help your dog recover.

After any procedure it is advisable that your dog has a bland diet for their evening meal, this is gentle on his stomach after a general anaesthetic and being starved.

You will receive Royal Canin Sensitivity Control Diet, which is a specially formulated chicken and rice wet (meat) diet and is ideal for feeding post operation.