Ovariectomy and Gastropexy on Ivy

22 Feb

I haven’t had to alter a dog for 16 years – the age of my oldest dog Simon. Everyone else has joined the family as an adult dog and were already spayed or neutered before I got them. Back in the day 17 years ago, most people didn’t realize all the connections of early spay and neuter and health risks, and usually dutifully altered pets at around 6 months of age, which I did with Simon.

Ivy is 3 1/2 years old and has gone through 5 heats. They were pretty easy to manage and really not that much of a hassle. Being way more aware of the possible detriments from the procedure, I had been contemplating when to spay and how do to it for 3 years.  Traditional spay, Ovariectomy, or OSS?  I finally decided on and Ovariectomy done laproscopically, but still wasn’t sure when I should do it.  One of my biggest worries was a change in behavior caused by the effects of the surgery and the absence of hormones. I had planned all along to perform a gastropexy, or stomach tac, at the same time as her spay.

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In November 2015, her sire bloated. Then in Dec 2016 – her littermate bloated. Having two of her direct relatives bloat presented enough risk for me to go ahead with her surgery, with torsion now being a bigger concern for me than temperament change.  I finally booked the appointment for a Thursday morning.

A friend of mine had recently had her bitch spayed and told me about an alternative to an eCollar – a Surgi Snugglie.  Its kinda like a body suit for dogs. I went ahead and ordered it so Ivy could get used to wearing it ahead of the surgery.

The morning of surgery came, and she was excited to see that she was getting to go for a car ride (but wondering why she didnt’ get breakfast) This is always the worst part of a vet visit for me – when my dogs think they are getting to go tracking or dockdiving  or barnhunting, and end up at the vet 😦


Hmmm, where are we going?

I dropped her off at the vet at 7:30am, signed all the paperwork and releases and left. She was fairly calm when she walked off with the technician, so that made it easier on me. I called at about 10:30 asking for an update, and they were just getting started. I called back at noon, and they said she was waking up and could be picked up at 4pm! A benefit of the laproscopic surgery is that is usually same day release.

So of course I was there at 3:45. She of course looked groggy and sad 😦 I put the Snugglie on her in the vets office before leaving since I wasn’t using an eCollar. I slowly walked her out to pee, and carefully lifted her into the car and snapped this.


Have you ever seen a sadder face?

She cried all the way home. She seemed to be in pain. After speaking to people who have had procedures performed via laproscopy, they told me that they were in quite a bit of pain after being “inflated” with  gas during the procedure and stretched out. After getting home I let her potty again, offered her water, gave her a little bit of food (which she ate fine) and her first pain pill with was Novox. She was pretty uncomfortable and just stood in her crate for an hour crying – she just wouldn’t lie down. I finally took the Snugglie off her to see if she would relax – and she finally laid down and slept for a bit. At about 10pm I rousted her one last time for the evening – let her go back out,  got her into an ex-pen for the night, and slept beside her on the couch. Thankfully, she slept through the night.



What happened to me?

The next day was much better. She was still moving carefully, but seemed more comfortable and had stopped crying and was eating and drinking normally. I got the Snugglie back on her. I made 2 small slits around the front arm holes to make them a but wider to see of that made her more comfortable.


Ivy had just 2 small incisions -one through which the ovaries were removed, and another through which the the Gastropexy was performed. She had no bruising, no swelling – the incisions looks fantastic from day 1.



Spay incision 48 hours after surgery

So – that was it!  We kept her really quiet for 4 days – crated or expen and leash walked. By day 5 and 6 I let her walk around a bit more and she was “off restrictions” by day 7.  I still didn’t let her really run or play ball  until day 10.


Company while recovering. 

The Surgi Snugglie was great! Would definitely recommended it. Made it much easier on both of us to not have to deal with the dreaded cone. She made no attempt to mess with her incisions with it on, and just barely cared about them once I took it off (Day 6) I would recommend getting two so you can wash/dry one and have a spare if needed.

This picture was taken just 5 days after surgery. You can see both incisions. (Barely!)


Here is a breakdown of what the Ovariectomy and Gastropexy cost.


It hasn’t even been 2 weeks since the procedure – but I haven’t noticed any changes in her behavior or demeanor. I am glad its over with. The wondering about what the “right” thing to due for the past 3 years was worse than actually doing it. I will post any updates if they occur – hopefully there are none!



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