The incidence of uterine pathology in ovariectomised bitches

  • Maria Norell Candetoft Djursjukhuset Anicura Albano



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PICO question

What is the incidence of postoperative uterine pathology in ovariectomised bitches compared to ovariohysterectomised bitches?


Clinical bottom line

Category of research question


The number and type of study designs reviewed

Three retrospective case series

Strength of evidence


Outcomes reported

None of the reviewed case series found any uterine pathology for ovariectomised bitches in the long-term follow-up of several years, although none of the studies performed a proper gynaecological examination to confirm a lack of pathology


With the limited evidence available, it appears that leaving the uterus when gonadectomising bitches does not seem to have a high risk for developing pathology as long as the ovaries are completely removed.


How to apply this evidence in practice

The application of evidence into practice should take into account multiple factors, not limited to: individual clinical expertise, patient’s circumstances and owners’ values, country, location or clinic where you work, the individual case in front of you, the availability of therapies and resources.

Knowledge Summaries are a resource to help reinforce or inform decision-making. They do not override the responsibility or judgement of the practitioner to do what is best for the animal in their care.


Open Access Peer Reviewed


Corriveau, K. M., Giuffrida, M. A., Mayhew, P. D. & Runge, J. J. (2017). Outcome of laparoscopic ovariectomy and laparoscopic-assisted ovariohysterectomy in dogs: 278 cases (2003–2013). Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 251(4):443–450. DOI:

Brodey, R.S. (1967). Neoplasms of the canine uterus, vagina, and vulva: a clinicopathologic survey of 90 cases. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 151(10):1294–307.

De Tora, M. & McCarthy, R.J. (2011). Ovariohysterectomy versus ovariectomy for elective sterilization of female dogs and cats: is the removal of the uterus necessary? Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 239(11):1409–12. DOI:

Dow, C. (1959). The cystic hyperplasia-pyometra complex in the bitch. Journal of Comparative Pathology and Therapeutics,, 69:237–250. DOI:

Janssens, L. A. A. & Janssens, G. H. R. R. (1991). Bilateral flank ovariectomy in the dog - surgical technique and sequelae in 72 animals. Journal of Small Animal Practice, 32(5):249–252. DOI:

Okkens, A.C., Kooistra, H.S. & Nickel, R.F. (1997). Comparison of long-term effects of ovariectomy versus ovariohysterectomy in bitches. Journal of Reproduction and Fertility Supplement, 51:227–31.

Van Goethem, B., Schaefers-Okkens, A. & Kirpensteijn, J. (2006). Making a rational choice between ovariectomy and ovariohysterectomy in the dog: a discussion of the benefits of either technique. Veterinary Surgery, 35(2):136–143. DOI:

Vol. 5 No. 3 (2020): The third issue of 2020

Section: Knowledge Summaries

Categories :  Small Animal  /  Dogs  /  Cats  /  Rabbits  /  Production Animal  /  Cattle  /  Sheep  /  Pig  /  Equine  / 

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