Everyday Adventures in Havachon Heaven

The Good, Crazy, & Adorable Life of One Havachon Puppy

Botched Spay Surgeries…Yes, They Do Happen

on October 27, 2010

I never knew about this, but lately I’ve been hearing an awful lot about botched spay surgeries. What a scary concept.

DD’s coworker has a poodle whose neutering actually was botched – the vet neglected to reattach a critical vein. I also read about a dog whose ovaries weren’t completely removed; her owner only realized it when the dog went into heat the following year.

In fact, when we first brought Daisy to the new vet, he told us about several clients who came to him because of mistakes made by the Bad Vet we originally went to (on a friend’s recommendation), and one of the most common issues was botched spays. Wouldn’t you think that such a common surgical procedure would be part of Vet 101?

How do you know when a dog’s spay surgery has gone wrong? Here are some of the symptoms:

  • Bleeding.
  • Vomiting.
  • Bloody stools.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Won’t drink water.
  • Distended abdomen.

If a dog starts going into heat after being spayed, it means that a remnant of the ovary was accidentally left behind. A vet can do a blood test to check the dog’s hormone levels, which will definitively determine if a piece of ovary was left behind.

Besides the obvious risks of these poor animals having to undergo surgery yet again, there are other complications that can be caused by a botched spay or neutering. An ovarian remnant can become cancerous over time, just like it can in humans (this happened to an aunt of mine). There’s a clinical but thorough article on Ovarian Remnant Syndrome.

There’s also something called “stump pyometra”, which is an infection caused by ovarian remnants. A different issue,  “stump granuloma”, occurs when sutures become infected by remnant ovarian tissue – this isn’t a botched surgery, it’s just a post-spay surgical risk. Symptoms of both are similar to the symptoms listed above, but can also include a foul odor coming from vaginal discharge, fever, and weight loss. Both are corrected with additional surgery and antibiotics.

The best way to know if your pet’s surgery has gone well is to simply watch him/her and be aware of any abnormal behaviors or issues. Call your vet with any questions; he should also be willing to see your dog if you’re really concerned about issues during your dog’s recovery.

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