Duration, complications, stress, and pain of open ovariohysterectomy versus a simple method of laparoscopic-assisted ovariohysterectomy in dogs

Chad M. Devitt DVM, MS, DACVS1, Ray E. Cox DVM2, and Jim J. Hailey DVM3
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  • 1 Veterinary Surgical Services, Veterinary Referral Center of Colorado, 3550 S Jason St, Englewood, CO 80110.
  • | 2 Deer Creek Animal Hospital, 10148 W Chatfield Ave, Littleton, CO 80127.
  • | 3 My Pet's Place, 9111 S Santa Fe Dr, Littleton, CO 80125.


Objective—To describe a simple method of laparoscopic-assisted ovariohysterectomy (LAOHE) and compare duration of surgery, complications, measures of surgical stress, and postoperative pain with open ovariohysterectomy (OHE) in dogs.

Design—Randomized, prospective clinical trial.

Animals—20 healthy sexually intact female dogs weighing > 10 kg (22 lb).

Procedures—Dogs were randomly allocated to receive conventional OHE or LAOHE. Intraoperative complications, anesthetic complications, total anesthesia time, and total surgery time were recorded. Serum cortisol and glucose concentrations, temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate were measured preoperatively and 1, 2, 4, 6, 12, and 24 hours postoperatively. Pain scores were assigned by a nonblinded observer at 1, 2, 4, 6, 12, and 24 hours postoperatively. Duration of surgery, pain scores, objective measures of surgical stress, anesthetic complications, and surgical complications were compared between OHE and LAOHE.

Results—Age, weight, PCV, and duration of surgery did not differ between treatment groups. Nine of 10 dogs in the OHE group required additional pain medication on the basis of pain scores, whereas none of the dogs in the LAOHE group did. Blood glucose concentrations were significantly increased from preoperative concentrations in the OHE group at 1, 2, 4, and 6 hours postoperatively and at 1 hour postoperatively in the LAOHE group. Cortisol concentrations were significantly increased at 1 and 2 hours postoperatively in the OHE group.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—LAOHE caused less pain and surgical stress than OHE and may be more appropriate for an outpatient setting. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:921–927)