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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



Ovariohysterectomy (OVH) is frequently recommended at the time of c-section in canines, yet prior literature suggests poor mothering ability and increased morbidity to the bitch with c-section with concurrent OVH (CSOVH). The study objective was to compare maternal survival, complications, and mothering ability between bitches that underwent c-section alone (CS) or CSOVH.


125 bitches.


Medical records from 2014 through 2021 were retrospectively reviewed; owners were surveyed for information up to weaning.


80 bitches undergoing CS and 45 bitches undergoing CSOVH were identified. There was no difference in anesthesia duration, intraoperative complications, postoperative complications, mothering ability, puppy survival to weaning, or other variables compared between groups. CSOVH bitches had longer surgery times (P = .045; 54.4 ± 20.7 min vs 46.9 ± 16.6 min) and longer time from delivery to nursing (P = .028; 75.4 ± 22.3 min vs 65.2 ± 19.5 min). Ninety (72%) owners responded to the survey. All 90 bitches survived until puppy weaning. CSOVH bitches were more frequently perceived as painful postoperatively (P = .015).


Performing an OVH at the time of c-section does not pose a significant increase in risk of mortality, intraoperative complications, postoperative complications, or decreased mothering ability of the bitch. The increased duration of surgery and increased time from delivery to nursing in the CSOVH group were clinically insignificant. Appropriate postoperative pain management should be emphasized post-CSOVH. Based on these results, OVH should be performed concurrently with c-section if indicated.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association