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Side Effects of a Dog Hysterectomy

| Updated September 26, 2017

An ovariohysterectomy is a surgical procedure in which the ovary and uterus are removed from a female dog. Owners often choose this form of population control to prevent their dogs from producing unwanted puppies. Although it is a common procedure, the major surgery has risks. The benefits of having your dog spayed, however, far outweigh the comparatively minor side effects.


After your dog has had an ovariohysterectomy, she might be sore for a few days. The veterinarian will prescribe a pain medication to help keep her comfortable.


Sometimes the anesthesia will upset the dog's stomach, and she might vomit after surgery. Do not be concerned unless she is vomiting nonstop or the vomiting continues for more than 24 hours.

Incision care

The incision on her belly should be monitored for swelling, redness or discharge. Some vets use stitches that will dissolve after a few weeks. There might not be any stitches to have removed. Keep your dog from licking the incision, which could create a bacterial infection. If she will not stop licking the site, an Elizabethan collar, or e-collar, might be needed to prevent infection.


Most ovariohysterectomies are performed with no complications, and the dog bounces back to normal health in a few days. You should keep an eye on her for excessive vomiting, swelling or redness at the incision site, discharge, or any major behavioral changes. If you have any concerns, contact your veterinarian immediately.


Some people think that having this surgery performed on your dog will make them fat, lazy and change their personality, but these ideas are all myths. The dog will be the same as she was before the surgery.