“Spaying” refers to any surgical procedure which removes the ovaries, the source of hormones that cause female dogs to have estrus cycles (“heats”) and allows them to reproduce. There are actually several different ways to spay a female dog. Removing only the ovaries is called an ovariectomy. This can be done through a surgical incision into the abdomen, which is most common, or through several small holes using a special instrument called a laparoscope. Removing both the ovaries and the uterus is called an ovariohysterectomy, and this procedure also can be performed through open surgery or laparoscopy.
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