The dog that went into heat despite being spayed!

By January 21, 2020 Uncategorized

This interesting case involves a 8 year old Siberian Husky that was adopted from a rescue group that was based out of Texas. She was adopted at 18 months of age and was already spayed in Texas. The dog presented for recurring bloody discharge from the vulva, behaving like she was in heat and the vulva was slightly swollen similar to a dog going into heat.

Vaginal cytology was consistent with a dog who was going into heat and a specialized blood test (Anti-Mullerian Hormonal Test) was suspicious that the dog was truly going into heat despite being spayed.

It was opted to perform laparoscopy to assess the sites where the spay was performed. Laparoscopy is ideal for this since you can see the anatomy dramatically better than if the abdomen was open due to the magnification of the camera and having the brighter light source shining at directly what you are looking at.  Laparoscopy is also significantly less invasive and less painful than making a large incision in the abdomen.  The one side of the abdomen looked normal and the ovary was completely removed. However, when the other side was visualized, we could see a small piece of ovary that was still in place without any surrounding uterus since it was already removed.

Endoscopic forceps are holding up the ovarian pedicle and a small piece of ovary is still seen.



Arrows pointing at the ovarian tissue that should not be present in a spayed dog.



A Ligasure vessel sealing device is used to cauterize and cut the surrounding tissue to free up the ovary remnant.



The ovarian tissue just prior to being removed from the body with forceps.


As predicted, the swollen vulva shrunk within a couple of weeks and all bleeding stopped from the vulva.  The dog also never showed any signs of heat ever again and began living like a normal spayed dog.  Complications such as this are rare, but can occur at times if a surgeon is careless or hasty.  It is also seen with inexperienced surgeons who may not understand the anatomy or have the experience of removing the entire ovary +/- uterus when spaying a dog.