June 15, 2011
The flank approach is initiated by clipping, anesthetizing and scrubbing the left paralumbar fossa for aseptic surgery.1 A 15-cm vertical incision through the skin and aponeurosis of the external abdominal oblique muscle is then made. A grid approach is used to bluntly introduce the fingers through the remaining musculature and peritoneum. The ovaries are then identified and amputated with scissors or an ovariotomy instrument.
The vaginal approach is performed by isolating the ovaries via rectal palpation.1 The vulva and perineal region is scrubbed and a spay instrument is introduced into the vagina. A colpotomy incision is created by introducing the spay instrument through the fornix of the vagina dorsolaterally to the cervix. There are two spay instruments that are commercially available in the United States, the Kimberling-Rupp2 instrument and the Willisa ovariotomy instrument.1 The Kimberling-Rupp instrument consists of a trocar point on a double-walled tube with a window for introduction of the ovary. The ovary is placed inside the tube via rectal palpation and the operator then slides the inner chamber to amputate the ovary, which is deposited in the tube. The procedure is repeated for the other ovary. The ovaries are removed from the abdominal cavity when the instrument is withdrawn. The Willis ovariotomy instrument consists of a single rod, flattened on its cranial end with a keyhole opening for ovary removal. The instrument is introduced into the vagina in the same manner as the Kimberling-Rupp instrument. The ovary is placed into the keyhole opening in the spay instrument, using rectal palpation, and the instrument is forcefully retracted to sever the ovarian pedicle. The procedure is repeated to amputate the remaining ovary. When the Willis instrument is used the amputated ovaries are not removed from the abdomen and remain within the peritoneal cavity.
a Novotny Metal Products, Bridgeport, WA.
1 Wolfe DF and Baird AN. Female urogenital surgery in cattle. Vet Clin North Am Food Anim Pract. 1993; 9:369-388.2 Rupp GP and Kimberling CV. A new approach for spaying heifers. Vet. Med. Small Anim. Clin. 1982;77:561.3 Pinner KR. Lack of animal welfare assessment regarding trans-vaginal spaying of heifers. Can Vet Journ. 2006; 47:266-273. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2823471/pdf/16604986.pdf Accessed Mar 24, 2009.4 McCosker M, Letchford P, Meyer D et al. Morbidity, mortality and body weight gain of surgically spayed yearling Brahman heifers. Aus Vet J 2010;88(12):497-503.5 Habermehl NL. Heifer ovariectomy using the Willis spay instrument: technique, morbidity and mortality. Can Vet Journ. 1993; 34:664-667.6 Petherick JC, McCosker K, Meyer DG et al. Preliminary investigation of some physiological responses of Bos Indicus heifers to surgical spaying. Aus Vet J 2011;89(4):131-137.7 Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. National Consultative Committee on Animal Welfare. Cattle Spaying. http://www.daff.gov.au/animal-plant-health/welfare/nccaw/guidelines/livestock/spaying Accessed Aug 13, 2009.