What is a French Spay?

Have you ever heard of a French Spay? I took my Yorkie to a vet to get spayed, and they almost lost her. The vet...


Have you ever heard of a French Spay? I took my Yorkie to a vet to get spayed, and they almost lost her. The vet said that she was oozing blood from some of her organ tissues, and couldn’t find where the blood was coming from. So, instead of doing a regular spay, and make more cuts on her, the vet did what she called a French Spay.

My dog still needs to have a hernia fixed on her abdomen where her leg joins it, but I’m afraid to have surgery done on her because of what happened. The vet made it sound like maybe it was just the way my dog is, and there is no real answer to it.

She did, however, say that my dog is not a bleeder because her blood did form clots normally. So, I’m mystified.

Somerset, CA

Until you wrote to me, I had never heard of a French Spay. And a Google search revealed that the term isn’t commonly used. But after sorting through several worthless links, I found a discussion forum that seemed to offer the answer. A French Spay is an ovariectomy.

Normal spays, as every vet I know performs them, are ovariohysterectomies. In this procedure, the ovaries and uterus are removed from the body. In a French Spay only the ovaries are removed.

A French Spay will render a dog infertile and will eliminate heat cycles. Because the uterus need not be transsected, there is less risk of bleeding during surgery. However, a dog with an intact uterus will be at slight risk for uterine infections or cancer later in life.

If your dog was bleeding abnormally during surgery, a French Spay probably was a wise choice. However, I am worried about the abnormal bleeding. Bleeding like that doesn’t just happen–there has to be a reason.

Yorkshire Terriers and other small breeds of dogs are prone to a problem called liver shunt. This can lead to bleeding problems (and many other issues) in some cases.

I’d recommend that you pursue this matter further. Blood tests and diagnostic imaging may help to determine whether it is safe to correct the inguinal hernia that you have described.

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