Rat Ovariohysterectomy or Ovariectomy
It is advisable to perform either a OVH or ovariectomy on female rats to decrease the incidence of mammary tumors from 50%
to less than 5%. It has been shown effective even at the time of a mammary tumor removal to decrease the risk of reoccurrence.
A traditional ventral midline approach is preferred for OVH. A midline incision is made through the skin from just posterior
to the umbilicus to just cranial to the rim of the pubis. The linea, which is very thin, is identified and incised to enter
the abdomen. The intestines are gently manipulated aside with a moistened sterile cotton swab. The cotton swab is used to
elevate the uterus and isolate the repro tract. It is not uncommon for the abdomen of rats to be abundant with fat regardless
of the size of the rat. The ovarian vasculature is ligated using appropriate sized hemoclip. The process is repeated on the
opposite side. The junction of the uterine horns and cervix is located, elevated and double ligated using hemoclip or 4-0
absorbable monofilament suture. The abdominal wall is sutured in a simple continuous pattern followed by a simple continuous
intradermal closure of the skin. The ovariectomy is performed through a flank technique. An approx. 1.5cm incision is made
in the right flank just caudal to the last rib and ventral to the lumbar muscle. The muscle is exposed and a blunt hemostat
is used to puncture through the muscle into the abdominal cavity. The ovary is located within a bundle of fat at the area
of the incision and is gently exteriorized. The ovarian vasculature and uterine horn are double ligated using a 4-0 absorbable
monofilament suture. The muscle is closed using a cruciate suture pattern or simple interrupted. The skin is closed with an
intradermal pattern followed by tissue glue. The same procedure is repeated on the opposite side.
While most ferrets are acquired from the pet store and have already been spayed/neutered and descented. Those acquired from
individual breeders should be castrated in attempt to decrease odor, unwanted reproduction and unwanted associated behaviors.
Castration in the ferret can be done prescrotal like in the dog or scrotal like in the cat. One prescrotal incision is made,
Either closed or open technique can be used. The spermatic cord, vessels, and associated tunics are double ligated using 4-0
absorbable suture and removed. This skin is closed using the same absorbable suture. Scrotal castration involves 2 incisions
in the scrotum, exposing the testicle and associated vasculature and spermatic cord. These are double ligated and removed.
The scrotal incision is left open like in the cat castration.