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Effect of ovariohysterectomy in bitches with mammary neoplasms
  1. J. S. Morris, BSc, BVSc, PhD, FRCVS1,
  2. J. M. Dobson, BVetMed, MRCVS1,
  3. D. E. Bostock, MA, VetMB, MRCVS1 and
  4. E. O'Farrell, MVB, MRCVS1,1
  1. 1 Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 OES


Ninety bitches with mammary tumours were studied for two years after the surgical removal of the primary tumour(s). Twenty-nine of the bitches had been spayed before the development of the mammary tumour, 22 were spayed when the tumours were removed and 39 were left entire. Fifty-eight of the bitches (64 per cent) had benign tumours and, of these, 15 (26 per cent) developed a new mammary tumour within two years, irrespective of whether the bitch was spayed. The other 32 bitches had malignant tumours which were grouped into 'invasive' and 'well defined' carcinomas. Sixty-three per cent of the spayed bitches and 57 per cent of the entire bitches, with invasive carcinoma were dead within two years of surgery as a result of their mammary tumours. For those with well defined carcinomas the tumour-related death rates were 18 per cent and 33 per cent respectively for the spayed and entire bitches. These findings suggest that ovariohysterectomy when mammary tumours are removed does not have a significant effect on the progression of malignant disease, and that about one in four bitches with a benign mammary tumour is likely to develop a further tumour in another gland.

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  • E. O'Farrell's present address is 17 Fisherinan's Wharf, Rings End, Dublin 4, Republic of Ireland

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