The purpose of the present study was to investigate and evaluate ovariohysterectomy, electrocautery of ovaries, and ligation of ovarian blood supply as an alternative option for sterilization of bitches. The study was conducted on 12 adult mongrel bitches. Animals were equally divided into 3 groups; after laparotomy the following procedures were performed: group 1- Ovariohysterectomy: ovaries and uterine horns were excised using the standard method; group 2- electrocautery of ovaries: ovaries were thermally treated using forceps of electrocautery device to induce damage of ovarian tissue by deep heating; group 3- Ligation of ovarian blood supply: the ovarian pedicle was ligated using a circumferential ligature, animals in this group underwent laparotomy one month after ligation to examine the status of the reproductive tract. Blood samples were collected pre- and post-operative to measure level of estrogen and progesterone as indicator of ovarian function, and C-reactive protein as inflammatory marker. Results showed that duration of surgery was statistically equal in electrocautery and ligation groups recorded at 17.0± 0.41 and 15.7± 0.48 minutes respectively. Ovariohysterectomy required longer time (24 ± 0.71 minutes). Levels of estrogen and progesterone significantly declined over the period of 1-2 weeks after ovariohysterectomy and electrocautery, and continued in declining until it reached lowest levels at 3 weeks after the procedure. In the ovarian blood ligation group, estrogen and progesterone levels showed a temporal decline at weeks 1-2; however it increased again by the third week after surgery. Gross examination of ovaries in the 3rd group showed the presence of large growing follicles and edema in ovarian bursa. CRP increased significantly at 24 and 48 hours in all groups as compared to pre-operative stage. Although it declined in the ovariohysterectomy and ligation groups by week 2, CRP stayed significantly high in electrocautery group after 2 weeks of the procedure compared to pre-operative value and also compared to values in the other groups. Conclusion: findings indicate that ovariohysterectomy and electrocautery of ovaries are equally effective as a method for sterilization of bitches; electrocautery required shorter time and was less in handling of internal viscera, but its applicability is dependent on the availability of the device. Ligation of ovarian blood supply did not result in elimination of ovarian activity evidenced by high estrogen and progesterone levels and presence of follicular structures on ovaries.
Key words: Electrocautery, ovariohysterectomy, ligation, ovarian pedicle, estrogen, progesterone, sterilization, bitch