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One Ovary
ginnycat posted:
This is a long explanation but I promise there's a question at the end. I'm a Peace Corps Volunteer in Peru, and I have a female cat who is about 1 year old. Last year we went through a small ordeal. I live in a very rural area and pet care is pretty much non-existent. I found a country vet who lives about 1/2 hour away and has been able to give vaccinations etc. I knew I wanted to get her spayed, but when I inquired with more modern vets in the city the costs were outside of my humble budget, and so I started to save up. Unfortunately, puberty did not wait. I went away for a vacation and came back to find that my cat had not only gone into her first heat, but was also pregnant. I couldn't care for her kittens and didn't want to see them be born only to be mistreated and/or die as so many animals out here do, so I brought her to the country vet for an emergency spay... The vet was able to successfully terminate the pregnancy and remove her uterus, but he told me later that he was only able to remove ONE ovary. So my cat still has one ovary left, and still goes into heat, though not very often. It doesn't bother me so much that she goes into heat, but I am worried that she might have health complications from having an ovary, but no uterus. Cancers, hormonal problems, something. Is this a valid concern? I am planning on taking her back to the US with me. I don't want to have her undergo another surgery if it's not necessary, but should the ovary be removed when we get back?
Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP responded:
Yes, you should have the other ovary removed, and you can wait until you get back. Although rare, sometimes cats only have one side (called a "horn") of the uterus. Most of these cats have two ovaries, however. So if the partial uterus is removed only with the one associated ovary, they will continue to go into heat but cannot become pregnant. The other ovary will make her more susceptible to mammary cancer and, very rarely, infection of the remains of the uterus, so it's a good idea to remove the other ovary once you get home.

Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP
The Cat Doctor
Board Certified in Feline Practice


Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP, is one of the few board-certified feline specialists in the nation, having practiced medicine for more than 25 years. Weigner...More

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