In order to get the most bang for your buck as you navigate this website, spend a few minutes familiarizing yourself with the following terminology.


This is a sterilization surgery performed in which both testicles are removed. Castration the means by which male dogs are neutered.


This refers to the removal of the gonads, the testicles in male dogs and the ovaries in female dogs. In male dogs castration is another name for gonadectomy. In females, names that can be applied are ovariectomy and spay surgery. 


This term refers to surgical removal of the uterus, but not the ovaries. In dogs, it is often referred to as ovary-sparing spay surgery.


This term refers to male and female dogs whose reproductive organs (ovaries or testicles) are present and the animal remains fertile. While a vasectomized dog's testicles remain, he is sterile and, therefore, not considered intact.


This term is used synonymously with the terms spay and castration. To neuter is to surgically remove the gonads (both testicles or both ovaries).


This term is used to describe an animal who has been spayed or castrated. 


This is the surgical procedure in which both ovaries but not the uterus are removed. This is one version of spay surgery. In dogs, this can be accomplished via abdominal surgery or via a procedure called laparoscopy in which telescope devices are inserted into the abdomen through very small incisions.


This is the surgical procedure in which both ovaries and the uterus are removed. Ovariohysterectomy is a form of spay surgery.

Ovary-sparing spay

This is a version of spay surgery in which only the uterus is removed. Both ovaries are left behind. Because the ovaries manufacture reproductive hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, dogs who have had ovary-sparing spay surgery continue to show sexual behaviors such as coming into heat.


This definition is a bit tricky. Some sources define spay as removal of both ovaries and some define spay as removal of the uterus and both ovaries. In theory, ovariectomy, ovariohysterectomy, and ovary-sparing spay surgery all represent versions of spay surgery and all result in a female dog who is sterile.


This term refers to rendering a dog infertile or sterile by any of the surgeries defined on this list.


This is a surgical procedure that involves cutting, clamping, or ligating (tying off) the ducts that transport sperm out of the testicles. Vasectomy is a form of sterilization.