Ovariohysterectomy, more commonly known as spaying, is a procedure used to remove the ovaries and uterus of a female cat. The procedure is meant to stop “heat” or estrus symptoms in the cat. When they're in heat, cats tend to exhibit certain behaviors to encourage breeding but spayed cats are not supposed to go through heat or estrus cycles. The most common cause of post-removal estrus is surviving ovarian tissue. Let's take a look at the symptoms, causes and treatments for estrus after spaying.Symptoms
When your cat is ready for breeding, she becomes extremely affectionate. She rubs herself against your legs along with other random objects in the house. Additionally, she will also roll around and rub her head constantly. Cats tend to become excessively vocal and restless during this period. They also raise their hinds and bend their legs. Clear vaginal secretions emanating from the vulva along with swelling are also a clear sign that the cat is in heat.Causes
There are 3 main causes for the cat to experience heat cycles after spaying. The most common one is the failure of the surgeon to remove both ovaries, followed by the presence of excessive ovarian tissue in the cat's abdomen. In rare cases, some cats have an excessive number of ovaries present in their abdomen. All of these lead to the secretion of hormones that facilitate breeding, but your cat cannot get pregnant.Diagnosis and Treatment
For a successful diagnosis, you will have to present your cat's medical history in detail. In addition to this, physical tests will also be conducted. These tests include standard ones like blood count, urinalysis and biochemical profile. More specific tests for the detection of estrus include testing hormone levels and vaginal secretions. If estrogen is found in post-removal cats, it indicates that ovarian tissue is still present.Typically, ultrasounds are used to detect the presence of ovarian tissues and surgery is used to fix it. In some cases, exploratory abdominal surgery is recommended to detect and remove the remaining tissue.Post-surgery
Soon after the surgery has been completed, the cats behavior should go back to normal. Painkillers are recommended for a few days after the surgery and the prognosis is typically good. Doctors might also prescribe antibiotics and other medication
to prevent infection. Any changes you wish to make to the medication schedule will require a consultation with the vet. Nutrition also plays a part in your feline friend's healthy recovery. Vets usually suggest nutrition guidelines to be followed post surgery. Remember to follow doctor's orders and keep your cat protected after surgery to help it heal without too much hassle.