Having your female dog or cat spayed is a responsible and loving thing to do and thanks to advancements in vet care, there are a number of safe options. Our Woburn vets are here to talk about laparoscopic spay procedures for cats and dogs.
Benefits of Spaying Female Cats & Dogs
Spaying your female pets can help to prevent a number of serious health issues and undesirable behaviors.
Cats that are spayed before their first heat have a reduced risk for malignant mammary tumors later in life.
Spaying also helps to reduce your cat's chances of developing an infection of the uterus, and of developing cancers of the reproductive organs.
Undesirable behaviors in female cats can be reduced with spaying, including; increased and overly intense affection, intense rubbing on objects, marking territory with urine, the desire to wander and heat-induced howling.
Spaying your dog before her first heat can help her to live a long and healthy life by preventing serious issues such as uterine infections and breast tumors.
Spayed dogs won't go into heat if the surgery is done while they are young. Female dogs who are not spayed typically go into heat every six months, for approximately 2 - 4 weeks. While your female dog is in heat she will excrete a bloody vaginal discharge, and may seem edgy, clingy or jumpy.
Laparoscopic Spay Technique
Laparoscopic surgery is one that is minimally invasive. A laparoscope is a tiny camera that the surgeon can insert into the abdomen and visualize everything he or she is doing.
A laparoscopic spay is also known as keyhole, endoscopic, or video surgery. This offers veterinary surgeons an inside view of a your pets reproductive system and internal organs. To perform the surgery, your veterinarian makes two small incisions into the abdomen. Then, the veterinarian places ports for the cameras and surgical equipment that will be used to guide while performing the procedure.
Laparoscopic vs Traditional Spay
In a laparoscopic spay, there are two small incisions. A traditional spay requires a 2-4 inch long incisions. Compare that to a lap spay that requires two separate incisions that are each only one-fifth-inch to two-fifth-inches long. You can see why laparoscopy is considered less invasive.
In a laparoscopic spay, only the ovaries are removed. Fewer surgical cuts are made to the pet's reproductive organs which means less bleeding and trauma.
Your dog benefits from a laparoscopic spay compared to a traditional spay in the following ways:
- Lowered post-op pain
- Less bruising at the surgical site
- Less trauma to organs
- Fewer complications from surgery
- Enhanced ability for veterinarians to note other problems
Research has shown that animals undergoing the laparoscopic procedure feel 65 percent less pain than with a traditional spay. The surgery time runs shorter and there’s generally less bleeding. Due to smaller incisions, recovery generally occurs in half the time compared to post-operative timeframes for an open spay operation. Recovery includes faster wound and skin healing, plus a quicker return to normal activity.
While some vets may prefer the use of lasers to perform surgeries, others still prefer to use a scalpel. Vets use scalpels for many procedures and are skilled at doing so. It's also important to note that spaying is among the most common of veterinary surgeries and most vets become very skilled at spaying.
Benefits of traditional spay include:
- Readily available at most veterinary hospitals.
- Often costs less than laser spaying.
Hemorrhage is not common when a skilled veterinary surgeon spays a pet, and the type of bleeding that can occur as a complication during spays cannot be stopped or prevented by using a laser rather than a scalpel.
By choosing a reputable vet and an animal hospital that you trust the risks of complications due to the spaying surgery (whether laser or traditional) should be minimal. When you book an appointment to have your pet spayed be sure to ask your vet about the risks of surgery, as well as the recovery process.
Cat & Dog Traditional vs Laparoscopic Spay Recovery
Whether you choose to have your pet traditionally or laparoscopically spayed they will need some time to recover. For laparoscopic spay, the amount of time you will need to reduce your pet's activity is approximately 5 days as opposed to traditional spay where you will be required to limit your dog's activity for roughly 2 weeks.
Here are tips for a safe and comfortable recovery:
- Provide your pet with a quiet place to recover indoors and away from other animals.
- Prevent your pet from licking the incision site. Licking could cause an infection. Using a veterinary 'cone' or a post-surgical t-shirt can help to prevent your pet from licking the wound.
- Do not bathe your pet or allow them to swim for at least ten days after surgery.
- Check the incision site daily in order to monitor healing and watch for early signs of infection.
If you notice any redness, swelling or discharge at the surgery site, or if the incision has opened up, contact your veterinarian. Also, be sure to contact your vet if your pet is lethargic, has a decreased appetite, is vomiting or has diarrhea or any other concerns following their spay surgery.
Whatever type of spay surgery you choose for your pet remember that the overall benefits of spaying far outweigh the risks involved in this surgery. If you are at all concerned about the risks of spaying your female animal contact your vet for further information and their recommendations on which type of spaying is right for your pet.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.