At Mansion Hill we offer the option of a laparoscopic spay when you are getting your bitch neutered. This involves a keyhole surgery procedure – instead of opening the abdomen as in the “traditional” procedure we will instead make two small holes (5-10mm) in the midline of the abdomen through which we can pass a camera and a variety of instruments. The ovary is lifted and fixed temporarily to the body wall before being removed via one of the small incisions. This allows us to find the ovary in a minimally invasive way and remove it very precisely. The two small incisions will usually be closed with stitches under the skin or with glue.
Occasionally, more commonly in an older bitch, the uterus will also need to be removed because of some abnormality. In this case we will revert to the traditional spay approach of opening the abdomen.
Dogs still need a period of lead only exercise until their wounds are healed.
What are the benefits?
Compared to a traditional bitch spay the laparoscopic procedure is minimally invasive and so usually means less postoperative discomfort and a quicker return to normal activity. The surgeon has a better view and access during the surgery and it has been found that there are fewer complications and less risk of postoperative illness than with a traditional spay. Rather than 10 days of recovery, most bitches are back to fighting fitness in 2 days.
Can my bitch still get a uterine infection or cancer if the womb is not removed?
A pyometra is an infection in the uterus which can be fatal and is one of the reasons we recommend spaying. Hormones produced by the ovaries are required for the condition to develop so removing them will prevent a pyometra. There is no evidence that removing a healthy uterus is advantageous. Uterine tumours are rare in bitches who have been spayed at a young age. They are usually benign and therefore curable by hysterectomy.