Spaying or neutering is the most commonly performed pet surgery. Female dogs are spayed for the plethora of health benefits the procedure offers. While the primary goal of this procedure is to prevent unwanted pregnancies and pups, it also helps resolve some behavioral problems and lower the risk of several health complications including pyometra and mammary cancer.
Keyhole spaying is a minimally invasive alternative to the traditional neutering technique and has been gaining popularity among vets and pet owners. It is an excellent option for parents looking for a more convenient and advanced method for their female dog.
Keyhole Spay for Dogs – A Complete Guide
A normal spay procedure involves making an incision on the underside of the abdomen to get access to the ovaries and uterus. The size of the incision can be anywhere between 2 and 4 inches depending on the age of the pet. The surgeon then loosens the ovaries and uterus from the inside walls and removes them. The tissues associated with the organs are tied off with suture to stop the blood flow. At the end of the procedure, the skin and muscles of the abdomen are sutured.
Keyhole spaying, on the other hand, is performed using a laparoscope, a small camera inserted into the abdomen to visualize the ovaries and uterus on a screen. This instrument is inserted into the abdomen through 2-3 small incisions about 1-inch long. A special electrosurgical device is then used to remove the ovaries and seal the vessels. This procedure does not remove the uterus like in the normal spaying method.
Keyhole spaying is highly beneficial for medium and large breed dogs and those above the age of 9 months as the incision size reduces greatly with this method. While the uterus remains intact with this method, the dog still enjoys all the benefits of spaying as the hormone-producing ovaries are removed. This means there is a reduced risk of ovary infection, cancer, and diseases just like in normal spaying.
Keyhole Spay Recovery
One of the biggest benefits of the keyhole spay procedure is that the recovery period is almost half compared to normal spaying. As it is less invasive, wounds and skin heal faster and the pet can return quickly to its normal activity routine.
Once discharged from the hospital, the dog should be allowed to rest in a soft and calm place. They may take some time to recover from the abdomen soreness. They also need to urinate more often for the first day as they are given more fluids during the surgery. Your dog should be given light, nutritious meals during the recovery period.
See that the pet does not lick or chew on the incision area. Also, check the incisions every day for redness or swelling. Any abnormality should be reported to the vet. Your doctor may advise a visit in about a week after the keyhole spaying procedure.
Exercise After Keyhole Spaying – What You Should Know?
Though keyhole spaying is less invasive and more convenient as compared to the normal procedure, your dog needs rest for proper recovery. They should not be allowed to run and play for about two weeks after the surgery. During this period, most dogs recover sufficiently to return to their normal levels of physical activity.
It is best to keep the dog indoors or in the garden for light exercise in the initial days after spaying. Exercise should be kept to a minimum and any strenuous activity including swimming, running, and jumping should be avoided. Make sure you separate the dog from other pets in the house during the recovery period.
Most dogs should have no problem doing light exercise after keyhole spaying. Your surgeon should best advise on how you can keep the dog active during its recovery period. You should wait till the first follow-up visit to get your pooch back to its previous activity routine.
Keyhole Spaying Vs Normal – How They Differ?
Both normal and keyhole spaying have the same goals and end results. These surgical procedures aim to remove the reproductive organs of the female dog to prevent them from coming in heat cycles and attracting males. These procedures help manage the population by preventing unwanted puppies. The main difference between the two methods is that keyhole spaying removes only the ovaries while the normal method removes ovaries as well as the uterus.
A keyhole spay method is more convenient as compared to a normal procedure because it gives small wounds in the form of incisions made to insert the instruments, regardless of the size of the dog. This means there is less pain and discomfort with this method. A normal spaying procedure results in more discomfort and swelling inside the abdomen as it is a highly invasive surgery. With a keyhole procedure, incisions are much smaller and muscle tissues are cauterized instead of suturing. This means there is lesser swelling and blood loss.
The dogs undergoing keyhole spaying procedure generally experience lesser pain, swelling, and discomfort as compared to the normal method and so recover more quickly. As the procedure is less invasive, they come out faster from anesthesia and look happier when they go home. A keyhole spaying method also has lesser chances of complications.
Keyhole Spay Cost – UPDATED 2021
A keyhole spay generally costs higher than a normal spaying procedure. This is because it requires the use and maintenance of special equipment. The cost also increases as vets need extra expertise and training to possess proficiency in laparoscopy. Just like any other veterinarian treatment, the cost of a keyhole spay procedure can vary between hospitals and locations.
The spaying procedure can cost anywhere between $500 and $1000 depending on the age of the pet and the location and reputation of the veterinarian. Not all veterinarian facilities perform this procedure and you can expect to pay a few hundred dollars more than the normal spaying cost. However, most pet owners and experts agree that the extra cost is worth the faster healing times and reduced post-operative pain and discomfort.
Keyhole spaying offers several benefits to dog owners and ensures minimal pain and faster recovery for the dog. Though the procedure is not meant for every dog, it is best to discuss with your vet if the option works for your pooch. The quick healing time and reduction in pain and discomfort post-surgery make this alternative spaying method highly appealing.