Traditionally a bitch spay requires a 3-4 inch incision and this, along with the procedure to remove the uterus (womb) and both ovaries, causes trauma and bruising. However, for many years now, we have been spaying bitches via keyhole surgery.
By using keyhole surgery, very tiny incisions are made so wounds are much less painful and recovery is quicker. The wounds are so small that they are usually closed with special skin adhesive so no stitches are required.
Research has shown that removing the uterus is usually unnecessary. Therefore, unless we have any concerns, we only remove the ovaries which again mean a reduction in trauma and bruising.
Practice Principal, Philip Lhermette pioneered this procedure for pets in the UK, and Elands Veterinary Clinic still remains one of the few practices in the country to offer this service, with pet owners travelling long distances to have their bitches spayed by us.
Philip also teaches minimally invasive surgery (keyhole surgery) to other vets throughout the UK and worldwide and is author and editor of the BSAVA Manual of Endoscopy and Endosurgery in the Dog and Cat.
Anna Lhermette BSc(Hons), BVM&S MRCVS, who was taught by Philip performs keyhole bitch spays weekly at the clinic.