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. There is no size limit on patients for keyhole spays and we routinely spay cats and bitches as small as 1.5kg as well as giant breeds as large as 75kg.
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 has been performing Keyhole surgery and other minimally invasive techniques since 1995. 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, is author and editor of the BSAVA Manual of Endoscopy and Endosurgery in the Dog and Cat and has contributes to many other books and publications..
Anna Lhermette BSc(Hons), BVM&S MRCVS, Madeleine Kasch BVM&S MRCVS and Rebecca Nye BVSc MRCVS.who were taught by Philip, perform keyhole bitch spays weekly at the clinic.