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keyhole surgery for dog neutering

Traditionally carried out by open surgery, spaying involves an incision into the abdomen to remove the uterus and ovaries via what is know as open surgery, meaning that the vets hand will actually enter the abdomen.

On the other hand, keyhole spaying allows the surgery to take place via small instruments entering the abdomen that are controlled by the vet from the outside. 

What are the main advantages of keyhole spaying?

  • Smaller wounds
  • Reduced post-operative pain
  • Faster recovery
  • Fewer complications

The procedure is a safe and valuable alternative to the traditional spay operation.

How does keyhole spaying work?

Under the supervision of a Senior Veterinary Surgeon, your dog will be anaesthetised, and their abdomen will be clipped. A small incision of approximately 5mm is made close to the umbilicus (belly button), through which a camera is inserted. At the same time, the abdomen is inflated with a special medical gas. Two more incisions are then made in the abdomen, through which the surgical instruments are inserted. The womb and ovaries are then grasped, and the blood vessels are safely ligated. The ovaries are removed through one of the mini incisions, before the incisions are finally closed with the use of just one or two stitches.

Will my dog be sore after the procedure?

Though keyhole surgery is less painful than a conventional spay, your dog may experience some mild discomfort. We routinely provide pain relief throughout the process, and we provide post-operative painkillers for the first couple of days at home also.

Does my dog have to rest after the procedure?

The incisions are much smaller, so there‚Äôs much less risk of wound problems. However, just to make absolutely sure of a smooth recovery, we advise you to allow your dog to rest for 10 days after surgery.  Our team will discuss your pets post op care with you in-depth before you take them home.

Do I have to return to the surgery for check-ups?

Yes! Routine checks should be carried out on patients 3 and 10 days after their operation, and any external stitches are usually removed at your 10 day appointment.

Is Keyhole neutering just for females? 

There are times when the keyhole approach is used in males too, it's not uncommon for males to have one of both of their testicles retained.  This is when the testicle doesn't drop down.  The testicle(s) can stay within the groin region and therefore can be removed via a small incision over the skin above them.  However, they can sometimes be retained with the abdomen, which means the vet needs to go in and find them. This is a time when we could consider performing a keyhole neutering procedure on males as it allows the vet to easily look inside the abdomen to locate the testicle, which can then be removed in the same way that a females ovaries are.

Does it cost more than a traditional neutering operation?

Keyhole surgery requires more surgical expertise, different operating instruments, and more nursing assistance during the surgery. As a result, keyhole spaying costs a little more than a traditional spay. The price largely depends on the size of your dog, as larger patients require larger amounts of anaesthetics. 

For appointments or more advice on keyhole bitch spaying, contact any of our 12 branches across South & West Yorkshire, or call our Dewsbury Hospital on 01924 465592.