Having your female cat or dog spayed is a loving and responsible thing to do for your pet, providing them with an extended life expectancy in addition to other benefits. But, should you have your pet laser spayed or traditionally spayed? Here, our Torrance vets explain more about spaying your surgery.
Having your female pet spayed can help you to prevent a number of serious health conditions and undesirable behaviors.
Spaying your dog before her first heat can help her to live a long and healthy life by preventing serious issues such as uterine infections and breast tumors.
Dogs who have been spayed won't go into heat if the surgery is conducted while they are still young. Typically, female dogs who aren't spayed will go into head every 6 months for anywhere from two weeks to a month. While your dog is in heat, she will excrete a bloody vaginal discharge and may act more clingly, edgy and jumpy.
Cats that are spayed before their first heat have a reduced risk for malignant mammary tumors later in life.
Spaying is also able to reduce your kitty's chances of developing uterine infections as well as cancers affecting her reproductive organs.
Undesirable behaviors in female cats can be reduced with spaying, including; increased and overly intense affection, intense rubbing on objects, marking territory with urine, the desire to wander and heat-induced howling.
The Spaying Process
Whether your vet performs a traditional spay on your pet or a laser spay, the process is largely the same:
- Then the incision will be closed using internal stitches, skin glue, skin staples, and/or stitches.
- A 2-3" incision just below the belly button into the pet's abdomen. Typically, the reproductive tract, both ovaries and the uterus are then removed through this incision.
Laser vs Traditional Spay
In surgeries using a laser, your veterinarian will use either a cold or hot laser in place of a traditional scalpel. Some vets believe surgery using lasers helps to both reduce the risk of infection and cut down on recovery time since blood vessels are cauterized as the laser cuts through tissue.
Many vets feel that the benefits of laser spaying are:
- Less swelling at the surgical site.
- Decreased levels of pain in the immediate post-operative period.
- Reduced bleeding to the cauterization of blood vessels as the laser beam cuts through the tissues.
- Decreased risk of infection due to the superheating of the tissues at the incision site which helps to destroy bacteria present at the time of surgery.
Using lasers rather than a scalpel can allow your surgeon to use extreme precision, however, as with any surgery, laser surgery is not risk-free. Although lasers can cause reduced pain when compares to a scalpel, laser surgery still has to potential to be quite painful and it's possible for hemorrhaging to start.
While some vets may prefer the use of lasers to perform surgeries, others still prefer to use a scalpel. Vets use scalpels for many procedures and are skilled at doing so. It's also important to note that spaying is amongst the most common of veterinary surgeries and most vets become very skilled at spaying.
Benefits of traditional spay include:
- Often costs less than laser spaying.
- Readily available at most veterinary hospitals.
Hemorrhage is not common when a skilled veterinary surgeon spays a pet, and the type of bleeding that can occur as a complication during spays cannot be stopped or prevented by using a laser rather than a scalpel.
By choosing a reputable vet and an animal hospital that you trust, the risk of complications caused by spaying surgery—regardless of whether it is traditional or laser—should be minimal. When booking your surgical appointment with your vet, ask them about what complications may arise during surgery, as well as about what the recovery process will look like.
Helping Your Pet Recover Comfortably From Spay Surgery
Whether you choose to have your pet laser spayed or traditionally spayed your pet will need some time to recover.
Here are tips for a safe and comfortable recovery:
- Provide your pet with a quiet place to recover indoors and away from other animals.
- Reduce your pets activity level for about two weeks following surgery, or as long as your veterinarian recommends.
- Do not bathe your pet or allow them to swim for at least ten days after surgery.
- Check the incision site daily in order to monitor healing and watch for early signs of infection.
- Prevent your pet from licking the incision site. Licking could cause an infection. Using a veterinary 'cone' or a post-surgical t-shirt can help to prevent your pet from licking the wound.
If you notice any redness, swelling, or discharge at the surgery site, or if the incision has opened up, contact your veterinarian. Also, be sure to contact your vet if your pet is lethargic, has a decreased appetite, is vomiting or has diarrhea or any other concerns following their spay surgery.
Whatever type of spay surgery you choose for your pet remember that the overall benefits of spaying far outweigh the risks involved in this surgery. If you are at all concerned about the risks of spaying your female animal contact your vet for further information and their recommendations on which type of spaying is right for your pet.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.