Traditional spaying and laser spaying are both equally good options for your cat or dog. Today, our Danbury vets share details about each of these options.
Benefits of Spaying Your Female Pet
When pet owners have their female cat or dog spayed, they are protecting their furry friend from a variety of serious health problems, and potentially curbing some undesirable behaviors. It also helps bring down the number of homeless animals in the community.
By spaying your cat before their first heat cycle you are lowering their risk for malignant mammary tumors as they grow older. Spaying also helps keep your kitty from getting an infection in their uterus as well as helps prevent cancers of the reproductive organs.
A few of the undesirable behaviors that spaying can reduce in your female cat are; intense rubbing on objects, your cat's desire to wonder, decreasing the occurrence of overly intense affection, heat-induced howling, and territory marking with urine.
By spaying your dog before their first heat you are helping her live a longer and healthier life, by reducing the risk of serious issues such as uterine infections and breast tumors.
Spaying your female dog while she is young will prevent her from going into heat. Female dogs who are not spayed generally go into heat every six months, for approximately 2 - 4 weeks at a time. When a female dog is in heat she will excrete a bloody vaginal discharge and may display edgy, clingy, or jumpy behaviors.
The Spaying Procedure Process
It doesn't matter if your vet conducts a laser spay or traditional spay procedure, the process will be very similar:
- To begin, a 2-3" incision will be made just below the belly button into the pet's abdomen. In most cases, the reproductive tract, both ovaries, and the uterus will all be removed through this incision.
- Once the reproductive organs have been removed, the incision will be closed using internal stitches, skin glue, skin staples, and/or regular stitches.
Traditional vs Laser Spay
When conducting a laser spay procedure your vet will use a hot or cold laser instead of a traditional scalpel.
Usually, vet's that choose to conduct laser spaying believe that the benefits of performing surgeries with lasers include:
- A decreased level of pain during the immediate post-operative period
- Less bleeding as a result of the cauterization of blood vessels as the laser beam cuts through the tissues
- A decrease in swelling at the surgical site
- Lower risk of infection because the superheating of the tissues at the incision site helps destroy bacteria that is present when the surgery occurs
Lots of veterinary surgeons believe that using lasers in place of a scalpel provides them with increased precision. Although, just as it is with traditional surgery using a scalpel, laser surgery isn't a risk-free option. While using lasers instead of traditional scalpels might cause less pain, laser surgery may still be painful, and hemorrhage (while rare) might still happen.
Although some vets may prefer the use of lasers to perform surgeries, others still prefer to use a scalpel when spaying pets and performing other surgeries. Vets are trained in the use of scalpels for many procedures and are skilled at doing so.
Spaying is one of the most common veterinary surgeries and most vets become very skilled at spaying dogs and cats. One of the benefits of traditional spay is that this form of surgery is readily available at most veterinary hospitals, another is that traditional spaying often costs less than laser spaying.
Hemorrhage as a result of traditional spaying is not common when a skilled veterinary surgeon performs the surgery, and the type of bleeding that can occur as a complication of traditional spays cannot be stopped or prevented by using a laser rather than a scalpel.
When you book an appointment to have your pet spayed be sure to ask your vet about the risks of surgery, as well as the recovery process.
Helping Your Cat or Dog Recover After Spaying
With both types of spaying, your cat or dog will require time to recover following their surgery. Below we have provided a few tips to help your four-legged friend have a comfortable and safe recovery:
- Look at the incision site daily in order to monitor healing and watch for early signs of infection.
- Provide your pet with a quiet place indoor place to recover, away from other pets and children.
- Do not bathe your pet or allow them to swim for at least ten days after surgery.
- Reduce your pet's activity level for about two weeks following surgery, or as long as your veterinarian recommends.
- You must prevent your pet from licking the incision site. Licking could result in an infection. Using a veterinary 'cone' or a post-surgical t-shirt can help to keep your pet from licking their wound.
Inspect your pet's incision site every day, if you spot any swelling, discharge, or redness at the incision site, or if the incision has opened up, call your vet immediately. You also need to contact your veterinarian if your cat or dog stops eating, is lethargic, has diarrhea, or starts vomiting after their spay surgery.
No matter which type of spay surgery you choose for your pet, remember that the overall benefits of spaying far outweigh the risks involved in either laser or traditional spaying. If you have any concerns about the risks of spaying your female animal, contact your veterinarian for further information or to get recommendations on which type of spaying is right for your dog or cat.