Olive’s Lap Spay

By: Ellie Bates

Follow Olive though her Laparoscopic Spay!

Earlier this year one of our magical staff pets, Working Cocker Spaniel Olive, underwent her laparoscopic (keyhole) spay procedure here at Bright Side Vets! Our nurses took some photos throughout her procedure and recovery so Olive can show you exactly what happens when you drop your fur baby off to us for their spay procedure!

On Arrival –

On arrival or ‘admit’ to the practice, Olive received a full health check from one of our veterinary surgeons. This includes her weight, heart rate and sound, breathing rate and a general body check over. This is to ensure that your fur baby is in good health for the procedure as there are many factors that can complicate the surgery or require us to postpone it for their safety. On this day, Olive was in excellent health with no concerns and she was admitted to us for the procedure.

Prepping for Surgery –

After a successful arrival Olive was brought through to our preparation and theatre area. Here our theatre nurses will fit a catheter on Olive’s forearm to allow us to administer any injectable mediations throughout her stay with us. Olive also benefitted from fluid therapy throughout her days stay with us which helps to support her hydration and blood pressure throughout surgery. This is also why, after a stay with us, you fur baby may have a little bandage and shaved area on their forearm as we always remove their catheters before going home.

The next step for Olive was the make her sleepy to begin the surgery process. The vet and nurses administer medications through her catheter to make her very sleepy. Next, medication is administered to start the full anaesthetic process, this makes sure Olive is fully asleep and pain free. Once Olive is fully asleep, under the supervision of a vet, the nurses will fit a tube down her airway to control her breathing and administer the constant anaesthetic needed throughout the surgery.  As soon as Olive is fully asleep, her skin is prepared for the operation. This involves shaving of the operation area and any adjacent areas. These areas are thoroughly cleaned and Olive is moved from the preparation room to the Theatre.

The Surgery –

The laparoscopic surgery is known as “Keyhole” surgery as it is performed through 3 tiny 5-10mm skin incisions.

You can see Olive in this image with the three ports attached, this allows the team to insert a camera and two instruments to perform the spay.

Using the camera, the veterinary surgeon can see magnified images on a TV monitor to cut, cauterise (seal the blood vessels) and remove the ovaries whilst inside the abdomen performing an Ovariectomy.



Recovery – 

After the surgery is complete, the three small incision areas are stitched up with dissolvable sutures which are all kept internal. These do not need removing and are absorbed by Olive’s body as she heals. The area is also covered for extra protection with a dressing. This means that most patients do not need a buster collar (the cone of shame) but can wear a comfy surgical t-shirt instead to protect the area from dirt while healing.


Olive is then taken off all anaesthetic medications and within 15 minutes is awake and comfy in her own kennel. While she is waking up Olive has a dedicated nurse and an animal care assistant by her side to monitor all her progress. While she is with us before being collected to go home or for her ‘Discharge’ a few hours later, Olive is offered some gentle, easy to digest, food and later taken for a short walk to stretch her legs and let her toilet outside.


Post Operative Care –

Now that her surgery is complete, Olive has some strict rules to follow for the next 7-10 days. These guidelines keep Olive safe while she recovers and heals and give her the best chance of avoiding any post operative complications. Olive’s mum is a Registered Vet Nurse so she was in very good hands!

Some of these rules include keeping Olive’s physical activity levels as low as possible over this time, no jumping on or over things and monitoring her wound for any redness, swelling or discharge. After the 7-10 days Olive passed all her checks with flying colours and is now back to zooming around as her happy self!

To find out more about Laparoscopic spays and if your fur baby will be suitable for one please read this blog or contact a crew member.