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A what spay??!!

A Laparoscopic, also known as ‘Keyhole’ spay, is the latest advanced surgical procedure available here at Bright Side. Here we take a closer look at some of the benefits of a “lap spay” and why you may wish to consider it for your pet.

Why should my bitch be spayed?

  • Firstly, it prevents litters of unwanted puppies.
  • There will be no seasons to deal with (so no unwanted Casanovas sniffing at the garden gate!).
  • Most important of all: they are less likely to suffer from life threatening conditions such as mammary cancer or womb infection (Pyometra) meaning your bitch can be expected to lead a longer healthy life.

How have bitches traditionally been spayed?

The traditional spay involves a large incision into the abdominal wall. Larger incisions are generally more painful and take longer to heal. The ovaries must be exteriorised outside of the body to securely tie off the blood vessels and the entire uterus (womb) and ovaries are removed (known as an ovariohysterectomy). This extra handling of tissues involved in tearing the ovarian attachments from the body wall can be a major source of pain both during and after the surgery, prolonging recovery time and rest needed.

Ovariectomy Vs Ovariohysterectomy

Why leave the uterus behind? Decades of clinical research show that there are no medical advantages to removing the healthy uterus and the long term health outcomes are the same for both ovariectomy (removal of ovaries only) and ovariohysterectomy.  Both will stop the bitch from coming into season and both will prevent uterine pyometra (life threatening infection in the uterus) as the ovaries are required for this condition to develop. In dogs older than 8 years of age, the uterus may need to be removed at the same time, however this will be discussed at the pre-spay examination.

How is the Laparoscopic spay performed?

The laparoscopic surgery is known as “Keyhole” surgery as it is performed through 2-3 tiny 5-10mm skin incisions. An Endoscope with a camera unit attached and various long handled specialised instruments are passed into the abdomen through small incisions. Using the camera, the veterinary surgeon can see magnified images on a TV monitor to cauterise and remove the ovaries whilst inside the abdomen performing an Ovariectomy. The ideal candidates for this procedure are healthy bitches between 10kg and 35kg.  Larger dogs can be considered depending on age and fitness levels.  Overweight dogs or dogs with anatomical defects (i.e. abdominal hernias) may not be suitable candidates as there may be an increased risk of complications. However, this can be discussed during your free pre-op consultation.

What are the advantages of laparoscopic spays?

  • Smaller surgical incisions
  • Reduced post-operative pain
  • Faster recovery and healing
  • Less risk of post-operative complications such as hernias
  • No sutures needed so unlikely to need buster collars


Why choose Bright Side vets to perform a laparoscopic spay?

  • We are happy to perform spays from 6 months, pre-season (some breeds we will advise slightly differently).
  • Your pet will receive a free pre-operative health check with a veterinary surgeon on the morning of her surgery.
  • During the surgery, your pet will have at least 3 dedicated staff members tending to her every need. This  includes her veterinary surgeon, 2 theatre nurses (one of which is also the anaesthetist), a prep nurse and a post-operative monitoring nurse.
  • Our laparoscopic team have undertaken specialised training in this advanced surgical technique.
  • Tailored pain relief and post-operative pain scoring to ensure your pet is as comfortable as she can possibly be. 
  • State of the art monitoring equipment is used during your pet’s surgery to make each procedure as safe as possible.
  • Discharge is on the same day with one of our nurses plus 2 free post-operative checks with the nurse after 48hrs and also 7 days later.


It is common that spayed females can gain weight. We offer a free nurse nutrition and weight clinic and actively encourage you to attend an appointment with the nursing team 3 months post spay.

If you would like to book your pet in, or discuss anything in more detail, please give us call and one of our friendly crew members will assist you.