A dog spay is a procedure technically called an ovarohysterectomy, whereby an incision is made into the abdomen and the female reproductive tract is isolated and surgically removed. This process requires the isolation and tying off of major abdominal arteries to prevent internal bleeding. Post-operatively, the female patient’s life literally depends on the integrity and strength of the ligatures used to tie off both ovarian and uterine arteries. Thus, the attention and skill of the veterinary surgeon and the quality of suture material is very important. Grant Animal Clinic prides itself in having attending veterinarians on our medical team that have vast surgical experience and applying the very best the veterinary surgical industry has to offer in top quality suture material.
Also in the context of surgical skill and choice of top brand suture materials, following a spay the only things keeping the internal organs inside the abdomen where they belong is the quality of the layers of surgical closure. Like the tying off of major blood vessels, the quality and integrity of the closure is dependent on the skill of the veterinary surgeon and the choice of quality suture materials.
Prior to making a surgical approach into the sterile abdomen, the surgical site should be aseptically prepped by clipping away all hair and performing a proper surgical scrub of the region surrounding the approach. The veterinary surgeon performing the spay should be wearing a surgical cap and mask, have his/her hands surgically scrubbed, and be outfitted in a sterile surgical gown and wearing sterile surgical gloves. The surgical site should then be isolated with sterile surgical drapes to maintain a sterile surgical field in which to work. Not following these protocols can predispose the patient to serious post-operative infection.
Finally, one of the most potentially risky aspects of any surgical procedure is the anesthesia. Proper anesthetic protocols, state of the art monitoring equipment, and effective and safe pre and post operative pain medication are all essential components to smooth and safe anesthesia and patient comfort Please see this article on how Grant Animal Hospital employs best practices in canine Dog Anesthesia for more detailed aspects of safe administration of anesthesia.
Clearly, there are many moving parts to the canine spay procedure, thus, it should never be referred to as “just a spay.” Always bear in mind that a spay is a major abdominal surgery and should be treated as such.