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Spaying - keyhole vs traditional?


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Hi All

Holly (6.5 months old) had her pre-spay consultation on Friday. We have pretty much decided to go down the keyhole route but our vets seemed to be trying to sway us towards the traditional op?!? I obviously want what is best and quickest recovery for Holly and I'm just interested in what others chose to do?

My vet told me that she likes to be able to see exactly what she is doing during a bitch spey. She, too, advised against the keyhole method.
Hello .I hope you don't mind me saying but Your dog seems very young to be neutered. There isa lot of information available weighing up the pros and cons of neutering and it might be an idea to check out information online if you haven't already. Early neutering can bring problems with it.

I am surprised that a vet would prefer a traditional spey. The recovery is so much easier for the bitch with a much smaller incision. I would expect a veterinary practice who had invested in the equipment and who's vets have been through the training would recommend it. My own preferred vet hasn't done the training but always offers the option of the keyhole surgery done by the vet who has.
Hi both - thanks for the replies, no she hasn't had her first season yet but the common practice here seems to be 6 months onwards (have spoken to other vets for their opinion). To be honest I'm struggling a bit with deciding whether to wait or not. Our vet is part of one of the largest teaching hospitals in the country and they put a lot of emphasis on the mammary cancer issue and spaying them before their first season. However I have done a lot of research online and there seems to be very mixed opinions on the right age particularly with larger breeds. As Holly is a GSD then my concerns would be with her joint development but our vet said that there is no conclusive proof that early spaying is connected to later joint/hip problems, in that its impossible to say whether or not the dogs would have developed these problems anyway.

We didn't get our last GSD girl spayed, partly because we thought we may let her have pups and also it was not really an issue as she was kept securely and didn't really mix with other dogs even when out as she didn't like them! She did get tumours in her ovaries later in life though. Holly is a completely different dog, part of the reason, other than the health implications, we want to get her spayed is because she is so incredibly sociable with other dogs and she meets a lot when she's out, we do try and curb this but as we all know it only takes a few seconds!

Sorry I'm rambling a bit probably because I'm really struggling to put Holly through it at all. A couple of our good friends with large breed dogs who live locally have both had keyhole spays before first season as per our vets recommendation and dogs have bounced back to normal straight away.

Dogmatize - I was surprised by our vets approach, although I suspect its because he won't be doing it, she gets sent to the big hospital next door! it wasn't so much that he was trying to put us off the keyhole but more steer us towards the traditional, maybe because that's his comfort zone. He was trying to convince us that the traditional spay was far less intrusive and painful these days which is what prompted this post as most dogs we know who've had it done recently have had keyhole so I have no comparisons!
The vet I spoke to about it had no axe to grind. She was an employee of a very large practice. She was quite emphatic that this operation requires the vet to be able to see clearly all that is going on. The recovery period is a small thing to worry about in the big scheme of things. A young dog will bounce back within 24 hours and you will be more worried about keeping her quiet than anything else.

Spaying pre first season is still quite controversial. I think the op is easier and that might be why some vets are recommending it. I, personally would want my bitch to have fully developed in all areas before taking any major organs away. Hormones play all sorts of roles, not least in behaviour. We have, for years, been spaying post first season and there is nothing that would convince me to change that practice. Mammary tumours are a slight risk but providing we are all vigilant they can, if necessary, be dealt with as and when necessary.
There does seem to be such a lot of differing views on this subject. We had a long discussion with our vet re pre or post first season, with fors and against for both. We decided to follow their advice and Evie was neutered at 5 months before her first season. The topic of key hole surgery was never raised and I had no idea this was an option - perhaps our vet doesn't like it or isn't trained to do it.

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