To spay or not to spay? There is another way

We decided to wait until Saffy and Sadie were two and a half years old before deciding if we should breed from them or have them spayed. Originally it was always done midway between the first and second seasons, many vets advocate it being done before the first season now, but I did not agree with that as do not think they can be developed enough. Strangely enough, it was quite an emotional decision, what we decide affects them and their future, but with all the problems you can encounter now with lots of dog breeds we wanted it to be the right decision. They came from old stock so should avoid the SM Cavaliers can develop but like many others in older age can develop pyometra and tumours, which spaying should also help to avoid. We thought about reasons for breeding, it would be nice to continue the line but others will do that anyway, we do not want to make money from it and would have great difficulty parting with the puppies, and with advancing years the time it takes before puppies leave us incurs a lot of work which we feel we are not so able to do now, and lastly, it is necessary to have them scanned for SM as we would not want to pass that on to puppies. the vets who do this are few and considerable cost is involved.

So, decision made, but how to get it done. the usual way of spaying a bitch is similar to humans, the uterus etc are removed through the abdomen under anaesthetic but our daughter who is a veterinary nurse, behaviourist and dog trainer went to a conference and heard about keyhole spaying, we found vets online who do it, our nearest being Aniwell Vets in Poole, Dorset. I contacted them, watched the video they have on their website and booked them in at a convenient time. We took them in on the same day for 8.30am and collected them at 4pm, they walked out very perkily, had already eaten something and when we got home they wanted their dinner and by the next morning you would never believe they had had an operation, it was harder to stop them jumping on each other and playing as usual.

The operation is carried out by making two tiny holes in the abdomen where the camera and instruments are passed through, only the ovaries which produce the hormones etc are removed using laser to seal off making it a much smaller job but getting the same results, anaesthetic time is much shorter and recovery much quicker which is all a bonus. The cost is more as the equipment and training are expensive, it was £295 each, but the usual way is around £200 and the faster recovery rate makes it worth it. I would recommend it as the way forward, after all humans have keyhole surgery so much these days as being the best way, so why not use it for our pets.

If you would like to read a more in-depth account of the surgery go to www.trixiespetbehaviourandtraining.wordpress.com or look at Aniwell Vets in Alderney, Poole, Dorset

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