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Which is better, laser or traditional spay?

Which is better, laser or traditional spay?

If are are preparing to have your female cat or dog spayed, you might be wondering whether or not you should search out a vet who performs laser spaying. Here, our Apple Valley vets share more about traditional spay techniques versus laser spaying.

Benefits of Spaying Female Cats & Dogs

By spaying your female pet, pet-owners can help to protect their companion from a wide variety of serious health issues on top of curbing some undesirable behaviors and reducing the number of homeless animals in your community.

Spaying Cats

Cats who are spayed before their first heat have a reduced risk of mammary tumors liter in their life. It also prevents them from developing uterine infections and reproductive cancers.

Some undesirable behaviors may also be reduced by spaying your pet include: intense rubbing on objects, marking territory with urine, overly intense affection, the desire to wander and howling induced by heat.

Spaying Dogs

By spaying your dog, you will help her live a longer and healthier life by reducing the risk of serious issues, from uterine infections to breast tumors. 

Spaying your female dog while she is young will prevent her from going into heat. Unspayed female dogs will generally go into heat every 6 months or so, lasting for 2 - 4 weeks each time. When a female dog is in heat, she will excrete a bloody vaginal discharge and may become more jumpy, edgy or clingy.

The Spaying Process

Whether your vet offers traditional or laser spaying techniques, the process will be much the same:

  • To start, a 2 - 3" incision will be made below the belly button of the pet's abdomen. In most cases, their reproductive tract, both ovaries and uterus will be removed through this incision.
  • Once the reproductive organs have been removed, the incision will be closed using internal stitches, skin glue, skin staples, and/or regular stitches.

Traditional vs Laser Spay

Laser Spaying

When a laser spay is being performed by your vet, a hot or cold laser will be used in place of the traditional scalpel. 

Vets who choose to use laser spaying techniques believe that the benefits of surgeries using lasers include decreased levels of pain and reduced bleeding since the laser cauterizes blood vessels as it cuts through the tissues. It can also help to destroy bacteria present that time of surgery.

Many veterinary surgeons feel laser give them increased precision over a scalpel. Laser surgery is not a risk-free surgical option though. And while laser cause less pain and reduce bleeding, surgery using this tool can still be painful and hemorrhaging can still occur.

Traditional Spaying

While some vets may prefer to use lasers instead of scalpels, other prefer to use traditional methods when spaying pets or performing surgeries. Vets are trained in using scalpels for many procedures and are skilled in doing so.

Spaying is one of the most common veterinary surgeries. Most vets become very skilled at conducting spay procedures. The benefits of this traditional procedure include its widespread availability and reduced cost.

When a skilled veterinarian performs this surgery, hemorrhage as a result is very uncommon. And, the kinds of bleeding which is caused by complications in this surgery isn't the kind that a laser can stop opposed to a scalpel.

When you book an appointment to have your pet spayed be sure to ask your vet about the risks of surgery, as well as the recovery process.

Helping Your Pet Recover Comfortably From Spaying

Regardless of which kind of spay surgery your select, your pet will require some time to recover once surgery is completed. Here are some tips for helping your cat or dog to have a comfortable and safe recovery:

  • Reduce your pets activity level for about two weeks following surgery, or as long as your veterinarian recommends.
  • Look at the incision site daily in order to monitor healing and watch for early signs of infection.
  • Provide your pet with a quiet place indoor place to recover, away from other pets and children.
  • Be sure to prevent your pet from licking the incision site. Licking could cause an infection. Using a veterinary 'cone' or a a post-surgical t-shirt can help to prevent your pet from licking the wound.
  • Do not bath your pet or allow them to swim for at least ten days after surgery.

Make sure you check your pet's incision site daily. If you see redness, discharge or swelling at the site of the incision, or if your pet's incision has opened up, contact your vet as soon as possible.

Regardless of the kind of surgery you choose for your pet, remember that the benefits of spaying far outweighs to risks involved in either form: traditional or laser.

If you are thinking about booking a spay or neuter procedure for your cat or dog, contact our Apple Valley Animal Hospital vets today. We are happy to walk you through the process and book you an appointment to have your pet fixed.

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