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Laser Spay or Traditional Spay - Which is better?

Having your female dog or cat spayed is a responsible and loving thing to do for your pet, but should you have your pet laser spayed or spayed traditionally? In this post, our Pittsboro vets share more about spaying your pet.

Benefits of Spaying Female Cats & Dogs

Spaying your female pets can help to prevent a number of serious health issues and undesirable behaviors.

Spaying Cats

Cats that undergo spaying before their first heat cycle are less likely to develop malignant mammary tumors in the future. Spaying also reduces the chances of your cat developing infections in the uterus, and reproductive organ cancers. Unwanted behaviors in female cats, such as increased and overly intense affection, intense rubbing on objects, marking territory with urine, the desire to wander, and heat-induced howling can also be reduced with spaying.

Spaying Dogs

Spaying your dog before her first heat can help her live a long and healthy life by preventing serious issues such as uterine infections and breast tumors. 

Spayed dogs won't go into heat if the surgery is done while they are young. Female dogs not spayed typically go into heat every six months, for approximately 2 - 4 weeks. While your female dog is in heat, she will excrete a bloody vaginal discharge and may seem edgy, clingy, or jumpy.

The Spaying Process

Whether your vet performs a traditional spay on your pet or a laser spay, the process is largely the same:

  • A 2-3" incision just below the belly button into the pet's abdomen. Typically, the reproductive tract, both ovaries and the uterus, are then removed through this incision. 
  • Then, the incision will be closed using internal stitches, skin glue, skin staples, and/or stitches.

Laser vs Traditional Spay

Laser Spaying

During laser surgeries, veterinarians use hot or cold lasers instead of traditional scalpels. Some vets believe that using laser technology during surgery helps to minimize the risk of infection and shorten the recovery time. This is because the laser beam vaporizes the cells and "cuts" through the tissues while simultaneously cauterizing the blood vessels.

Many vets feel that the benefits of laser spaying are:

  • Decreased levels of pain in the immediate post-operative period.
  • Reduced bleeding to the cauterization of blood vessels as the laser beam cuts through the tissues.
  • Decreased risk of infection due to the superheating of the tissues at the incision site which helps destroy bacteria present during surgery.
  • There is less swelling at the surgical site.

By using lasers, surgeons can achieve great accuracy in their operations. However, laser surgery is not completely safe, similar to traditional surgery using a scalpel. Although laser surgery can be less painful than traditional surgery, it still carries the risk of pain and bleeding (although this is rare).

Traditional Spaying

While some vets may prefer the use of lasers to perform surgeries, others still prefer to use a scalpel. Vets use scalpels for many procedures and are skilled at doing so. It's also important to note that spaying is among the most common veterinary surgeries, and most vets become skilled at spaying.

Benefits of traditional spay include:

  • Readily available at most veterinary hospitals.
  • It often costs less than laser spaying.

It is rare for hemorrhage to occur during a spaying surgery performed by a skilled veterinary surgeon. Additionally, using a laser instead of a scalpel does not prevent or stop the type of bleeding that can occur as a complication during the procedure.

To minimize the risk of complications during the spaying surgery, choosing a trustworthy veterinarian and animal hospital is important.

When scheduling your pet's spaying surgery, ask your vet about the risks associated with the procedure as well as the recovery process.

Helping Your Pet Recover Comfortably From Spay Surgery

Whether you choose to have your pet laser spayed or traditionally spayed your pet will need some time to recover.

Here are tips for a safe and comfortable recovery:

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

If you notice any redness, swelling, or discharge at the site of your pet's surgery or if the incision has opened up, it's important to contact your veterinarian immediately. Additionally, if your pet is behaving lethargically, has a decreased appetite, is vomiting or has diarrhea, or if you have any other concerns following their spay surgery, you should also get in touch with your vet. 

It's important to remember that the benefits of spaying your pet far outweigh the risks involved in the surgery. If you have any concerns about the risks of spaying your female animal, it's best to contact your vet for further information and their recommendations on which type of spaying is right for your pet.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If you are ready to have your pet spayed, contact our Pittsboro vets today to book an appointment.

Welcoming New Patients

Our vets at Hope Crossing Animal Hospital are now accepting new patients! Our talented veterinary team is passionate about caring for the pets of Pittsboro. Contact us today to book your first appointment. 

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