Keyhole Spay - Less pain 

We recommend that all female dogs are spayed (neutered) unless you wish to breed from them.

We spay by keyhole surgery, as it's much less painful than an 'old style' spay.

(Please note: that clinics who offer spays using "small incisions that are just like keyhole surgery" are NOT offering a keyhole procedure, they are still using their hands inside the body, pulling and tearing tissues and doing an 'old-style' spay). If in any doubt, you should ask your clinic if they are performing a keyhole procedure or an old-style one.



Why Spay?


  • Prevents unwanted pregnancies - a litter of puppies will take up time and money, the bitch may require a caesarian section, puppies may require support and hand-feeding.

  • A female dog of any age is at risk of a serious infection of the womb (pyometra) - this risk is eliminated by spaying.

  • The womb can also become cancerous later in life.

  • Research shows that spaying before the first season can reduce the chance of mammary tumours (breast cancer).

Please talk to us about the best time to spay your dog, this can be done from five months old.

What Happens in a Spay?

  • A spay procedure removes both ovaries and the womb (uterus), so that there is no possibility of pregnancy 

  • Your dog will have a pre-op assessment by one of our vets, and you will be given instructions for the day of the procedure

  • The procedure is carried out under a general anaesthetic

  • She will normally go home the same day



Why a Keyhole Spay?

Just as in human surgery, we prefer a minimally invasive approach too!


Small incisions, with the procedure carried out delicately, and using state of the art camera-guided instruments, is much better than the old-fashioned way of surgeons using our hands to pull and tear the delicate tissues around the ovary. 

An old-style spay is a particularly painful procedure, because on order to remove the ovaries, the ligament that connects the ovaries to the body must be torn using the surgeons fingers. This ligament is attached near to the diaphragm, and is very sensitive, this is the main cause of pain during and after the procedure. At Woodham Lane Vets, we don't do this.

When the internal organs are handled and exposed to the air - as happens in an old-style spay, you see additional inflammation. This doesn't happen in a key-hole spay.

In our spays, our patients recover much faster, and often don't even realise they've had an operation!

Your dog will have two small wounds, which are covered using specialist dressings, and she will go home in a t-shirt (we don't like to use buster collars unless absolutely necessary).

Keyhole spay compared to traditional spay:

  1. Reduces post-operative pain 

  2. Reduces infection risk

  3. Reduces inflammation in the abdomen, because no hands enter to handle the tissues

  4. Quicker healing time as the incisions are so tiny

  5. Recovery within 2-3 days rather than 10-14 days

  6. We can also look around the whole abdomen during the spay, to check that everything looks ok

  7. In large breed dogs, we can perform a preventative gastropexy (to prevent GDV's) at the same time as spay. We can also perform a gastropexy as a routine preventative procedure.

If you have any questions about a keyhole spay, or gastropexy, please contact us and one of vets will be happy to talk to you.

Girl Hugging her Dog