Skip to Main Content
Ask About Financing

Laparoscopic Spay for Dogs & Cats

Having your female dog or cat spayed is a responsible and loving decision. Thanks to advancements in vet care, several safe options are available. Our San Diego vets are here to discuss laparoscopic spay procedures for cats and dogs.

What is laparoscopic spay surgery?

Laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive procedure where a tiny camera called a laparoscope is inserted into the abdomen to provide a visual guide for the surgeon. In veterinary medicine, a laparoscopic spay is also known as keyhole, endoscopic, or video surgery, and it allows veterinarians to get a clear view of your pet's reproductive system and internal organs. During the surgery, the veterinarian makes two small incisions in the abdomen and places ports for the cameras and surgical equipment to perform the procedure.

Laparoscopic Spay Technique

During laparoscopic spaying, veterinary surgeons typically make one to three small incisions along the abdominal body wall. They then insert a camera and surgical instruments through these incisions to carry out the procedure.

CO2 gas is introduced into your pet's abdomen to enhance the visibility of internal organs and structures. The surgeon uses the camera to navigate the internal area and transmits the images digitally to a screen in the operating room.

This enables the veterinary surgeon to complete the procedure without physically entering the abdominal cavity. Once the blood vessels are sealed, the surgeon carefully removes the ovaries of your cat or dog.

The Difference Between Laparoscopic and Traditional Spay Surgery

A laparoscopic spay requires two small incisions, whereas a traditional spay requires a two to four-inch long incision. Compare that to a lap spay, which requires two separate incisions, each one-fifth-inch to two-fifth-inch long. You can see why laparoscopy is considered less invasive.

In a laparoscopic spay, only the ovaries are removed. Fewer surgical cuts are made to the pet's reproductive organs, which means less bleeding and trauma.

Your dog benefits from a laparoscopic spay compared to a traditional spay in the following ways:

  • Lowered post-op pain
  • Less bruising at the surgical site
  • Less trauma to organs
  • Fewer complications from surgery
  • Enhanced ability for veterinarians to note other problems

Research has shown that animals undergoing the laparoscopic procedure feel 65% less pain than with a traditional spay. The surgery time is shorter, and there is generally less bleeding. Due to smaller incisions, recovery occurs typically in half the time compared to post-operative timeframes for an open spay operation. Recovery includes faster wound and skin healing and a quicker return to normal activity.

While some vets may prefer lasers for traditional spay surgery, others still prefer a scalpel. Vets use scalpels for many procedures and are skilled at them. It's also important to note that spaying is among the most common veterinary surgeries, and most vets become very skilled at it.

Benefits of traditional spay include:

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

Hemorrhage is not common when a skilled veterinary surgeon spays a pet, and the type of bleeding that can occur as a complication during spays cannot be stopped or prevented by using a laser rather than a scalpel.

By choosing a reputable vet and an animal hospital that you trust, the risks of complications due to the spaying surgery (whether laser or traditional) should be minimal. When you book an appointment to have your pet spayed, be sure to ask your vet about the risks of surgery and the recovery process.

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 spayed before their first heat have a reduced risk for malignant mammary tumors later in life.

Spaying also helps to reduce your cat's chances of developing uterine infections and cancers of the reproductive organs.

Spaying can reduce undesirable behaviors in female cats, including increased and overly intense affection, rubbing on objects, marking territory with urine, desiring to wander, and heat-induced howling.

Spaying Dogs

Spaying your dog before her first heat can help her to 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 who are not spayed typically go into heat every six months for approximately two to four weeks. While your female dog is in heat, she will excrete a bloody vaginal discharge and may seem edgy, clingy, or jumpy.

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 San Diego animal hospital today to book a consultation and learn about your options.

New Patients Welcome

San Diego Bay Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of San Diego companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

Contact Us

Book Online (619) 481-3007