My bitch needs spaying

What happens during the operation?

Did you ever wonder what happens to your bitch once she goes through the consulting room door to be spayed? In this little article I want to give you a picture tour of Candy’s experience.

Candy's owner brings her into the surgery

Candy and her owner have arrived at the surgery in the morning for her big day. Both are a little anxious. We examine Candy to make sure there are no problems and explain the operation in detail to the owner. Then it is time to say good-bye and we take Candy into the back of the surgery.

Candy with her owner prior to the operation

About ½ hour before the operation Candy will get a sedative and two painkiller injection. Two painkillers numb the pain much more effectively then just one. Candy is a lot more relaxed, but still a little anxious about the situation. Veterinary nurse Andrea is making her as comfortable as possible.

an anaesthetic is injected

We then inject an anaesthetic drug into her vein.

a tube is placed into the windpipe

This makes Candy very sleepy and allows us to place a tube into her windpipe to give her further anaesthetic drugs and oxygen to keep her nicely asleep and pain free during the operation.

a pulse oximeter is placed on the tongue

Monitoring the anaesthesia is a very important part of the operation. Our experienced staff makes sure Candy is safely anaesthetized. We do use additional monitoring devices like this pulse oximeter on the tongue.

the monitor display

It shows us the pulse rate (green number) and the level of oxygen in the blood (red figure). This tells us that Candy is breathing well and has plenty of oxygen in her blood.

Candy is moved to the operating theatre

Candy’s tummy is then clipped and she is moved from the preparation room to the operating theatre.

Candy's skin is cleaned

Here her skin is cleaned and disinfected to make sure she does not get and infection.

drapes are placed on Candy's body

Drapes are placed on her body except for the area of the incision.

a set of surgical instruments

All instruments are prepared and surgery can start. A small incision is made and both ovaries and the uterus are removed.

the wound is closed

We try to close the wound with sutures that a buried under the skin, but this is not always possible. The only sign of a fairly big abdominal operation is a small suture line.

Candy sitting up after surgery

A few hours after surgery Candy is sitting up and still looking quite sleepy. We leave her in peace and quiet in the kennel, but check her vital signs regularly.

Candy being collected by her owner

In the evening Candy’s very relieved owner comes and picks her up after her day out at the vets. We will check Candy again after 7 to 10 days or if the owner has any worries. Stitches usually do not need removal. Most spays are fairly straightforward and they make us forget what a big operation this is for a bitch. Candy will be a little tired and sore for a few days, but most of our patients recover surprisingly fast. Women after a similar procedure are off work for up to 3 months.



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The RCVS accredited practice logo, which indicates that the practice has passed an independent inspection.

This means high standards of care for animals and peace of mind for animal owners.

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