Rain is a gorgeous 6 month old Great Dane puppy. She was adopted from a breeder knowing that she was deaf but that does not stop her from being a cheeky, fun loving girl that she is. She was due for desexing and her owner chose to have the procedure done via laproscopy.
With a laproscopy procedure, a general anaesthetic is still necessary but instead of a midline incision covering the expanse of her abdomen, Rain would only need a small 1cm incision near her umbilicus and a 0.75cm on her midline. A camera was introduced into the larger hole and the instruments introduced in the other. The ovaries were removed and the vessels cauterised. This technique means that her uterus remains in situ. Since the source of the hormones are removed then it remains inert therefore there is no chance of the uterus becoming infected later in life.
As Rain is a very large, deep chested dog, her owner also elected to have a gastropexy performed at the same time. This is a precautionary procedure where one side of the stomach is tacked permanently onto the inside of the abdominal wall thus preventing the possibility of the stomach twisting, a life threatening condition known as Gastric Dilation Volvulus.
All this through two tiny holes in the skin and abdomen! Rain's owner was ecstatic that the procedure went so smoothly and successfully as well as how quickly Rain recovered. Since the surgical sites were so small, a single suture in each location was all that was needed to close the skin. This meant that there was minimal discomfort to Rain post operatively. She still needed an Elizabethan collar for a few days but by the end of the first week the healing was near complete.
Laproscopic procedures are commonplace in human medicine but is a relatively new technique in veterinary medicine in Australia. At Pascoe Vale Veterinary Hospital we have the equipment and expertise available which is very exciting. Our veterinarians are all learning to use the new equipment. It is definitely an option to consider for your pet!