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Date:   07 May, 2011  
Focus: Small animals - dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs & rabbits
 
Complications of Spay Surgeries
Dr Sing Kong Yuen, BVMS (Glasgow), MRCVS
Date:   07 May, 2011  
Case was first recorded: 09 July, 2009
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Cat Spay complications like stitch abscesses and breakdown do occur occasionally in some veterinary surgeries for all veterinarians. There are many causes. As the wounds may be large due to the cat's licking and biting, they will need to be sutured.

Wounds need to be cleaned and new skin edges need to be cut to enable new healing.  Remove subcuticular stitches (I don't place subcuticular stitches in my cat and dog spays) as these may have irritated the cat. The wound has to be enlarged (Z-plasty or otherwise) to get sufficient skin to appose.
 
  Cat bites, scratches spay wound for past 12 days. Wound infected.Toa Payoh Vets
Wound management. Spay wound infected by cat licking. Singapore. Toa Payoh Vets Wound management. Spay wound infected by cat licking. Singapore. Toa Payoh Vets
Wound management. Spay wound infected by cat licking. Singapore. Toa Payoh Vets Wound management. Spay wound infected by cat licking. Singapore. Toa Payoh Vets
  Spay complications happen to every vet.Toa Payoh Vets
Wound management and repair can be quite difficult in some cases as the hole in the skin is large and circular. More than one re-stitching may be required if the 2nd stitching breaks down.

1. Pain-killers (NSAID) will help in healing as these stop the cat from repeatedly attacking its surgical area.

2. My advice is NOT to use subcuticular sutures in cat and dog spay closure and I don't get any complaints of wound breakdowns in my past 20 years of practice spaying dogs and cats.

3. Simple interrupted stitches place 0.8 - 1.0 cm apart  apart are sufficient. For Golden Retrievers and big breeds, I find 1.0 cm spaced stitches sufficiently strong. I throw 5 knots per stitch and use absorbable 2/0 or 3/0.

4. There is no need to place them 0.2 -0.5 cm apart as done by some vets who believe that the more stitches, the more secure. In such cases, I note that the too many stitches cause intense skin inflammation and reactive licking of the wound.

5. I consider it unkind to cats and dogs if the vet uses NON-absorbable or nylon stitches to close up the muscle layers as these stitches persists for the life-span of the cat. This practice had been done by some senior vets in Singapore, most likely in the belief that there will be no stitch breakdown after spay as nylon does not dissolve and are more secure. The owner can feel the stitches under the skin. I did encounter some stitch abscess cases from nylon stitches done by other vets and had to remove them.

Singapore General Elections 2011. People Action's Party flags. Toa Payoh-Bishan GRC.6.  I hope the above tips are useful to the Y-generation vets in Singapore and to the new graduates starting practice. Your lecturers teach subcuticular stitches to close up dead space but in practice, these may cause intense irritation under the skin forcing to cat or dog to vigorously lick the wound.    

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