When the dog owner is well
informed, a spay operation in the
female dog can be a very smooth
operation taking less than 30
Today was such a day. The
Miniature Schnauzer, born in Dec
3, 2005 was on heat 4 months ago.
She was spayed today Nov 23, 2007
as the owner was advised to do so
3-4 months after heat and she made
the appointment at the 4th month.
My assistant Mark talked to the
dog as he put the face mask over
her muzzle. She did not struggle
and went to sleep under 8% gas
anaesthesia within 10 minutes. No
tranquilisation was needed. I
inserted the endotracheal tube to
connect her lungs to the
anaesthetic machine, maintained
the anaesthesia at 1.5%.
incision was 2.5 cm from the
umbilicus. A 1-cm cut into the
skin and the linea alba to access
the internal organs of the womb
and ovaries. I inserted the spay
hook into the abdomen by turning
it towards my right at 45 degrees
It hooked out the left
uterine horn. I pulled the left
ovarian ligament. The dog started
to breath much faster as she felt
the pain. My assistant increased
the gas to 8% for a minute so that
the dog had more gas to remove the
pain of surgery. The minimal
amount of gas given will lead to
no deaths and that was why I used
No more rapid breathing observed.
I cut the ovarian ligament with
the scalpel. Clamped the ovarian
stump. Ligated the stump.
Then I pulled the left uterine
horn totally out of the body and
saw the right uterine horn at the
uterine body junction popping out.
I used forceps to pull it out.
there, I accessed the right
ovarian ligament and repeated the
same procedure as with the left.
No bleeding. The blood was normal
red with oxygen. The dog was
breathing regularly. Finally, I
took out the uterine body, clamped
and ligated it. It was let go into
The skin and muscles were stitched
up. The gas anaesthesia was
switched off as I stitched the
skin. No bleeding from the ovarian
and uterine tissues at all as the
dog was no longer on heat.
The dog woke up smoothly after 3
minutes. An Elizabeth collar was
given to prevent licking of wound.
Overall, this was a dream spay. It
was the most satisfying spay I had
ever done as everything proceeded
smoothly, there was no bleeding
and therefore the surgical time
taken was less than 30 minutes.
The dog woke up by the last stitch
as I had the gas reduced to 0%
during stitching which is usually
one horizontal mattress stitch.
She went home without
complications post-operation as
the owner did not phone me nor
came for stitch removal, thus
saving time for him.
QUESTIONS THE OWNER ASKED:
1. Bathe the dog? Yes, but make
sure the plaster is not wet.
2. Can the dog eat any food? Yes.
3. When to come back to remove the
stitches. No need. The absorbable
stitches will dissolve and fall
off in 14-28 days.
4. When to remove plaster? 7 days
5. Can give antibiotic and
pain-killer tablets crushed and
mixed with water inside a syringe?
UPDATE IN JULY 2011
ANAESTHESIA IN TOA PAYOH VETS
A new isoflurane vaporiser has
been installed in July 2011.
Maximum is 5%. The dog is usually
sedated with xylazine or domitor
before isoflurane gas is given by
mask and then intubation.
USE OF SUTURES IN SPAYING A
FEMALE DOG BY DR SING
For dogs in general, I find that
one packet of 2/0 absorbable
sutures is sufficient, even for
big breeds like the Siberian
Husky. From my over 30 years of
spaying dogs, I find that there is
no need to do a subcuticular
sutures. One horizontal mattress
suture closes the skin as shown
ADVICE TO NEW VETS
There are employee vets who use
two packets to spay a female dog
as they don't need to account for
In July 2011, I discovered a vet
of sutures (2 packets of "0"
chromic catgut and 2 packets of
"3/0" absorbable monofilament)
for a pyometra spay .
This is extravagance from this vet
who does not have to pay for the
sutures herself. There is a need
for a new vet to be prudent and to
keep surgery simple and safe for
the dog. In this case, 2
packets of sutures will be more
than sufficient to spay a pyometra
dog of a small breed and this
number will be what most vets are
expected to use.
Keep spay simple for the dog by
using minimal suturing. Less
sutures mean less irritation and
itchiness during healing. There is
no need for subcuticular
sutures. If you feel the need to
impress the client by using "subcutaneous"
sutures (sutures under the skin)
so that the client does NOT see
any sutures on the skin, you need
to have excellent stitching
skills. No point showing the
sutures or stitching another
appositional layer if you want to
impress the client.
A RARE CASE OF PYOMETRA IN A
VERY YOUNG FEMALE DOG Pyometra
in a very young female
Silkie Terrier is very rare
as this womb infection
occurs usually in female
dogs over 5 years of age. By
spaying her, the owner
prevents pyometra which can
cause death in some female