Minimally invasive procedures (or MIP) are generally defined as “procedures that are performed in a manner that causes as little trauma to the patient as possible”.
Over the last several years, minimally invasive procedures have become one of the most rapidly growing areas of treatment in both human as well as veterinary medicine. In fact, minimally invasive options are now considered the standard of care in human medicine. Minimally invasive procedures almost always involve the use of small cameras and instruments, and can involve both rigid and flexible scopes. Regardless of the type of scope, minimally invasive procedures have been proven to significantly reduce recovery times after surgery as well as overall post-operative discomfort in both humans and animals. Minimally invasive options have been available in veterinary medicine for a number of years now, but have generally been restricted to specialty/referral centers. More recently, the benefits of minimally invasive procedures have been appreciated in general practice and a select number of veterinarians have begun offering it in their clinics.
Surgical sterilization of the female dog, commonly referred to as spaying, is one of the most significant aspects of female dog care an owner can provide. The benefits to the dog far outweigh simply not having puppies, though as pet over-population looms as a societal problem, it is important to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.
Spaying involves removal of the uterus and ovaries. It is a major surgery but a commonly performed one, ideally performed while a female dog is still in puppyhood, prior to her first heat cycle.
Here Are all the Reasons you should Spay your Female Dog
Mammary Cancer Prevention.A female dog spayed before her first heat will have a near zero chance of developing mammary cancer.After the first heat, this incidence climbs to 7% and after the second heat the risk is 25% (one in four!). It is easy to see that an early spay can completely prevent what is frequently a very difficult and potentially fatal form of cancer.
Aside from helping control the current overpopulation of dogs, neutering a pet dog generally makes for a healthier dog and a better pet. Neutered dogs tend to live longer and have fewer behavior problems (see below). They are less likely to be relinquished to the shelter and do not contribute to over-crowding in community animal shelters with their off-spring. The local government is more interested in having fewer roaming dogs that could be dangerous and having less burden on the animal services budget. Pet owners are more interested in having a well-behaved and long-lived family pet.
What are the Health Benefits to the Dog?
There are several health benefits to neutering. One of the most important concerns the prostate gland, which under the influence of testosterone will gradually enlarge over the course of the dog’s life. By age five years, it is usually significantly enlarged in an unneutered male dog. As the dog continues to age, his prostate is likely to become uncomfortable, possibly being large enough to interfere with defecation. The prostate under the influence of testosterone is also predisposed to infection, which is almost impossible to clear up without neutering. Neutering causes the prostate to shrink into insignificance, thus preventing both prostatitis as well as the uncomfortable benign hyperplasia (enlargement) that occurs with aging. It is often erroneously held that neutering prevents prostate cancer but this is not true; neuter benefits on the prostate are about preventing enlargement and infection.
Other health benefits of neutering include the prevention of certain types of hernias and tumors of the testicles and anus. Excessive preputial discharge is also reduced by neutering.
What Behavioral Changes Can be Expected After Neutering?
Numerous studies on the behavioral effects of neutering have been performed evaluating playfulness, fear of strangers, territorial aggression, mounting, urine-marking, roaming and other behaviors. The behaviors that are most consistently altered after neutering are inappropriate mounting, urine marking, and fighting. These behaviors were significantly reduced or completely eliminated in 50-60 percent of male dogs after neutering. Most pet owners look forward to curtailing these actions and thereby improving their relationship with the dog.
What Exactly is Done Surgically?
An incision is made, generally just forward from the scrotum. The testicles are removed through this incision. The stalks are tied off and cut. Castration is achieved. If the testicles are not removed, the desirable benefits listed above cannot be realized. The skin incision may or may not have stitches.
We perform many types of soft tissue surgeries at our clinic. Soft tissue surgeries are those that are not associated with bone. These surgeries can provide many benefits to pets.
Probably the most common soft tissue surgery performed on pets is the removal of masses, or lumps. Most of these masses, once removed and tested, are found to be benign (nonharmful); however, occasionally they are more serious. Early removal and accurate diagnosis of a lump is necessary to improve the outcome in your pet if the mass is cancerous.
If your dog suffers from frequent ear infections, surgical intervention can reduce their occurrence by improving airflow into the ear canal.
Surgery can also help resolve several problems related to the eyes. Tearing in your pet’s eyes can mean an infection is present or may be a sign that the cornea (outer layer of the eye) has been damaged. Surgery may allow the cornea to heal faster with less scarring, improving your pet’s ability to see. In some pets, the eyelashes may actually damage the cornea. Surgical intervention improves comfort in these pets, reduces the chances of corneal scarring, and enhances the pet’s vision in the long term.
Please contact us if you’d like to discuss how soft tissue surgery might be able to help your pet.