What Is A Keyhole Spay For Dogs

What Is A Keyhole Spay For Dogs? [101 Guide]

Keyhole spaying is performed using a laparoscope. It is a small camera that is inserted into the abdomen to see the uterus and ovaries. It is inserted by making 2-3 incisions in the tummy.

Afterwards, an electrosurgical device is used to recover ovaries and seal the vessels. Keyhole spay is very beneficial for large breed dogs and puppies above 9 Years.

Although the uterus remains there, still the dog has all the advantages of spaying. This means a reduced risk of cancer, ovary infection, etc.

Why should I get my dog spayed?

There are various benefits of spaying. Most veterinarians advise you to spay your canine. It also eliminates the chance of the canine getting pregnant. Moreover, spaying prevents life-threatening uterine infections known as pyometra.

Therefore, it is advised to get your canine spayed to mitigate future problems. Other advantages include:

  • Prevention of heat cycle
  • Reduces separation anxiety
  • Prevents breast cancer
  • Lives longer
  • Prevents pyometra
  • Eliminates the risk of ovarian cancer and uterine
What Is A Keyhole Spay For Dogs

Is spaying performed for any other reason?

The operation can be performed for various medical conditions. These include:

  • Dystocia
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Phantom pregnancy

What are the potential disadvantages?

The general consensus presently is that spaying will increase the lifespan of a canine. There are a few clinical studies that have cautioned the extended dangers of certain health conditions. Despite that research, spaying is taken into consideration to be a high-quality alternative for the general health and longevity of your canine. Potential risks include:

  • Spaying a canine will lessen her metabolism; however, weight problems result from overfeeding and lack of physical activity.
  • Spaying large breed puppies before bone growth have been related to an increased chance of cruciate ligament tear.
  • Spaying before adulthood can be associated with an extended chance of certain behaviours inclusive of noise phobia.
  • Urinary incontinence

Keyhole spay vs traditional spay

Keyhole spay

We have already talked about the keyhole spay. Still, we can summarize it in the following points –

  • 2 small incisions are made
  • It is less invasive
  • Only ovaries are removed
  • Few surgical cuts are required
  • Less bleeding and trauma

Some of the major benefits of keyhole spaying include:

  • Fewer complications
  • Less post-op pain
  • Less trauma
  • Fewer bruises

According to some research, animals that undergo laparoscopic procedures feel 65% less pain than the traditional ones. Because of small incisions, there is a faster recovery. 

Traditional spay

Traditional spaying is a bit complicated. The vet removes the uterus and ovaries by making an incision just below the belly button. Both ovaries, uterus, and reproductive tract are removed. Then the site is closed with stitches that dissolve in the body over time. 

Benefits of traditional spay include-

  • Costs less than keyhole spaying
  • Available at most vet clinics

By choosing a good vet, you can mitigate the risk of complications due to spaying. Moreover, always ask your vet about the risks involved and the recovery process.

How is the keyhole spay performed?

  • The keyhole spaying is performed through 2-3 incisions of 5-10mm. 
  • An endoscopic camera is inserted through the incisions into the tummy.
  • Through the camera, vets can see images on the monitor to remove the ovaries in the tummy.  It is known as ovariectomy.
  • The ideal weight for this surgery is between 10 kg – 35 kg. 
  • Moreover, larger dogs can also be considered depending on fitness and age. 

Pros and cons:

There are pros and cons to everything. Moreover, these can help the parent to decide whether to go for keyhole spaying or not. Here are some of the common pros and cons of keyhole spaying.


  • It heals quickly and the canine returns to normal function faster.
  • Fewer stitches
  • Reduced scarring


  • Not suitable for small dogs
  • Longer surgical time
  • Larger fur clip
  • complications

How much is a laparoscopic spay operation?

8-10 kg470-500 USD
10.1-25 kg600-700 USD
25.1 kg+700-750 USD

3 Facts About Laparoscopic or Keyhole Spay for Dogs

Dvm360 says that 54.5% of people with canines feel that traditional spaying is the best. However, many people are requesting laparoscopic or keyhole spaying. If you are confused between the two, learn about these 3 amazing facts about keyhole spaying. 

Keyhole spay is less invasive

Your canine will have a large incision in a traditional spay. In the case of keyhole spaying, there are 2 small incisions. Both of them are ⅕ to ⅖ inches long. Moreover, your canine gets benefits like –

  • Fewer bruises
  • Few complications
  • Less post-op pain
  • Fast recovery

Keyhole spaying gives enhanced views

Keyhole spaying gives the vet an opportunity to view the canine’s internal organs and reproductive system. For a better view, vets fill the canine’s abdomen with CO2. The image guides the vet throughout the surgery. 

Moreover, the enhanced view allows the vet to spay the canine with more precision. This is because of the magnified view of the surgical site. When the vet is able to see all the vessels and organs, it is safer for your canine as well. 

A keyhole Spay Removes Only the Ovaries

In traditional spaying, the vet removes the uterus as well as the ovaries. This can be very painful. However, in keyhole spaying, only the ovaries are removed. This means that there is less bleeding and less trauma. 

Keyhole Spay Recovery

One of the best benefits of the keyhole spay is that the recovery time is almost half. As it is less invasive, the skin and wound heal faster. Once your canine is discharged from the hospital, you must make her rest in a calm place.

They require some time to recover from abdominal soreness. Moreover, canines also need to pee more often on the first day of giving normal fluids. Also, provide light and nutritious food during the recovery phase. 

Do not let your canine chew or lick the incision area. Also, check the area for swelling or redness. If you find any abnormality, talk to your vet about it. 

Is laparoscopic surgery covered by pet insurance?

In many cases, pet insurance treats keyhole spaying the same as traditional spaying. However, not all pet insurance companies cover the keyhole spaying procedure. Therefore it is better to check the policy before buying any. 

What other procedures are candidates for laparoscopic surgery?

Laparoscopic surgery for dogs is used for procedures like

  • Stomach-tacking
  • Intestinal biopsies
  • Liver biopsies
  • Bladder surgery
  • Arthroscopic surgery

Final words

In conclusion, I would say that keyhole spaying is better than the traditional spaying method. Though it is a bit expensive, it ensures the safety of your dog. Therefore, if you do not have budget issues, you must go for laparoscopic spaying surgery.

I hope you enjoyed the article. I will be back soon with more informative and interesting pieces of writing. Till then, stay connected. Thank you. 

Frequently asked questions

Is keyhole spaying better?

Yes, it is better. Moreover, it is less painful, and quicker compared to traditional spaying procedures. There is no problem in leaving the uterus inside the body. Additionally, your canine will recover soon.

Why is keyhole surgery more expensive?

This is because it requires special equipment and a specialist surgeon. Moreover, the equipment is costly to buy and maintain. Therefore, it takes more experience, training, and expertise.

What are the two main methods of spaying?

The most effective types of spaying are keyhole spaying and traditional spaying. Laparoscopic surgery has many advantages over conventional one. Significant benefits include a smaller incision, which results in quicker healing and up to 65% less post-operative discomfort. better surgeon visibility, which reduces complications like bleeding and shortens the time spent under anaesthesia.

Is keyhole surgery painful after?

For a few days after the surgery, the canine will feel some discomfort and pain when the cuts are made. Therefore, the vet will provide painkillers to ease the pain and make your canine feel good.