Surgeon: Dr. Vanessa Pisano, DVM
Medical Director, VCA North Springs Animal Hospital
Coral Springs, Florida
Assisted by: Dr. Sharon Sernik, DVM
Owner, Westmonte Animal Clinic
Altamonte Springs, Florida
Performed at: Westmonte Animal Clinic
Photography: Joanne “Bella” Hodges
Text: V. Pisano & J. Hodges
Click on a photo to enlarge it.
This is the surgical table. In order to conserve body heat during surgery a circulating hot water blanket is used. A towel has been laid over it so that the rat is never in direct contact with the heat source.
Using a canine mask, isoflurane gas is introduced in order to anesthetize the rat.
Once the rat is unconscious a rodent face mask is used to administer the anesthesia.
The rat is shaved from the brim of the pelvis to the umbilicus. The surgeon is pointing to the brim of the pelvis.
The abdominal markings show the brim of the pelvis and the approximate incision site.
The assistant has placed her thumb and forefinger on the rats chest to monitor heart rate and respiration.
The surgical site has been prepped with three Betadine scrubs and one alcohol scrub. Typically, during veterinary surgery, there are multiple alcohol scrubs. However, when performing surgery on rats the surgeon prefers one alcohol scrub to minimize loss of body heat.
The skin incision has been made. The surgeon has tented the abdominal wall and is using a scalpel to incise the midline.
The abdominal wall has been opened and a spay hook is being used to pull up one of the uterine horns.
Once the surgeon has pulled the uterine horn to the surface it is followed cranially to reach the ovary. Care must be taken when manipulating the ovary because the ovarian vessels are very delicate (friable) and can tear easily.
When the ovary is reached the ovarian vessels are clamped.
The surgeon is incising (fenestrating) the broad ligament in order to pass through a suture.
The surgeon is preparing to tie the suture.
The first suture has been placed below the ovary.
The ovarian vessels have been cut below the ovary. The ovary is now attached only to the uterine horn.
The second uterine horn is being followed to the ovary.
The surgeon has incised the broad ligament on the second uterine horn and is preparing to clamp below the ovary.
The suture is being placed around the ovarian vessels.
Both ovaries have now been freed from their attachments.
A suture has been placed around the body of the uterus.
The uterine horns have been removed.
The surgeon is suturing the abdominal wall in a simple continuous pattern.
The surgeon is now closing the subcuticular layer still using the simple continuous pattern.
A photo of the rat after her completed spay procedure.