- Assemble the Dowling Spay Retractor by inserting the tapered end of the foot into the tapered socket and twist to seat firmly (like seating a needle on a syringe). The Retractor comes in two pieces for ease of packing with other instruments in a spay pack.
- Push the tip of the foot through the window in the broad ligament and around the ovarian pedicle to engage the curved part of the foot against the base of the pedicle.
- While pushing down on the skin and pulling up the ovary, clamp the hemostat near the ovary (that tough bit of tissue between the ovary and the tip of the uterine horn holds well).
- Apply ligatures (I use millers’ knots here and take advantage of the immobile tissues to get great knot security).
- Sever the pedicle, replace the retractor with another clamp and go on to the other side and uterine body.
- Some dogs have very deep chests which cause the body wall to be tightly strung between the Xiphoid and the Pubis. This tension can be lessened (making it easier to get the body wall down where you want it) if you tilt the pelvis cranial by tucking a towel, or ideally, a foam wedge under the tail head.