An endoscope is a flexible tube that has a camera attached to the end of it. This allows your veterinarian to view the inside of your pet’s body and evaluate the gastro-intestinal and respiratory systems without performing surgery. Among others, this tool is useful in diagnosing cases where there has been vomiting, diarrhea, or lack of appetite, chronic cough or discharge from the nose. It has also been used to locate foreign bodies, such as rocks, toys and hairballs. Sometimes the foreign body can be retrieved with the endoscope, avoiding the need for surgery. Also, biopsies can be taken of the intestinal tract which can give valuable information about changes on the inside of this system without the need for exploratory surgery.
A general anesthetic is needed to perform endoscopy: this means your animal would be put completely asleep. Aside from the recovery from anesthetic, recovery from endoscopy is much faster than exploratory surgeries which previously would have been used to find and retrieve foreign objects and get biopsies from the bowel. There are no incisions, no entering sterile body cavities, which means the risk of post-operative complications are very low.
If you think your animal might be a candidate for endoscopy, one of our veterinarians would be glad to chat with you.