Endoscopy is a modern, minimally-invasive technique for detecting and examining conditions within various orifices, including the gastrointestinal (GI) system, the lungs and trachea, the nasal cavity, and the middle ear in dogs and cats. In some cases, it can also be used to retrieve samples and remove foreign bodies. At VHA in Winter Haven, we’re pleased to offer this service to our patients. An endoscopic procedure allows for greater accuracy in diagnosing certain underlying conditions, which are often hard to detect with a regular physical exam and blood work.
What is an Endoscope?
An endoscope is a long flexible or rigid (the type depends on the procedure required) tube with a camera and light mounted on the end. Via the endoscope camera, we can view the inside of your pet’s lower or upper GI tract, their lungs and trachea, or various other passages within the body in real time and in remarkable detail.
Additional uses for the endoscope include obtaining biopsy samples and removing ingested foreign bodies. This saves us from having to perform invasive exploratory surgery, which puts more stress on the patient and requires around 7-10 days of recuperation.
Is Cat and Dog Endoscopy Painful for Pets?
Endoscopic procedures generally cause no discomfort in dogs or cats. All pets must be sedated for their procedure, but, due to the minimally-invasive nature of this technique, there will be no damage to any of your pet’s tissues. In the event of a biopsy retrieval, a tiny instrument is passed through the endoscope and used to carefully remove small tissue samples, but no major cutting or bruising is involved.
Once the procedure is over, your pet will awaken from anesthesia and be able to return to their regular lifestyle as soon as they return home.
Common Indications of Endoscopy
Cat and dog endoscopy can help us investigate and address a wide variety of problems, including:
- Chronic vomiting/diarrhea
- Breathing difficulties
- Abnormalities like inflammation, swelling, and scarring
- Diseases of the stomach and intestine
- Foreign bodies
- Tumors in the GI tract