Endoscopy allows a visual examination of the upper and lower G.I. system, the airways and bronchi of the lungs, the nasal passages and the bladder. It also provides an opportunity to obtain biopsy samples, remove foreign material, remove polyps and collect cytology specimens. It is an important resource in the diagnosis of G.I. disease including IBD, airway diseases such as asthma as well as many other forms of disease. Samples can also be collected for bacterial culture and sensitivity. An endoscope has a long flexible tube made up of fiber optic filaments that conduct light to the tip (up to 1.4 meters away) and collect the image from the tip and conduct it back to the monitor. This allows the doctor to look directly at things that would otherwise be impossible to see without major surgery. In some cases biopsies (small pieces of tissue) may be taken with tiny forceps and sent to the laboratory. Taking biopsies is painless and safe.
Preparation for Endoscopy
To allow a clear view, the gastrointestinal system must be completely empty, so it is important that the patient does not eat or drink anything for a pre-determined amount of time. This amount of time will depend on the type of test. For example, lower gastrointestinal exams (colonoscopy) exams require longer fasts and multiple enemas. You will be asked to bring your pet into the clinic at a pre-determined time, and the rest of the preparations (enemas, etc.) will be done with the clinic staff.
Please consult the doctor as to instructions on taking current medications prior to the exam.
All veterinary endoscopies are done under anesthesia. All patients are on heart and respiration monitors and will be maintained on inhalant anesthetics and oxygen.
The procedures will last somewhere between 30 and 45 minutes for a complete exam. Images will be taken during the endoscopy that can be used to discuss the findings. If biopsies are taken, the procedure may take longer.
After the Test
Your pet will be in normal post operative recovery and after a few hours most patients are able to go home.
The endoscopy report will be available immediately and discussed with you in detail. If biopsies have been taken, these will take several days to process.