If your pet is being scheduled for an endoscopy, the goal is to diagnose potential diseases or conditions inside your pet's digestive tract. Here, our Upland vets discuss the endoscopy procedure and how it can help detect issues in your pet's digestive tract.
Endoscopies for Pets
Endoscopes are flexible tubes with viewing ports and/or video cameras that are inserted through the mouth into the stomach or the rectum into the colon. The endoscope makes it possible to examine the interiors of these hollow organs.
An endoscopy will aid in the diagnosis of strictures, abnormal cells, or tumors, as well as the removal of any foreign objects that may be present.
The Endoscopy Procedure Process
Before a gastrointestinal endoscopy, your pet will need to be free of all foods and feces. Depending on the internal location of the endoscope inspection, your pet will need to fast for 12 to 18 hours to clear its system. Before the procedure, at least one enema may be required.
Because an endoscopy allows for a comprehensive examination of the esophagus, stomach, intestinal tract, and/or colon, your pet will be sedated during the procedure. The endoscope will be inserted via the mouth or rectum into the stomach or intestinal tract of your pet and advanced to visualize the required area.
If a biopsy or foreign body removal is required, an additional device can be passed through the endoscope to perform other procedures as needed.
Diseases That Can Be Diagnosed With an Endoscopy
Endoscopy enables your veterinarian to examine your pet's esophagus, stomach, and small intestine or colon. The observer is able to identify abnormalities such as inflammation, abnormal swelling, scarring, and strictures (abnormal constriction). Also, precise biopsies can be performed on any abnormal regions. These samples consist of microscopic tissue fragments extracted from the organ's lining by the biopsy instrument.
Diagnosing Cancer With an Endoscopy
Using the endoscope, your veterinarian can frequently diagnose cancer of the gastrointestinal tract. However, some tumors do not affect the mucosa or inner lining of the stomach or colon. In these instances, the results of the biopsy are normal, but the animal continues to exhibit clinical signs.
Biopsies obtained through exploratory surgery (exploratory laparotomy) or non-invasive tests such as an MRI may be required.
Your Pet's Recovery
After the sedation wears off, the majority of animals will recover quickly from their endoscopy. As soon as they are awake and responsive following the procedure, they should be able to return home and rest.
Depending on what the endoscopy was for, your pet may be able to resume play and eating very quickly.
Following Your Cat or Dog's Endoscopy
If a biopsy was performed during the procedure, the results may take up to a week to arrive. Your veterinarian will now contact you to discuss treatment options. If the endoscopy is for diagnostic purposes, your veterinarian will discuss your options with you. If the procedure was to find and remove a foreign object, you and your pet should be able to resume normal activities immediately after the endoscopy and waking from anesthesia.