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In the event of a veterinary emergency or illness, pet endoscopy for cats and dogs is an important diagnostic tool for identifying and treating health problems. An endoscopy is a long, flexible tube with a tiny camera affixed to the tip. Within the tube is a thin channel that allows for a variety of instruments to pass securely through the tube. Endoscopic exams are typically used to diagnose and identify internal health problems affecting the throat, stomach, intestines, colon or respiratory system. Using the camera as a guide, our emergency veterinarian can safely biopsy affected tissue and analyze this tissue to determine the nature of the disease affecting a pet.
At Emergency Animal Hospital of Northwest Austin, our veterinary care team perform an endoscopic exam when routine blood tests, urine tests, ultrasound exams or X-rays fail to effectively identify the underlying cause for a pet’s health problem. Endoscopic exams are minimally invasive procedures and are a safe alternative to exploratory surgery. Endoscopic exams are typically not recommended in the case of intestinal foreign objects or mid-intestinal illnesses. Endoscopic exams will revel if a foreign body is present within the stomach and guide the performance of biopsies. These tests are beneficial for identifying suspicious or abnormal cell growths within the colon, respiratory tract and digestive tract.
In order to perform pet endoscopy for dogs or cats, our veterinarian will place your pet under general anesthesia. Next, we will place a breathing tube in place to aid your pet’s respiration. Finally, we will lubricate the tip of the endoscopic tube and enter the pet’s body through an opening such as the mouth, colon or trachea, depending on the internal location that requires examining.
In many cases, our veterinary care team will already have performed ultrasound diagnostic testing, and while these results may not have conclusively determined the cause for your pet’s condition, we will use the test images to guide the endoscopic examination. Our endoscopic exam operator will use the tip of the eyepiece to guide the tube through the pet’s body, such as the gastrointestinal tract. If necessary, a biopsy of suspicious cellular tissues will also be performed. Using the eyepiece and manipulating the tip of the endoscopic tube provides maximum control during all parts of the diagnostic exam.
Since the endoscopic exam is performed under full anesthesia, the exam itself is not painful. However, your pet may experience slight discomfort following the procedure. Slight discomfort may also be caused by the insertion of the breathing tube; this will vary from pet to pet. Our goal with all our pet patients is to perform this exam with minimal discomfort. Your pet’s safety is our primary goal.
Thanks to endoscopic procedures, our emergency veterinary team is best able to diagnose internal health problems affecting your pet, especially suspicious cellular growths that may be cancerous. Early diagnosis with pet endoscopy expands veterinary care options for your pet.