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Endoscopy For Pets

Endoscopy For Pets

If your dog has been showing uncomfortable signs of illness including vomiting and diarrhea, your vet may recommend scheduling them for an endoscopy. Today, our Lacey vets offer more information about diagnosing illness using endoscopy in our veterinary diagnostics laboratory.

What is an endoscope and what is endoscopy used for?

An endoscope is a flexible tube with a viewing port and/or a video camera attachment that is inserted through the mouth into the stomach or the rectum into the colon. The endoscope allows for the examination of the insides of these hollow organs.

Endoscopy at our vet lab can help with diagnosing a number of conditions and concerns including:

  • Strictures
  • Abnormal Cells
  • Tumors
  • Foreign Object Removal

What to expect from the endoscopy?

If your pet will be undergoing an endoscopy they will need to have their digestive system free of feces or food. This usually requires 12 to 18 hours of fasting in order to allow everything to pass through their system. Before the procedure, at least one enema may be required.

Because an endoscopy allows for a thorough examination of the esophagus, stomach, intestinal tract, and/or colon, your pet will be sedated throughout the procedure. The endoscope will be inserted through the mouth or the rectum into your pet's stomach or intestinal tract and advanced to visualize the required area.

If a biopsy or foreign body removal is required, the vet will be able to pass a small tool through with the camera and perform the removal along with the endoscopy within our veterinary laboratory.

How long does it take to get the results?

Your vet will be using the camera to look at the organs and internal functions of your pet in real-time which means that diagnosis can usually happen on the spot. However, the final diagnosis is usually determined by the pathologist's examination of the biopsies. Sometimes the result f these biopsies can take around a week.

What can endoscopy help to diagnose?

An endoscope allows you to see the esophagus, stomach, and upper part of the small intestine or colon in full color. The examiner can detect abnormalities such as inflammation, abnormal swelling, scarring, and strictures (abnormal narrowing). Any abnormal areas can also have precise biopsy samples taken. These samples are made up of tiny pieces of tissue cut from the organ's lining by the biopsy instrument.

Can endoscopy be used to diagnose cancer in pets?

Did you know that endoscopy can be used to diagnose cancer of the gastrointestinal tract? Some tumors, however, do not affect the stomach or colon's mucosa or inner lining. In these cases, the biopsy results are normal yet the pet continues to experience clinical signs. Biopsies obtained through exploratory surgery (exploratory laparotomy) or non-invasive tests such as an MRI may be required.

Is there a recovery period for pets that underwent an endoscopy?

You can expect a quick recovery from your pet after an endoscopy procedure at our vet lab. Your pet will need to awake from the sedation and you will be able to bring them home once they are up and moving.

Depending on what the endoscopy was for, your pet may be able to resume play and eating very quickly. If the endoscopy results in a biopsy, it may take up to a week for the pathology report. If the endoscopy is for discovery, your veterinarian will go over the next steps and 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.

If your pet was diagnosed with a treatable condition during the endoscopy then you may also need to purchase medications from the nearest veterinary pharmacy. By picking up the medications at a pet vet pharmacy you ensure that you get the correct information about giving your pet the medications requested.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Would you like to learn more about what to expect during your pet's endoscopy at our veterinary laboratory? Contact our Lacey vets with any questions you might have.

Walk-in Patients Welcome

At Olympia Pet Emergency, you can always access our full complement of emergency services without an appointment. We treat both walk-in patients and referrals for urgent veterinary care.

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