Your pet can have a condition that’s difficult to diagnose without actually examining an internal organ or obtaining a biopsy. While this is often accomplished with surgery, endoscopy can provide a less invasive alternative to surgery. For dogs and cats, endoscopy can provide a minimally invasive way to diagnose gastrointestinal (GI) conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and gastrointestinal lymphoma.
Is your dog or cat losing weight or experiencing vomiting and/or diarrhea for no obvious reason? First blood tests might be performed to help rule out a metabolic cause for the weight loss and other symptoms. If the test results are normal, an X-ray or ultrasound may be performed to further evaluate internal organs such as the liver, kidneys, spleen, bladder, stomach and intestines. In patients with GI disease, the stomach and small intestine can appear completely normal on X-rays or ultrasound, but a GI biopsy may be recommended to confirm a diagnosis. GI biopsies can be obtained in a number of ways, such as through an abdominal surgery, but endoscopy is the least invasive method.
Endoscopy is a nonsurgical procedure used to examine a pet’s digestive tract. Using an endoscope, a flexible tube with a light and camera attached to it, Plaza Pet Clinic veterinarians can view pictures of your pet’s mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach, intestines and digestive tract. Anesthesia is required for pet endoscopy. With endoscopic biopsies, there is no abdominal incision.
Some treatments can be initiated immediately following the procedure. For example, with some inflammatory GI diseases, steroids are often part of the initial treatment. Because steroids can delay healing of surgical incisions, they cannot be started immediately following an abdominal surgery. They can, however, be given shortly after endoscopy, which allows your pet to get started on treatment sooner.