Endoscopic exams are performed by passing a thin, long camera into the body to directly visualize internal structures. The procedure is noninvasive and painless but is performed under general anesthesia. Our internal medicine specialist will examine either the intestinal tract or upper respiratory tract.
Gastroduodenoscopy evaluates the oral cavity, esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (small intestine). Colonoscopy inspects the colon/lower bowel. Indications for these procedures include chronic vomiting or diarrhea, or suspicion of a foreign body. Foreign bodies in the stomach can often be removed using the endoscope. Biopsies are usually needed in most patients and are obtained by taking small pinches of tissue through the scope.
Rhinoscopy evaluates the nasal cavity, nasopharynx (space above soft palate) and pharynx (throat area). It is especially helpful in dogs in diagnosing nasal tumors, nasal foreign bodies, and chronic inflammation. In cats, the procedure is more challenging due to small size and shape of the nose, but is used when nasal tumors or polyps are suspected. Biopsies or cultures may be obtained in both species depending on findings.