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Endoscopy in Veterinary Medicine

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Interventional Endoscopy typically combines the use of endoscopic equipment with fluoroscopy and/or ultrasound, to perform other procedures, such as retrieval of foreign bodies, stone or polyp removal, balloon dilation of nasopharyngeal stenosis and esophageal strictures, tracheal or urethral stenting, and even feeding tube placement for example. In the case of an animal ingesting a sharp or otherwise dangerous object, an endoscope can be inserted through a protective overtube in order to retrieve the object without fear of causing further dame during the extraction.

A pet undergoing an endoscopic procedure will be placed under general anesthesia, and will not experience any discomfort. This may or may not require tests be performed to determine if it is safe for your pet to be sedated. The animal will likely need to fast for 12 hours prior to the procedure to insure the stomach and intestinal tract are empty of all food if undergoing gastrointestinal endoscopy. For a colonoscopy, oral medication should be administered prior to the procedure to remove fecal matter from the intestinal tract. For an exploration of certain areas such as the nasal cavity, it may be necessary to determine if bleeding is a concern. In almost all cases, the endoscopic procedures are performed as outpatient procedures, and your pet will be able to return home the same day.

New innovations are being discovered every day, and more and more veterinary practices are adopting the use of endoscopy for pets, so if you find yourself in a situation where surgery might be avoided, ask your vet whether endoscopy is an option, and even if they don't offer it as a service, they may be able to refer you to someone who will - it's worth it to ensure your pet gets the best quality care with a lower risk of complications, less side effects, and faster healing times.

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