Endoscopy Procedures & Rhinoscopy
Endoscopy procedures are up-and-coming as the best means for obtaining internal biopsies and getting a closer look. Pets are benefiting from medical advances as technology improves and owners are increasingly able to afford these once cost-prohibitive procedures.
At AVC we have sophisticated equipment that allows us to obtain non-invasive samples of the intestine, stomach, colon, nasal cavity, throat and large airway. For some cases, this may be more appropriate than surgical biopsy. For example, in a debilitated or elderly pet where the stress of healing from surgery may be too much.
While anesthesia is required, it is generally well tolerated. A procedure will generally take about 45 minutes to complete. Samples that can be obtained include tissue for biopsy, swabs for cytology, bacterial and fungal culture. Examination of the esophagus and stomach can be very helpful in patients experiencing ulceration or stricture. Ultrasound is frequently used along with endoscopy to allow visualization of tissue deep to the surface being examined with endoscopy. Biopsies can be obtained safely and will usually result in less bleeding than surgical biopsy. Patients should be fasted the evening prior to the procedure. It is considered a day-procedure and a pet can be expected to go home late afternoon. Please let us know about any medications that your pet is currently taking which could affect the procedure. Examples include NSAIDs (Rimadyl, Metacam, aspirin, etc). Some medications could increase a tendency for bleeding.
In some cases, endoscopy can be life-saving! We have used endoscopy for numerous patients experiencing distress due to foreign material lodged within the esophagus. We have also removed needles and other sharp objects, hence avoiding the need for exploratory surgery.
Rhinoscopy (endoscopy of the nose) is generally performed with a CT scan to allow good visualization of bone, brain, and eyes which are adjacent to the nasal cavity and sinuses. For patients with unexplained nasal bleeding, this is an excellent diagnostic tool. Common conditions affecting the nasal cavity include inflammation (rhinitis, which is thought to be immune mediated), cancer, foreign material, infection (fungal especially).
Don’t hesitate to call with any questions about Endoscopy or Rhinoscopy.