Ayers Animal Hospital is proud to offer flexible upper and lower gastrointestinal endoscopy for dogs and cats. Endoscopy is a noninvasive procedure done under general anesthesia. The endoscope is a small flexible tube with a camera at the end that projects the image onto a computer screen allowing us to very clearly visualize the inside of certain structures. When doing an upper gastrointestinal evaluation, the scope is inserted through the mouth, down the esophagus, into the stomach and even in some cases, into the small intestine below the stomach allowing us to not only visualize abnormal tissues, but also obtain biopsy samples of the affected tissue through a small port at the end of the tube, if needed. We can even use the scope to retrieve some types of foreign objects from inside the stomach. When doing a lower gastrointestinal evaluation the scope is inserted through the rectum into the colon, where we can obtain biopsy samples and cultures throughout the length of the colon. In addtion, the scope can be used to visualize the structures in the back of the mouth and nasal passages, allowing us to look for masses and to obtain samples of secretions for culture, and to biopsy any affected tissue.
These advanced diagnostic techniques allow us to pinpoint a diagnosis using a relatively nonivasive procedure, often leading to a quicker recovery. With this advancement, we are able to direct our treatment to the specific disease, instead of doing generalized treatments that may or may not be appropriate for your pet.
We also offer rigid endoscopy. This scope is short, small and does not bend. With this scope, we are able to check the nasal passages of dogs weighing 35 pounds or more, and to check the vagina, urethra, and bladder of female dogs 25 pounds or more. We can obtain biopsy samples and cultures in these areas as well. We can even remove small bladder stones without abdominal surgery.