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Endoscopy for Diagnosing & Treating Digestive Issues in Pets

Endoscopy for Diagnosing & Treating Digestive Issues in Pets

If your pet requires an endoscopy, our veterinarians in New York will gladly clarify why and when we perform this procedure. It assists us in identifying and addressing problems in your pet's digestive system.

What Is an Endoscopy?

Vets use a special tool called an endoscope for medical purposes. It's like a bendy tube with a tiny camera attached to it. They put this tube either through your mouth into your stomach or through your bottom into your colon. The camera helps the veterinarians look inside these empty body parts.

Vets use an endoscope to find out if something is wrong inside, like narrow places, strange cells, or lumps. Sometimes, they even use it to take out things that shouldn't be there, like foreign objects.

The Endoscopy Procedure

Before your cat or dog undergoes a gastrointestinal endoscopy, they should avoid eating and having any feces in their system. Depending on where the endoscope will be used inside your pet, they might need to fast for 12 to 18 hours to clear their system. Before the procedure, your vet may need to give your pet at least one enema.

During the procedure, your pet will be given sedation because an endoscopy provides a detailed view of the esophagus, stomach, intestines, or colon. The vet will insert the endoscope through the mouth or the rectum into your pet's stomach or intestinal tract and move it to see the necessary area.

If your pet needs a biopsy or removal of a foreign object, the vet can use an additional device passed through the endoscope to perform those procedures as required.

Diseases That Can Be Diagnosed With an Endoscopy

Endoscopy allows your vet to check out your pet's esophagus, stomach, and upper part of the small intestine or colon. It helps find problems like inflammation, strange swelling, scars, and narrowing. If anything unusual is spotted, your vet can take small tissue samples using a special tool. These samples come from the lining of the organ. 

Diagnosing Cancer With an Endoscopy

Your veterinarian can usually detect gastrointestinal tract cancer with an endoscope. But sometimes, tumors don't harm the stomach or colon's inner lining. The biopsy results look okay in these cases, but the pet still has health problems.

In some situations, the vet might need to do exploratory surgery (called exploratory laparotomy) or use non-invasive tests like an MRI to get the required biopsies.

Your Pet's Recovery

After your pet's endoscopy, it will wake up from the sedation and should get better quickly. Once it's awake and feeling good, we can let it go home to rest.

Depending on why the endoscopy was done, your pet might be able to start playing and eating again quite soon.

Following Your Pet's Endoscopy

If your pet had a biopsy, it may take about a week to get the results. Your vet will call you to talk about what comes next. If the endoscopy was done to find out what's happening, your vet will explain what to do next when they get in touch. If your vet did the endoscopy to discover something, they'll chat with you about the next steps.

If the procedure was to find and remove something foreign, you and your pet should be able to return to normal activities right after the endoscopy and waking up from anesthesia.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. Please make an appointment with your vet for an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition.

Is your cat or dog experiencing a medical emergency? Contact our New York vets right away.

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