Your pet may require an endoscopy examination to help your vet diagnose the cause of digestive issues like vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and abdominal pain. Today, our Elk Grove vets explain what an endoscopy is, and how it is used to help treat your pet.
What is an endoscope?
An endoscope is a flexible tube with a camera that goes into your pet's stomach or colon through the mouth or rectum. It's used to examine the insides of these organs, find issues like blockages and abnormal cell tumors, and remove foreign objects.
The Endoscopy Procedure
Before a gastrointestinal endoscopy, your pet will need to fast for 12 to 18 hours to clear its system. Before the procedure, at least one enema may be required.
During the procedure, your pet will be sedated. The endoscope goes into the stomach or intestines through the mouth or rectum to see the problem area. If necessary, other tools can be used through the endoscope for biopsies or object removal.
You see what's happening in real-time, but the final diagnosis could take up to a week depending on the circumstances.
Diseases an Endoscopy Can Diagnose
An endoscope shows the color of the esophagus, stomach, and upper small intestine or colon. The examiner can detect abnormalities such as inflammation, abnormal swelling, scarring, and strictures (abnormal narrowing). Any abnormal areas can also have precise biopsy samples taken. These samples are made up of tiny pieces of tissue cut from the organ's lining by the biopsy instrument.
Diagnosing Cancer With an Endoscopy
Your vet can use an endoscope to check for cancer in your pet's digestive system. Sometimes, this method doesn't show any issues, even if your pet has symptoms. In such cases, your vet might need to do more tests like exploratory surgery or an MRI.
Your Pet's Recovery
After an endoscopy, most pets recover quickly. Your pet should be released shortly after the procedure. Your pet should be able to go home for rest once he is awake and responding to care.
If the endoscopy results in a biopsy, it may take up to a week for the pathology report. Your vet will discuss what to do next if it is for something else. If the endoscopy was to remove an object, your pet can return to their normal routine right after waking from anesthesia.