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What is Endoscopy?

Cat at Town & Country Animal Hospital waiting to be seen for endoscopy

Endoscopy allows your veterinarian to see inside your dog's or cat's digestive tract without having to make a surgical incision on his or her body. It's a useful diagnostic tool since it's less invasive and causes much less trauma for your pet. For example, if you think your pet might have swallowed a foreign object, we can use the endoscope to locate and remove the object instead of having to perform exploratory surgery.

How Do Ocala Veterinarians Perform Endoscopy?

We use a flexible tube called an endoscope to look inside your pet's digestive tract. A viewing port or camera is attached to the end of the endoscope. The device is inserted into your pet's mouth and down the throat into the stomach and small intestines. It can also be inserted through the rectum to view other areas, such as the colon and lower intestine. The access point depends on which areas of the animal we need to see. 

Why is Endoscopy Useful?

Endoscopy provides a full-color, magnified view of the area in question.  We can see exactly what and where the problem is so your pet's condition can be treated appropriately. Depending on the situation, your pet may also need a biopsy to determine the exact problem.

An endoscope can be used to remove small objects that dogs and cats swallow. Socks, fish hooks, toys and other smaller objects can be removed using the endoscope instead of through traditional surgical means. The endoscope also allows our veterinarians to look for swelling, scarring and inflammation in the digestive tract as well as conduct biopsies of the stomach, esophagus, nasal passages and colon. That way, we can see if there's a problem that warrants further diagnosis or treatment.

Is Endoscopy Safe for My Pet?

Endoscopic procedures are also usually non-invasive or minimally invasive. That means we don't have to make cuts or incisions on your pet to reach a diagnosis. Your pet will be under general anesthesia during the procedure so he or she will experience no pain or discomfort.

To make certain your pet is ready for his or her procedure, you should refrain from giving your pet food for 12-to-18 hours prior to his or her appointment. You may also need to give your pet medications or enemas before coming to the clinic. 

As with any medical procedure, endoscopy does come with a low risk of complications. Your Ocala veterinarian will discuss with you any special considerations before performing any veterinary intervention.

Make an Appointment with Town & Country Animal Hospital

At Town & Country Animal Hospital, we strive to offer our patients the highest level of medicine, and we are glad to be able to offer endoscopy as one of our diagnostic procedures.  If you have questions about this service, please give us a call at (352) 840-7020.