At the Veterinari Glòries Hospital we use updated equipment that allows us to offer a very high level of care to all our patients. This is the case of endoscopy, a service used in our center for the exploration of animals, in most cases dogs. Canine endoscopy uses a small video camera at the end of a very narrow viewfinder called an endoscope that is inserted into the stomach through the mouth or colon through the rectum. This allows a veterinarian to see a dog’s gastrointestinal tract or other areas of concern throughout its body.

Because gastrointestinal examinations for dogs are minimally invasive, they require relatively little recovery time.

A canine endoscopy allows us to see different parts of a dog’s body. For example:

  • If a dog has respiratory problems, we can perform an endoscopy to look inside the nose and chest to determine if there is an infection, check for the possibility of a tumor, or see if the dog has inhaled a foreign body.
  • If a dog has digestive problems, we can perform an endoscopy to look inside the stomach and intestinal tract to detect foreign objects, blockages, or even ulcers and other stomach illnesses.

When and why should your dog receive an endoscopy?

An endoscopy should be performed for dogs if the dog suffers from possible gastrointestinal, respiratory, or reproductive problems. Endoscopy is not a surgical procedure, but it does require the use of anesthesia. Because of this, we will ensure that the dog is healthy enough to withstand anesthesia for a short period of time. To determine the dog’s level of fitness, the vet will require a complete physical exam and possibly blood tests and x-rays.

What problems can be diagnosed with a dog endoscopy?

Dog endoscopy can be used to diagnose various diseases and conditions. A dog endoscopy can detect many ailments, including:

  • Certain forms of cancer and cancerous tumors.
  • Ulcers.
  • Abscesses
  • Strange objects.
  • Internal trauma.
  • Locks.

What if abnormalities are found during your dog’s endoscopy?

During an endoscopy, the veterinarian can see any abnormalities that may be present in the gastrointestinal tract. If the vet sees an unusual lesion or suspicious looking area, he can biopsy the area to reach a diagnosis.

The endoscope has a small channel through which a biopsy instrument can be passed. Accurate biopsy samples can be taken from any abnormal area. The biopsy instrument can cut a small sample of tissue from the lining of the organ. These tissue samples are sent for analysis for microscopic evaluation. Once a biological evaluation of the biopsied tissue is completed, the complete results of the gastrointestinal examination will help our veterinarian reach a diagnosis.

How to prepare your dog for an endoscopy

The accuracy of a dog endoscopy is based on careful grooming. It is vital that the stomach and intestinal tract are empty of all food and fecal matter before a gastrointestinal examination for dogs. A full twelve-hour fast is usually sufficient if the stomach is examined. If a veterinarian is examining the colon, oral medication should be administered twelve to eighteen hours before the procedure, to cleanse the intestinal tract. On the morning of the procedure, one or more enemas can also be administered if necessary. In any case, if your dog needs an endoscopy, it will be the vet who will discuss the grooming routine with you.

Will general anesthesia be necessary during endoscopy?

Yes, general anesthesia is required to perform a gastrointestinal examination for dogs. It is impossible to safely pass an endoscope into the stomach or colon of a conscious dog. Most dogs require only short-acting anesthesia and can return home shortly after completing the dog’s GI exam.

Schedule an endoscopy for your dog

Contact us for more information or to schedule a canine endoscopy appointment with one of our veterinary team members!