Endoscopes are used for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Fiberoptic or videoendoscopes can be used to non-invasively visualize internal areas of the body that would otherwise be difficult to assess. The advantage of endoscopy over other methods of evaluating certain areas is that it is non-surgical, which means it is less invasive and recovery times are typically much quicker.
At Hickory Veterinary Hospital/Pennsylvania Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Associates we have both flexible and rigid endoscopes, which are used for many different purposes. Our flexible endoscopes, which are basically long flexible tubes with a light source and camera on the end, can be used to examine the lining of the upper and lower GI tracts of most dogs and cats or to obtain a view of the nasopharynx above the soft palate for patients with suspected nasal disease. Our rigid endoscopes can be used to evaluate the anterior portion of the nasal cavity, as well as the vagina, urethral opening, urethra, ureteral openings and urinary bladder of female dogs.
Endoscopy is commonly used in a diagnostic manner to evaluate the esophageal mucosa, to non-invasively obtain stomach and duodenal biopsies in patients with chronic vomiting, diarrhea or weight loss, or to obtain colonic, cecal or ileal biopsies in patients with chronic large bowel diarrhea.
Cystoscopy can be used to aid in diagnosis of urinary tract disorders such as ectopic ureters, or to visualize and obtain biopsy samples if a urethral or bladder tumor is suspected. In addition to being an excellent non-invasive diagnostic tool, endoscopy can be used therapeutically to remove esophageal, gastric or even nasal foreign bodies.
Our doctors are trained in multiple endoscopic procedures, including:
Rhinoscopy: an exam of the nasal cavity and nasopharynx (junction between the nasal area and the back of the throat above the soft palate)
Endoscopy: an exam of the esophagus, stomach and upper intestines
Colonoscopy: an exam of the colon, cecum and rectum
Cystoscopy: an exam of the vagina, urethral opening, urethra, bladder and ureteral openings