By Dr. Peter Bondy, DVM, Diplomate, ACVIM

Did you know how versatile endoscopy can be for our pets? With our equipment and skill, there are many areas that we can see in dogs and cats when they are in need of an emergency veterinarian in Tucson. Furthermore, these procedures are minimally invasive with no incisions needed, which eliminates a potentially long healing process from surgery. We are also often able to send your pet home that evening of the procedure with no in-hospital recovery needed. Here are just a few examples of the type of situations where endoscopic procedures may be the best options for treating your pet’s health emergency or diagnosis.

Your Pet Ingests A Foreign Object

We can evaluate the gastrointestinal system (stomach, certain areas of the small intestine, and colon). Dogs and cats will eat the most unusual things, and many times we can use a scope to easily remove them from the esophagus or stomach. Items we have removed in the past include a hanger and even a toothbrush head. We can even find and remove certain parasites such as the “stomach worm” with endoscopy. If you pet has been vomiting or had diarrhea for a long time, endoscopy can be used to see the lining of the stomach or intestine and even take biopsies to look for a cause. All of this is done with no incisions, which minimizes any discomfort. This is important for our pets.

Diagnosing and Treating Your Pet’s Nasal Condition

Sometimes dogs and cats have nasal problems. There can be increased discharge, chronic congestion, or even bleeding from the nose. Using both the flexible scope and rigid scope, we can access a large portion of the nasal passages. Just as with the gastrointestinal tract, we can look for foreign bodies or even masses (image 4) that we can biopsy to hopefully obtain a diagnosis. Again, all of this is done typically on an outpatient basis.

Investigating Health Issues Related to Your Pet’s Urinary Tract

With the same rigid scope, we can even look inside the urinary system in a female dog. We can see anatomic problems, areas of inflammation, and sometimes masses. If needed, we are also able to biopsy these areas for more information and to see if there are any treatment options for what is found.

Endoscopy is a great tool for so many reasons as previously mentioned. It is important to have the advanced specialty training and experience to allow for the best chance of benefit from one of these procedures. If your pet is having problems that might benefit from an endoscopic evaluation, ask your veterinarian about it and for a referral to one of our internal medicine specialists for further consultation. As your local emergency animal hospital in Tucson, we are here to help. Contact us with any further questions you may have about endoscopy.