Endoscopy

At VCA Central Kitsap Animal Hospital we provide on-site specialty endoscopic procedures performed by Dr. Suzanne Cook Olson, our full-time board-certified internal medicine specialist. 

The types of endoscopic procedures available at VCA Central Kitsap Animal Hospital include:

Rhinoscopy - allows examination and biopsy of the nasal passages

Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (Upper GI endoscopy) - allows examination and biopsy of the esophagus, stomach and upper small intestine as well as non-invasive retrieval of foreign objects from the esophagus or stomach.

Colonoscopy (Lower GI endoscopy) - allows examination and biopsy of the colon

Bronchoscopy - allows examination of the larynx, trachea, and bronchi

Urethrocystoscopy - allows examination of the bladder and urethra 

Gastrointestinal endoscopy Frequently Asked Questions:

What is Endoscopy?
Endoscopy is the examination of the digestive tract by means of a fiberoptic enodoscope, a sophisticated medical instrument that allows the veterinarian to visualize the lining of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine (upper GI endoscopy) and/or colon (lower GI endoscopy). The endoscope also enables the veterinarian to non-invasively take biopsies, remove foreign objects, and place feeding tubes.

How is endoscopy performed on animals?
The animal is placed under general anesthesia. For an upper GI endoscopy, the endoscope is passed through the mouth, down the esophagus, into the stomach, and into the upper small intestine. A biopsy instrument is then passed through the endoscopy and multiple small pinch biopsies of the lining of the duodenum (upper small intestine) and stomach are obtained. These biopsies are very small and heal rapidly without requiring any special care. The small intestine, stomach, and esophagus are also visually inspected for any abnormalities. For a lower GI endoscopy, the endoscope is passed through the rectum into the colon for visual inspection and biopsies.

Is endoscopy safe?
Generally speaking, endoscopy has minimal risk. Very rare but potential complications, apart from the risk of general anesthesia, include perforation of an already abnormal area, such as an ulcer, and excessive dilation of the stomach with air during the procedure, which may cause circulatory problems or rarely twisting of the stomach. In general, endoscopy is considered to be less invasive and carry less risk when compared to surgically obtained biopsies.

Why is endoscopy done?
Endoscopy may be used to diagnose causes of chronic vomiting and/or diarrhea, acute vomiting with blood, and chronic blood loss in the stool. Endoscopy may also be used to remove foreign objects from the esophagus or stomach, and to place gastrostomy feeding (PEG) tubes in animals that require aggressive nutritional intervention due to a variety of illnesses.

What should I do to prepare my animal for an endoscopy?
For an upper (stomach and duodenum) endoscopy, a 12-hour fast is usually all that is necessary. Remove the food after the evening meal, and do not give any food or treats up to the time you are scheduled to come in for your appointment. Fresh water should be available to your pet until you leave for your appointment.
For a lower (colon) endoscopy, your pet will need to be admitted to the hospital the day before the procedure so that the colon can be cleared of fecal material. This is usually accomplished by administering multiple warm water enemas and continued fasting. Do not feed your animal after the evening meal the night before admission to the hospital. Fresh water should be available.

Will my pet require any special care after the endoscopy?
Usually not. Most animals may go home the same day. Animals having a feeding tube placed are usually kept in the hospital for at least 1 day to be sure they are tolerating the tube feedings and the tube is functioning properly.

How will I find out the results of the endoscopy?
We will call you following the procedure to let you know how it went and if there were any grossly visible abnormalities. It takes 5-7 days to get biopsy results – we will call you with the results, interpretation, and recommendations.
 

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