Your pet has a scheduled endoscopy examination to help your vet diagnose the cause of digestive issues like vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and abdominal pain. Today, our vets in Ankeny will explain what endoscopies are.
What is an endoscope?
An endoscope is a flexible tube with a camera that goes into your pet's stomach or colon through the mouth or rectum. It's used to check the insides of these organs, find issues like blockage and abnormal cell tumors, and remove foreign objects.
What is the endoscopy procedure like?
Before a gastrointestinal endoscopy, your pet will need to fast for 12 to 18 hours to clear its system. Before the procedure, at least one enema may be required.
During the procedure, your pet will be sedated. The endoscope goes into the stomach or intestines through the mouth or rectum to see the problem area. If necessary, other tools can be used through the endoscope for biopsies or object removal.
When can I know the results?
You see what's happening in real-time, but the final diagnosis could take up to a week, depending on the circumstances.
What kinds of diseases can be diagnosed with an endoscopy?
An endoscope shows the color of the esophagus, stomach, and upper small intestine or colon. The examiner can detect abnormalities such as inflammation, abnormal swelling, scarring, and strictures (abnormal narrowing). Any abnormal areas can also have precise biopsy samples taken. These samples are made up of tiny pieces of tissue cut from the organ's lining by the biopsy instrument.
Can cancer be diagnosed with an endoscopy?
Your vet can use an endoscope to check for cancer in your pet's digestive system. Sometimes, this method doesn't show any issues, even if your pet has symptoms. In such cases, your vet might need to do more tests like exploratory surgery or an MRI.
How fast will my pet recover from an endoscopy?
After an endoscopy, most pets recover quickly. Your pet should be released shortly after the procedure. Your pet should be able to go home for rest once he is awake and responding to care.
If the endoscopy results in a biopsy, it may take up to a week for the pathology report. Your vet will discuss what to do next if it is for something else. If the endoscopy was to remove an object, your pet can return to their normal routine right after waking from anesthesia.