Vets4Pets logo
Text size:


Find out more about this method below:

What is Endoscopy?

An endoscope is a long tube connected to a light source and video camera that sends real time images to a television screen for viewing. Endoscopy is the use of an endoscope within internal structures and organs of the body. The endoscope can be inserted through natural openings such as the mouth, nose or rectum to reach the structure of interest. It can also be inserted through surgical incisions, such as into the abdomen during keyhole surgery (see ‘laparoscopy’ for more information). There are different types of endoscopy depending on where the endoscope is used. For example, when examining internal nasal structures it is called ‘rhinoscopy’ and when examining the airways it is called ‘bronchoscopy’. An animal will usually have to be under general anaesthetic or sedation during an endoscopic procedure.

What is purpose of Endoscopy

The endoscope will provide the vet with very detailed images of the internal structures of the body, which can sometimes provide much more information than an xray or ultrasound. Structural abnormalities can provide big diagnostic clues when investigating patients with certain symptoms. Biopsies of abnormal areas can be taken with surgical instruments fed down the endoscope for further analysis and is often essential when formulating the correct treatment plan. These instruments can also be used for procedures such as removing foreign bodies, for example a blade of grass stuck in the nose of a cat or a small squeaky toy from the stomach of a puppy. Using the endoscope in this way can often avoid major surgery.

When might your vet recommend endoscopy?

Endoscopy is useful in a very wide range of diseases, below is a list of common symptoms where endoscopy is very useful in diagnosing conditions: Persistent coughing or sneezing Persistent vomiting or vomiting blood Unexplained weight loss Blood in stools Urinary incontinence or blood in urine