Endoscopy is an examination that makes it possible to see the inside of various organs in the body. It can be useful when we investigate various diseases, but is rarely the first thing we use when sick animals come to the clinic. The endoscope consists of a tube with a fiber optic cable and a light source. The light enters the endoscope and we can look into a peephole and see what it looks like at the end of the cable. We have everything connected to a video system so that we can see it all on a large screen and that we can take pictures and film along the way. We have two different scopes. One is rigid while the other is flexible so we can see into the rectum, ears, nose, lungs, stomach, front part of the small intestine, large intestine, vagina, bladder, joints, abdomen and chest cavity. The animals to be examined with endoscopy must always have anesthesia. It is to be able to carry out the examination at all, so that the animal does not become anxious and to protect expensive equipment from damage.

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Copy of nose

Diseases of the nose can manifest themselves in many ways. There may be sneezing, snorting, snot from one or both nostrils, nosebleeds or swelling. Most often, scopy will be part of the examination together with X-ray, culture for bacteria or fungi and cytology where we look at cells from a nasal rinse. During the scopy, we see the inside of the nose and we can detect inflammation, foreign bodies such as ears of corn, grass, small twigs or tumors. The endoscope has a separate biopsy channel that allows us to take out small tissue samples/biopsies that we can have analyzed. We can also remove foreign bodies with the endoscope. A common problem for cats is grass in their noses. This can take the form of either light sneezing or snorting, but the cats can also become really unwell with vomiting, dehydration and a severely reduced general condition. You can usually poke the grass out with forceps at the back of the mouth, but occasionally we have to use forceps through the biopsy channel. In the summer, we have from 1 to 2 cats inside every single week with grass in their noses. The cause of the problem is most often that the cats eat grass and then throw it up. The grass sneaks up into the nose and gets stuck there.

Scopy of the airways

This is useful in connection with diseases of the trachea or long-term lung disease. Prolonged cough, cough that cannot be treated with medication, acute cough where we suspect debris/foreign body in the lungs, breathing difficulties or findings on chest x-rays are some reasons why we do this examination. The scope allows us to see the inside of the trachea and the largest bronchi. It is often interesting to do a lavage of the airways. We then inject a small amount of water and quickly suck it back. This fluid can be sent for bacteriological examination or we can examine it under a microscope to see if inflammation is present. Tracheal collapse in small breeds and asthma in cats are two classic diseases where endoscopy is particularly useful.

Scan of the stomach and intestines

We also admit patients with suspected foreign bodies in the stomach and intestines. Then the endoscope is nice to have. We can examine the stomach, stomach and small intestine, large intestine or both. We often examine both the front and the back, as quite extensive preparation is required for these examinations. Then it is good to examine the "whole" channel when you first get started. The animals must be fasted between 24 and 48 hours for these examinations. If we are going to examine the large intestine, they must also drink a lot of rinsing liquid according to a special recipe. We start with the esophagus, then go into the stomach and further into the duodenum as far as the scope reaches. The animal is then turned over and we examine the colon all the way up to the cecum in the transition between the small and large intestine. 

Along the way, they look for abnormal things and take many biopsies. During this examination, it is not uncommon to take between 25 and 30 small biopsies. These are sent for examination by a pathologist and are often just as important as the visual examination. Gulping, prolonged vomiting, bloody vomit, diarrhoea, bloody diarrhoea, weight loss and pain during defecation are some reasons to carry out examinations with the scope, but it is important to examine the animal well in advance. Blood tests and X-rays are important in the assessment of the vast majority of patients with these problems. During the examination, we can detect inflammation in the stomach, ulcers, foreign bodies in the stomach and tumors in the stomach and intestines, but it is important to take enough samples along the way so that we can get an accurate diagnosis when we start the treatment. In some cases, we can also remove foreign bodies using the endoscope so that the patient does not have to undergo surgical treatment. The endoscope is a very useful tool in the evaluation of certain patients. Contact us at the clinic if you think your animal should be examined or if you have any questions for us.

We use the following instruments here at a-vet small animal clinic with great pleasure.

In the following video with associated images, we use our ear irrigation instrument (Storz video otoscope). In the video you can see how we use flushing/suction and angling of the instrument in the ear canal to remove a lump of old earwax. In addition, we remove debris and debris that lie along the canal and hair that grows deep inside or that enters the ear canal from the outside. This is done with a gentle brush. We also have the option of using pliers if we need to grip something with precision.

This dog has otitis externa, an inflammation of the skin in the external ear canal. In dogs, parasites, foreign bodies or allergies can often cause the inflammation.

To make things more complicated, the shape of the ear can make a dog prone to ear infections. A narrower ear canal with or without an unnatural amount of hair in the outer and/or inner part of the ear canal provides less ventilation and creates persistent humidity. This weakens the skin's barrier and it becomes more susceptible to inflammation. The inflammation can lead to the production of a greater amount of earwax and ear secretions. This provides little to no ventilation of the ear and can create a chronic ear infection. 

Ear flushing with a video otoscope is a particularly effective and gentle way of cleaning the ears because we eliminate all debris and quickly without damaging the skin in the ear canal.