Endoscopy and Otoscopy
Endoscopy is a diagnostic, non-invasive technique used to look inside the orifices of the body.
There are two types of endoscope, flexible and rigid, each having a tiny camera at the end, which take continuous images that can be viewed on a high definition TV screen. Biopsy instruments can be used in conjunction with the scope to enable tissue samples to be taken.
To a large extent the rigid endoscope is used to look into the nose, urethra and bladder of female dogs and cats, whilst the flexible endoscope is largely used for examination of the lungs, stomach, intestines, rectum and colon, and the urethra of male dogs. The rigid endoscope is also used for laparoscopies, including biopsies of the liver and kidneys.
It may also be used on an emergency basis to remove gastric and oesophageal foreign bodies, and may be an alternative to surgery.
Endoscopy has to be performed under anaesthesia, so food and water have to be withheld for 12-18 hours prior to the procedure.
Otoscopy is the use of a tiny rigid scope especially designed to examine ears. It enables the vet to see whether the tympanic membrane has been ruptured, to flush out the ear or to remove foreign bodies such as grass seeds. The images are also viewed on a TV screen.
Otoscopy also has to be performed under anaesthesia.