when a rigid or flexible instrument is used to look within a body cavity. Controlled by the Vet surgeon, the endoscope has a small fibre optic tip with a camera used to explore the areas of interest. They have a channel through which instruments are passed, safely and easily, directly to the area of concern, to take biopsies or grasp foreign bodies.

Where in the body can it be used?

  • Look up the nose and explore the naso-oral pharynx 
  • Down the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum 
  • Explore the Internal workings of the trachea and bronchii of the lungs

What are the benefits of Endoscopy?

  • Less invasive and less stressful on the body than surgery
  • No wounds- no wound breakdown or possibility of wound infection
  • No stitches to be removed
  • Lower cost

We are very careful with the hygiene of our endoscopes and all of our flexible scopes are fully immersible. This means that after washing, they can be fully soaked and rinsed through with a enzymatic cleaner that digests any residual material and a biocide (disinfectant) solution to render the scope ready for the next patient. We have a dedicated airing and storage cupboard for the scopes with programmed air circulation to keep them in optimum condition and permanently ready for service. 

Not surprisingly this has been a significant investment in money, training and facilities. However, every pet diagnosed or treated endoscopically and spared a visit to theatre for a big surgery brings us immense satisfaction that we have done the best for our patient.

Your pet will require a general anaesthetic before their endoscopy treatment. This ensures that they remain still and more importantly, unaware of what is happening to them.

After the procedure and once they have recovered from the anaesthetic, your pet will be back to normal and able to enjoy normal exercise.

Clinical Cases

Gastroscopy: Retrieval of a glass foreign body from a dogs stomach

A dog was unfortunate (or daft) enough to have swallowed a piece of glass. The glass was quite blunt and it was removed by endoscopy at Oak Tree Vet Centre.

Three scenes show visualising the glass, secondly grasping and removing it and finally checking that no damage had been done.

Gastroscopy: Gastric Carcinoma

Sometimes endoscopy does not bring good news. Here a dog at Oak Tree Vet Centre has an ulcerated lesion in the stomach. Taking the first and last biopsy is shown and the harvested material sent to a pathologist.

The results showed a malignant gastric carcinoma. He had fully recovered by the next day from his gastroscopy (unlike a long recovery from open surgery) and we were able to control his symptoms and give him an extra three months of good quality life before the disease claimed him.

Bronchoscopy: Lungworm

This is a video of a bronchoscopy (endoscopy of the airways) showing lungworms in the bronchii. They were later identified as Crenosoma vulpis worms and are spread by foxes.

Bronchoscopy: Collapsing trachea

Here is a video of a bronchoscopy carried out at Oak Tree Vet Centre. You can see that the tracheal rings have partially collapsed in the upper trachea and the stretched dorsal ligament is oscillating in time with the breathing. Further down the trachea the anatomy is much more normal.

Gastroscopy; Cat who swallowed multiple hair bands

The radiograph for this patient and the pile of hair bands can be seen here.

The video shows three scenes of this patient. It took more than half an hour pulling these bands out but spared the cat from having a laparotomy so he was back to normal the next day. Hair bands are now securely put away in his house now!

A marathon gastroscopy to remove a huge clump of grass from a dog’s stomach

This was a short video of the actual case at Oak Tree Vet Centre and further details can be found here. The poor dog had swallowed so much grass she was refusing food and trying unsuccessfully to be sick. Over two days and 12 hours of endoscopy we patiently picked away with the scope taking a few pieces at a time. We use sevoflurane (the latest gas in veterinary anaesthesia) at Oak Tree and despite the length of time spent asleep, she was up and about a few minutes after each session and lively and hungry for food two hours after the stomach was emptied. We could have opened her up and removed the grass more quickly by cutting into the stomach but there is always a risk of contaminating the abdomen which could be extremely serious and she would have to recover from major surgery. As the hours ticked away, I thought to myself that I would spend the time if this was my own dog and therefore there was no doubt, in my mind, I was doing the right thing for my patient. This clip shows us about half done with enough room to see some of the stomach lining.

The dog who lost seven stones in a single day

This little dog apparently had a penchant for eating garden gravel. When he started being sick the owners were alerted that something had gone awry. An x-ray shown here showed his inappropriate ingestion and the video shows the scope view and the removal of one of the stones. All were removed successfully and a medicine to sooth the roughed up stomach lining injected down the scope and so there was no surgery and no medicines to give. Click here for more information.

Laryngeal paralysis in a dog

This is an endoscopy study of the larynx of an older dog with poor exercising ability and respiratory noise. The footage shows minimal movement in both sides of the larynx despite the animal being only just asleep. Surgery can be done to tie back the larynx to allow more air in but the downside is an increased risk of inhalation of liquid and food particles so it is always a difficult decision as to how to proceed, where the patient is not particularly troubled by the condition. 

A real basket case

This little dog must have been at some party swallowing both a bottle cap and bottle cork. Had we not had endoscopy, she would have suffered an exploratory surgery. This short clip shows these objects removed, the cork with a snare and the bottle top with a retrieval basket to protect her tissues from the sharp edges.