Endoscopy is a minimally invasive diagnostic procedure commonly used to evaluate the interior of certain organs in your horse's body.
The use of video endoscopy has enhanced our diagnostic capabilities for various body systems, including the respiratory tract, the gastrointestinal tract, and the urinary and reproductive tracts. Video endoscopy not only makes small structures more visible, it also allows for real time observation of the examination findings as we diagnose a problem in your horse.
At the Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center we routinely perform endoscopic examinations of the upper and lower respiratory tracts. Upper respiratory tract endoscopy allows for evaluation of the nasal passages, sinuses, ethmoid turbinate region, guttural pouches, and functional evaluation of the pharynx and larynx. Laser therapy of tissues of the upper respiratory tract is also facilitated by use of the video endoscope. Endoscopy of the lower respiratory tract is used to assess mucus accumulation and hyper responsiveness of the lower airways in disease processes such as inflammatory and allergic airway disease and pneumonia (bacterial, viral and fungal).
Gastroscopic examinations are performed to assess for the presence of Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome, delayed emptying of the stomach and obstructions of the proximal small intestine. Gastroscopic examinations are routinely performed in horses with performance or behavioral changes, decreased appetite or chronic intermittent abdominal discomfort.
Determining an accurate diagnosis from your horse's symptoms begins with compiling as complete and accurate a picture of what is going on inside his or her body as possible. For that reason, endoscopy is recommended when routine blood and urine tests and radiographs are unable to tell us everything we need to know. Although sedation may be required to keep your horse still during the endoscopic procedure, the recovery time is minimal.