Endoscopy is a diagnostic tool that allows our veterinarians to examine some body cavities that are inaccessible otherwise. This includes the nasal passages, pharynx and larynx (interior throatlatch region), the trachea (windpipe), esophagus (passage to the stomach), stomach, rectum/small colon, uterus, urethra, and the bladder.
To accomplish these examinations, Arizona Equine uses videoendoscopy. This is a type of endoscope that has a camera chip at the end of a long, narrow tube (about ½ inch in diameter). The advantage of a videoendoscope as compared to a regular endoscope is that a videoendoscope allows the image to be seen on a monitor (TV screen) as the examination is being done, allowing anyone in the room to see what the veterinarian is seeing. A regular (non-video) endoscope projects images onto a small eyepiece that can be viewed by one person at a time. A videoendoscope also allows us to print out pictures for the owner to take home, or to be sent to the referring veterinarian.
We have two lengths of videoendoscopes available: a 1.5 meter scope (about 4 feet), and a 3 meter scope (about 12 feet). The 1.5 meter scope is used mainly for upper airway diagnostics, while the 3 meter scope is used for gastric (stomach) endoscopies.
This tool allows us to diagnose many different conditions, including: Gastric ulcers; Entrapped epiglottis; Laryngeal hemiplegia (roaring); Bladder stones; Uterine cysts; Sinus problems, etc.