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Flexible Endoscopes and What You Need to Know

Posted by National Veterinary Equipment on 3rd Mar 2023

Flexible Endoscopes and What You Need to Know

If you run a veterinary practice, you must consider your endoscopes. Flexible veterinary endoscopes help with foreign body removal and retrieval.

Why Choosing A Flexible Veterinary Endoscope Is Important

Any pet owner would describe their little friends as playful, curious little angels that make them smile. But these virtues also can cause some problems from time to time. While playing or merely because of eagerness, cats, and dogs may ingest foreign bodies. These cases are too common and can occur even due to the treats we give, bones, rawhide chews, and sometimes even the food that can cause obstruction.

When vets start taking anamnesis, they direct questions about the patient’s general state. Then in most cases, they ask questions to investigate the possibility of a foreign body obstruction if the problem is about the gastrointestinal or respiratory tract.

Although signs of gastrointestinal foreign body obstructions vary depending upon the obstructed region and duration, we witness widespread symptoms that can be seen in many other situations, like loss of appetite, weakness, vomiting, regurgitation, dehydration, hypocalcemia, etc., and hypothermia. The dogs are more susceptible to obstructions; among them, terrier breeds reported suffering from obstructions more commonly.

Although it depends on the obstruction site, the foreign invasive body’s shape, the entrapment’s duration, and the patient’s age, the mortality rate has been reported as high as 5,4% in such cases. For dogs, the most common location of obstruction is the distal esophagus in around 50% of the cases. Although the most common diagnostic tool for these cases is survey radiographs, endoscopy is the ultimate tool for identifying the issue and removing the foreign body as it’s reported that 91,8% of the patients had been treated by endoscopy by Burton et al. All the scientific surveys agree that the endoscopic retrieval of foreign bodies is the initial treatment option with great success.

Although gastrointestinal obstruction cases for the use of endoscopy in veterinary medicine, the benefit of the technique is not limited to it. Endoscopy can be a lifesaver for veterinary professionals in diagnosing many cases, such as ulcers, pancreatitis, tumors, infections, reflux, colitis, etc.

Currently, endoscopic examination is a valuable diagnostic tool in managing gastrointestinal disorders in animals as it offers direct access to the lumen of the gastrointestinal tract. Combined with the mucosal biopsy, it provides tremendous diagnostic potential. With the help of endoscopy and endoscopically guided biopsy, we can conduct a macro and microscopic assessment of lesions and perform many specialist-adjunct examinations.

Why Do You Need A Flexible Endoscopy System?

The flexibility of the endoscope is essential since it’s impossible to monitor regions like the pylorus, ileum, etc., with linear endoscopes where a curved anatomical structure must be passed to get through. Especially for the cases like cancer, in which early treatment is crucial, endoscopy is an excellent diagnostic tool, as a case report Lee indicates.

Case Study: Dog Requiring Tumor Removal

In this case, vets had faced a patient with chronic vomiting history and signs of anemia. The radiology imaging helped them to identify an oval-shaped mass in the gastric pylorus area. After the endoscopic examination, they saw the tumor, took a biopsy, diagnosed the dog with gastric adenocarcinoma, and immediately started the treatment. Eventually, the patient recovered with the early diagnosis and treatment with the help of a flexible endoscopy system.

Familiar Story For Veterinary Medicine

Many veterinarians believe that endoscopy is for specialists. However, when we consider the extent of the procedures a veterinary practitioner performs today, it is much needed for all animal physicians. Especially with the increasing popularity of non-invasive methods, endoscopy is becoming more of a must for all veterinarians.

When we compare endoscopy with old-school procedures, it helps patients experience less stress and pain, and it also provides faster healing time. Besides, many clients are more likely to accept a less invasive method over invasive procedures.

Last, endoscopy can also be therapeutic when used for foreign body retrieval, stone removal, or feeding tube placement.

As we all know, these are one of the most common daily procedures a veterinary practitioner performs. Training is quite essential when utilizing all the benefits mentioned above.

Endoscopy requires a high level of eye-hand coordination to be successfully utilized by the veterinarian. And it has a very steep learning curve. When considering the initial cost of the endoscopy, to benefit from its vast turnout, one needs to commit themself to developing the required skill set. The practitioner should be comfortable with what they are doing and ready to move from an endoscopic procedure to a traditional method when needed. Therefore, one should give time to endoscopy and get used to it until they start feeling completely content and comfortable.

Still, one should acknowledge that endoscopy is not always a replacement for traditional surgical procedures. It only sometimes provides better care than traditional surgery in every case. In that sense, endoscopy has neither the same limitations nor benefits as surgery. A veterinary practitioner must still be comfortable with traditional surgery and ready to move from endoscopic procedures to conventional methods when needed.

For the success of endoscopic examinations, along with the tool’s flexibility, there are several essential points regarding the quality of the device. The resolution of the camera and the display screen is crucial for a successful attempt. Also, the color scale of the displayed visual is severely important for professionals to fully understand the nature of the pathology or the foreign object within the tract. These parameters combined with the flexibility, are the main specs we should consider while choosing our device.

Over time, usage of flexible endoscopy increased tremendously due to the sophistication of tools and decreasing prices. In return, the number of endoscopes on the market, brand new and second-hand, significantly increased. Increasing accessibility increases the probability of making a wrong decision about them.

Nobody wants to be left with an expensive white elephant in the middle of the exam room. It is important to understand that no single endoscope fits all in small animal practice. One should first understand their clinical requirements and then be knowledgeable enough to understand the endoscope design function to find the endoscope that fits their approach.

Find Rigid And Flexible Endoscopes At National Veterinary Equipment

National Veterinary Equipment has flexible instruments for different medical procedures. View our available endoscopes here.

We can guarantee high-quality image quality from laparoscopic surgery to any small animal endoscopy.
To find tools suited for gastrointestinal endoscopy, please reach out to us. National Veterinary has equipment designed specifically for small and large animal procedures.