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Endoscopy is used as a non-surgical and minimally invasive method of examining the inside of a patient’s gastrointestinal, respiratory, or urinary tract. Endoscopy is done under general anesthesia, and requires high-tech equipment and an experienced doctor. Dogs and cats with vomiting, regurgitation, or diarrhea can often benefit from endoscopy of the gastrointestinal tract. Animals with nasal discharge, coughing, or increased respiratory effort can sometimes require endoscopy of the airways.

Endoscopy can also be used to examine the lower urinary tract to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of dogs with diseases of the bladder or urethra. An endoscopic exam is done using either a rigid or flexible, thin endoscope with a camera on the tip to examine the inside of the esophagus, stomach, intestines, nose, trachea, lungs, bladder, or urethra. These procedures also allow the doctor to obtain small samples of the tissue (biopsy), and can be used as a non-surgical way to remove foreign objects that a dog or cat may have ingested or inhaled.

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