Endoscopy and Gastroscopy Services
A portable video-endoscope is available for use both on yard and in the clinic. An endoscope is a camera that can be inserted into the body in order to visualise and obtain samples from areas otherwise inaccessible. You will be able to watch as we perform the procedure and we are able to take photos and videos. We have multiple endoscopes for different purposes:
- Short rigid endoscope – for examination inside the mouth
- 1.6 meter flexible endoscope – for examination of the respiratory and urinary systems
- 3.3 meter flexible endoscope – for examination of the oesophagus, stomach and lungs
A gastroscope is the 3.3 meter endoscope and is passed up the nose, down the oesophagus and into the stomach. This allows us to visualize and thoroughly examine the anatomy from the inside of the nose all the way to the stomach. With the gastroscope we can also take biopsy samples to aid some investigations. We ask that all horses are starved for at least 12 hours before gastroscopy if performed as this allows visualisation of the majority of the stomach. The clinic has stables available for overnight starvation if your horse always lives out. Please be aware some horses eat their bedding, so straw should not be used pre-gastroscoping.
The main indication for gastroscoping is to investigate and diagnose possible gastric ulcers.
The upper respiratory tract comprises of the nostrils, nasal cavities, the pharynx and larynx and the guttural pouches, and the lower respiratory tract comprises of the trachea and lungs. The camera is inserted into the horse’s nose and passed to the location required. This procedure is frequently performed to investigate coughing and breathing difficulties, as well as respiratory noise. Samples can be taken from the trachea, lung and guttural pouches to look for evidence of inflammation or infection.