Channel Islands Veterinary Hospital has been performing endoscopy in-house since 1989 and is one of only a few hospitals in the area that offers this specialized technology often found only at veterinary specialty facilities and universities. This minimally invasive procedure allows our veterinarians to see inside your pet’s body and, when necessary, retrieve an object or take biopsies (tissue samples) without having to make an incision. Endoscopy is most commonly used to examine the inside of the gastrointestinal tract; however, it can also be used to evaluate the upper respiratory tract. The endoscope is particularly valuable when used to retrieve swallowed objects from the stomach, thus preventing a costly and invasive surgery. This means a much less painful and quicker recovery for your pet.
To perform this procedure, the veterinarian inserts the endoscope (a long flexible tube with a light source and a lens or camera at one end) into the area to be examined. Utilizing a variety of grasping or biopsy instruments our veterinarians can either retrieve an object or obtain a biopsy sample for evaluation.
Endoscopy does require that your pet be placed under general anesthesia. However, as with all such procedures, we follow strict protocols and continually monitor your pet’s vital signs to help ensure his or her safety. Please see the descriptions under Anesthesia and Patient Monitoring for more information on what we do to keep your pet safe.
If you have any questions about our endoscopy service or what to expect during your pet’s procedure, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Ultrasonography (also called ultrasound or sonography) is a noninvasive, pain-free procedure that uses sound waves to examine your pet’s internal organs and other structures inside the body. It can be used to:
- Evaluate the heart, kidneys, liver, gallbladder and urinary bladder
- Detect fluid, cysts, tumors or abscesses
- Confirm pregnancy or monitor an ongoing pregnancy
Ultrasound may be used in conjunction with other diagnostic imaging such as radiography (X-rays) and to ensure a proper diagnosis. Interpretation of ultrasound images requires great skill on the part of the veterinarian.
Gel or alcohol is applied to the surface of the body and then the doctor methodically moves a transducer (a small handheld tool) across the skin to visualize and record images of the area of interest. The transducer emits ultrasonic sound waves, which are directed into the body toward the structures to be examined, bounced back and are detected to produce detailed images of the structure on a monitor which can be digitally recorded for subsequent evaluation if needed.
Ultrasound does not involve radiation, has no known side effects and doesn’t typically require pets to be sedated or anesthetized. The hair in the area to be examined often needs to be shaved to obtain the best results. In addition, ultrasound can also be used to accurately visualize and direct a needle through the body wall to obtain tissue or fluid samples for laboratory analysis or to remove fluid when necessary. Additionally ultrasound of the heart (called echocardiography) is the gold standard for evaluating the heart and its valves in heart disease. When necessary, we have a close relationship with a mobile veterinary ultrasonographer who comes to our hospital to perform this specialized examination.
If you have any questions about our ultrasonography service at Channel Islands Veterinary Hospital or what to expect during your pet’s procedure, please contact us.
Benign skin lesions are commonly found in small animals, and although these growths may not be life threatening they can be bothersome, unsightly, irritating and can sometimes be traumatized during grooming. Traditionally, removal of these growths required surgery under sedation and local anesthesia or sometimes even general anesthesia. However, with cryosurgery none of the above is necessary, and the vast majority of cases can be performed quickly during a routine office exam.
Cryosurgery is a relatively painless and quick procedure that uses extremely cold temperatures to freeze and destroy small growths on the skin. We utilize liquid nitrous oxide to achieve -127º F to precisely freeze only the abnormal tissue without damaging any of the surrounding tissue. Occasionally a second treatment two or three weeks later may be required. Since no pre-operative blood work or sedation/anesthesia is needed, the ability to offer your pet cryosurgery will significantly lower treatment costs.
If your pet has any of these small skin tags or wart-like growths, please bring them to our attention during your pet’s exam so that we may offer you this state-of-the-art treatment, or contact us to schedule an appointment to discuss this minor outpatient procedure.