Tools of the Trade: Olympus endoscope

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Endoscopes allow vets to provide a greater variety of non-invasive procedures.
Endoscopes allow vets to provide a greater variety of non-invasive procedures.

By Dr Adam Stefani, Mornington Veterinary Clinic, Mornington, VIC

Our first endoscope was given to us by a human hospital. They were upgrading so passed their old one on to us. We’ve owned more since then and I believe they’re a must-have.

 What’s good about it

We own two different sized endoscopes that enable us to perform a variety of non-invasive procedures. We can clearly see what’s happening when looking into lungs and stomachs and doing colonoscopies. If an animal is vomiting, I can use an endoscope to look around without opening up the animal.

Tools can attach to the endoscope to take a biopsy of a lump or tumour. Because the animal isn’t being opened up, they recover within minutes and can be sent home the same day.

You can also attach grasping tools that allow you to remove fishhooks and those sorts of things. When an animal swallows a foreign object, a vet without an endoscope often has to go in and surgically remove the object.

Our electro-surgery unit can also be attached to the endoscope. It is then a simple matter to place a wire around a polyp and burn it off. It’s great to be able to use these without resorting to invasive surgery. It has saved a lot of animals from major procedures.

What’s not so good

Our first endoscope was damaged when an anaesthetised dog closed its mouth and broke a few fibres. It’s always a good idea to use mouth gags.

Where did you get it

Veterinary Endoscopy Specialists (www.austvetendoscopy.com.au).

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