The combined techniques of fluoroscopy ('video x-ray'), ultrasound, endoscopy, ulltrasound, and computed tomography (CT) provide a powerful approach to the investigation of gastrointestinal (GI) disease. We have a range of endoscopes that allow upper (stomach and small intestine) and lower gastrointestinal endoscopy to be performed on almost all patients from <1kg to >80kg. GI endoscopy offers the advantage of shorter anaesthetic time, visual inspection of the mucosal surface and the acquisition of multiple biopsies. The risk of major complications with endoscopy are very low (<0.3%) compared to the risk of full thickness surgical biopsies (10-15%). Endoscopy can also be used to remove most foreign bodies from the oesophagus and stomach, place PEG tubes for assisted feeding and balloon and potentially stent oesophageal strictures. Many GI cases are chronic and as a result our clients also benefit from ongoing support and advice for their pets.
Hepatic, biliary and pancreatic diseases are also commonly investigated via blood biochemistry, ultrasound, fluoroscopy and CT scanning. We offer on-site testing for pancreatitis and liver function tests (cPLi, coagulation and blood ammonia concentrations) enabling rapid assessments and the provision of important life saving therapy. Ultrasound-guided liver biopsies and bile sampling are routine and laparoscopic biopsies are now available.
Our multidisciplinary service allows rapid transfer of cases to surgery, should this be necessary, for example, for cases of peritonitis, obstructive biliary disease, portosystemic shunts or removal of neoplasia.