Endoscopy is commonly used for examining the airways and stomach of a horse, but it can also be used to look at other structures such as the esophagus and urinary bladder. Western Prairie Equine Service has a 1.5 meter scope and a 3 meter scope to help with all your endoscopy needs. Our new 3 M scope is state of the art technology. It is wireless and mobile, so this procedure can be done on your premises rather than bringing your horse in to our facility, if needed.
The 1.5 M endoscope is passed via the nostril to visualize the nasal cavity, pharynx, larynx, epiglottis, guttural pouches and trachea. Visualizing these structures allows us to diagnosis infections, cancerous growths, hematomas, or foreign bodies. We can also evaluate your horse for abnormal airway function or tracheal bleeding which may suggest conditions such as Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage. Further diagnostics such as bronch-alveolar-lavage (BAL) or tracheal wash can then be performed to analyze a specimen from the airways to confirm an accurate diagnosis.
Western Prairie Equine Service is one of the only equine facilities in Western Kansas to have a 3 meter gastroscope. Gastroscopy is important for diagnosing gastric ulcers or choke. For the procedure, your horse will have to have food withheld for 12 hours. It is performed standing, with sedation. The scope is passed through the nostril, down the esophagus, and into the stomach. According to the recent research, over 60% of performance horses are affected by gastric ulcers. Non-performance horses and foals may also be affected.
Endoscope is the only definitive way to diagnose gastric ulcers in a horse. There are clinical signs that may alert you to the fact that your horse may need scoped. These signs include any one or all of the following: decreased appetite, poor performance, unthriftiness, weight loss, colic, soft stools/diarrhea and behavioral changes. Also, a horse may resent having cinch tightened. The gastroscope will allow Dr. Harris to visualize all parts of the stomach and the proximal duodenum. Findings of any abnormalities in the stomach's lining will allow for immediate and appropriate treatment.