Gastroscopy is the scoping of the upper gastrointestinal tract. Our vets use the gastroscope to identify and grade the severity of ulcers and identify foreign bodies and evaluate damage such as in an animal experiencing choke. For diagnosing ulcers in a horse, the stomach needs to be empty of food matter to examine the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and pylorus, thus the horse must be fasted for 16 hours and water must be removed from access 8 hours prior to the procedure. Dr. Zacharias says “Clinical signs that your horse may need a gastroscopic exam are mild recurrent colic, acting hungry, but not finishing feed, yawning, acting cinchy, abnormal poor behavior, etc.”
Endoscopy or upper airway scoping is used to diagnose airway dysfunction which will deeply impact performance; for example, shortness of breath, or a whistling or roaring sound while at work. The scope allows the veterinarian to visualize the pharynx, larynx, guttural pouch, nasal cavity and the trachea. This aids in finding a possible foreign body, like wire or wood, or to diagnose other respiratory conditions such as epiglottic entrapment or laryngeal paralysis. Dr. Josh Zacharias also uses the endoscope during certain surgeries like a tie back surgery.
Here at Countryside, we utilize the precision of an Elkin digital radiography system. With this, we are able to capture a superior quality of detailed radiographs.
A PicoDigital ultrasound is utilized for musculoskeletal imaging, primarily in exploring tendons. This system is also used in respiratory and abdominal ultrasonography
As radiographs and ultrasounds are widely used for imaging joints, bones, and tendons, Countryside Large Animal Veterinary Services, PLLC recently adopted the needlescope as a new tool for further diagnosis of joints. In the event that a problem can not be diagnosed through the use of radiographs and ultrasound, a needlescope can be used as it allows the visualization of the interior aspect of joints through a special needle. No incisions or sutures are needed. The procedure can usually be performed with the horse standing under sedation and local block. It is a great new option that can be considered when planning the best treatment for your horse.
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