We offer a variety of investigations using flexible endoscopy at Hambleton Equine Clinic. We have up-to-date equipment enabling us to evaluate (most commonly) the respiratory tract, stomach, uterus, bladder and sinuses.
Respiratory endoscopy is performed to evaluate the nasal passages, larynx (throat), guttural pouches, trachea and large bronchioles and to take samples from these areas as required. The most common endoscopy is performed in the standing horse, with or without sedation. Our overground endoscope allows dynamic evaluation of the larynx at exercise and is the best way to investigate respiratory noise at exercise or poor performance associated with this region especially in racehorses. See more information on this here: Overground Endoscopy.
Gastroscopy is the endoscopic evaluation of the stomach using our 3m long endoscope. This is the only reliable way to diagnose gastric ulcers of both the glandular and non-glandular mucosa. It also allows us to monitor response to treatment. This is performed in the standing sedated horse and is well tolerated by the majority of horses. It requires pre-gastroscopy starvation of the horse for up to 16 hours depending on diet and regime to ensure the stomach is empty at the time of investigation.
You can find out more about gastric ulcers, signs and treatment here:Equine Gastric Ulcers
Hysteroscopy is performed in the standing sedated mare, preferable in stocks, to evaluate the uterus and is an integral part of our barren mare investigation. It allows us to visualise the cervix, vagina and vestibule along with the endometrium and the body, horns and uterotubual papilla of the uterus and take samples if appropriate. It is useful to determine the health of the endometrium, to sample discharges or perform a biopsy of a specific area, to explore cysts or adhesions and potentially treat as required.
Cystoscopy describes endoscopic evaluation of the bladder and is commonly performed in cases of dysuria (difficulty urinating) to determine the health of the bladder lining, check the ureter openings from each kidney into the bladder and collect sterile urine samples for evaluation. We commonly look for urinary calculi (stones) or sabulous material (grit in the bladder), which irritates the lining often causing cystitis.
Sinoscopy describes evaluation of the frontal and maxillary sinuses of the horse via small holes through the bony coverings of these sinuses in the head. This is performed in the standing sedated horse to evaluate cases of sinusitis, assess tooth roots in the maxillary sinuses and investigate cystic or tumour type structures.
Endoscopy during dental procedures gives our team a highly-detailed and up-close view which not only means that many conditions that might previously have been missed are now diagnosable, but also allows precise guidance as we work in the mouth for new and advanced periodontal procedures such as diastema widening or drilling into the tooth for the purpose of tooth extraction or performing fillings.
Our vets with a special interest in dentistry can now offer oral endoscopy as part of a routine examination if you wish, as well as having it at their disposal for any more complex procedures. Our set-up is compact and fully portable and so can be used at your yard as well as our specialist clinic.