Most pet owners are well aware that, sometimes, it can be a chore preventing your pet from accidentally eating something that they shouldn’t. It’s not like you can blame an animal for eating something that looks edible to them, it’s just part of their lives to eat what’s presented to them, but that doesn’t keep them from eating dangerous things such as nails, needles, chew toys, or fish hooks that could cause some serious damage or even kill your pet if the proper care isn’t taken. However, removing the offending item isn’t always safe either since any animal can run the risk of a complication with their anesthesia that can be fatal, not even counting the ways an actual surgery might go wrong. Luckily, there does exist a safer and cheaper alternative to surgery in these instances, a procedure known as interventional endoscopy that some people may be familiar with as a procedure sometimes used on people as well. Interventional endoscopy is when a vet, or doctor, threads a specially designed camera, called an endoscope, down the patient’s throat or in through some other orifice which is then used to image the problem area to determine what exactly is wrong, from a swallowed item to kidney stones. In some cases, the vet can even use the endoscope to take samples of foreign bodies for testing or remove the offending item entirely without ever having to expose your pet to the dangers of surgery.
The end result is that interventional endoscopy can prove a great boon to your pet’s welfare when they aren’t required to be under anesthesia for as long or suffer the after-effects of an invasive procedure. This isn’t to say some problems don’t require surgery to fix, but if you can solve the problem through an interventional endoscopy then it’d be silly to do otherwise since you’d be unnecessarily putting your pet through an extended recovery and potentially dangerous procedure for nothing! While a pet’s safety is the first concern on people’s minds when it comes to illness or injury, there’s another important fact about interventional endoscopy that should factor into every pet owner’s decision when deciding how to treat their pets… cost. As can be expected, an interventional endoscopy is cheaper than full-blown surgery due to requiring a shorter ICU stay after the procedure and less anesthesia. Since the animal hospital’s cost goes down, it takes less money out of your own pocket which is always a good thing. The next time your pet needs surgery in order to help them, ask your vet if an interventional endoscopy might be a more viable alternative. Many major animal hospitals will have the facilities set up for this procedure, in an emergency or not, and in many cases your vet will recommend a facility that is equipped to perform an interventional endoscopy if they themselves don’t have that capability. At the end of the day, you have to do what’s right when it comes to your pet’s health and well-being and we can thank pioneers in animal medicine who are willing to try new procedures or use surgeries and such used on people on animals for a cheaper, safer alternative to surgery like interventional endoscopy.