Endoscopy is used in general practice under the following circumstances:
Detailed investigation of the respiratory tract. Most respiratory conditions are either inflammatory or allergic by nature. These problems are often diagnosed by the vet obtaining an accurate history, auscultating the respiratory tract with a stethoscope, and using their experience to treat the horse effectively, and thus resolving the case. However some cases do not respond as expected and require further investigation with endoscopy and tracheal wash or bronchoalveolar lavage. Assessment can be made of any gross abnormalities of the respiratory tract, respiratory discharges present and laboratory analysis of samples obtained.
- Gutteral pouch lavage as a "gold standard" test for presence of Strangles and for investigation of Gutteral Pouch Mycosis.
- Assessment of sinuses and the upper respiratory tract in the presence of a unilateral nasal discharge.
- Gastroscopy can also be performed at the clinic, to assess suspected cases of gastric ulceration in cases of ill-thrift and inappetance. All horses admitted for this investigation will require overnight starvation prior to examination as it is essential that the stomach is empty.
Although endoscopy looks to the spectator to be very invasive and unpleasant for the horse, most procedures can be carried out without the need for more than mild sedation.