Urinary tract problems are a frequent occurrence in dogs and, in many cases, a clinical examination or diagnostic tests such as blood counts, x-ray and ultrasound are unable to provide a definitive diagnosis.
Now, thanks to the recent purchase of a specialised rigid endoscope, we are able to perform keyhole assessment of the bladder and urethra (urethrocystoscopy) in patients with conditions such as chronic cystitis, urinary obstructions and incontinence.
The endoscope consists of small tube with a camera at the end. Under general anaesthesia, this tube is passed through the urethra and into the bladder, allowing visualisation of the internal structures and identification of any pathological changes that may be present, such as inflammation, lesions, foreign bodies or masses.
If polyps or masses are present, our scope also has a side access port which allows us to pass an instrument alongside and take biopsies for further testing, such as histopathology, to provide a more precise diagnosis.
This access port can also be used to perform laser surgery in cases of ectopic ureters – a common cause of urinary incontinence in which the ureter runs through the bladder wall, bypassing the bladder.
This new equipment allows a safe and very useful technique, both for diagnosis and treatment of a range of clinical conditions. A number of our patients have already benefited from its use and many more will do so in the future.