Written by Dana Brooks, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM
Colonoscopy is the examination of the colon with a fiberoptic endoscope. This procedure is commonly performed if an animal has chronic diarrhea, blood in the stool, painful, or frequent defecations. Along with taking biopsies, colonoscopy can aid in diagnosing various types of colitis, strictures or colon cancer. General anesthesia is required, and the patient must be fasted for at least 12 hours prior to the procedure and receive multiple enemas prior to examination because the colon needs to be completely free of fecal material. Patients are usually discharged the same day as the procedure.

Published on July 16, 2008.