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Use of video capsule endoscopy to identify gastrointestinal lesions in dogs with microcytosis or gastrointestinal hemorrhage.



Video capsule endoscopy (VCE) is a noninvasive imaging modality that can identify mucosal lesions not detected with traditional endoscopy or abdominal sonography. In people, VCE is used in diagnostic and management protocols of various gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, particularly in GI bleeding of obscure origin or unexplained iron deficiency anemia (IDA).


To evaluate the utility of VCE in the identification of mucosal lesions in dogs with evidence of GI hemorrhage.


Sixteen client-owned dogs that underwent VCE.


Retrospective case-control study. Medical records were reviewed to include dogs with microcytosis, low normal mean corpuscular volume, or clinical GI bleeding that received VCE.


Median age of dogs was 8.7 years (range, 8 months to 15 years) with a median weight of 21.7 kg (range, 6.9-62.5 kg). Abdominal ultrasound (16), abdominal radiography (4), and abdominal CT (1) did not identify a cause for GI blood loss. Gastric mucosal lesions were identified by VCE in 15 of 16 dogs and small intestinal lesions in 12 of 14 dogs, with 2 capsules remaining in the stomach. Endoscopy was performed in 2 dogs before VCE; 1 dog had additional small intestinal lesions identified through the use of VCE.

Conclusions and clinical importance

Video capsule endoscopy is a minimally invasive diagnostic tool that can identify GI lesions in dogs presenting with microcytosis with or without GI hemorrhage when ultrasonography is inconclusive; however, the majority of lesions identified would have been apparent with conventional endoscopy.

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