Clients & Visitors

Gastroscopy Services

GastEndo

At the EMC, gastroscopes and endoscopes allow veterinary experts to examine and diagnose problems horses may have in their stomach, esophagus, or the beginning of the small intenstine.

The Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center was one of the first equine hospitals in the United States to use video endoscopes as diagnostic tools for detecting abnormalities inside the stomach. These abnormalities can include:

  • irritation
  • ulceration
  • cancerous masses
  • trauma

Faculty researchers at the Center pioneered gastroscopy techniques and conducted research to characterize the equine stomach. Our team also has performed extensive research into the causes of equine gastric ulceration and participated in the development and testing of GastroGard®, the leading treatment for equine gastric ulcers.

Knowing whether gastric ulcers are affecting your horse is important for maintaining optimal performance and for decreasing the risk of colic.

Photo gallery

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Our expertise

  • Drs. Martin Furr, Harold McKenzie, and Anne Desrochers have nearly 50 years of combined experience in performing gastroscopies and teaching the procedure to veterinary students. This depth of experience is invaluable in interpreting the findings of gastroscopic examinations.
  • Our doctors use 2- and 3-meter high-definition video endoscopes that provide ultra-sharp visualization of the esophagus, stomach, and proximal duodenum (beginning of the small intestine). This state-of-the-art technology provides the best quality for thorough examinations.

The gastroscopy exam

Gastroscopy appointments are scheduled with the medicine service and generally take place in the morning. The exam typically takes 15-30 minutes. Horses are given mild sedation that lasts the duration of the exam.

Pre-admission care:

  • The horse must be fasted, which means that nothing solid can be eaten (hay, grain, pasture, etc.,) after midnight of the night prior to your appointment.
  • Water is allowed up until 2 hours prior to the exam.
  • You must be sure that your horse will not eat its bedding - sometimes a muzzle works best - and that there is not a hay net in your trailer.
  • If you desire, your horse can be dropped off the night before so that fasting can take place at the hospital. An overnight stay would be an additional charge.

Resources

Scholarly research by EMC faculty members

Faculty researchers at the Center pioneered gastroscopy techniques and conducted research to characterize the equine stomach. Below is a selection of publications co-authored by former EMC faculty member Dr. Mike Murray.

Gastroscopy appointments

  • For an appointment or for more information, call (703) 771-6800 or email emcinfo@vt.edu.
  • View the Client Care Packet (PDF) to learn more about the facilities, services, staffing, and policies at the Equine Medical Center.

Faculty clinicians