Resident ACVIM - SAIM Ontario Veterinary College - University of Guelph Guelph, Ontario, Canada
This study aimed to assess feasibility and complications of video capsule endoscopy (VCE) in dogs with occult or overt gastrointestinal bleeding (GIB). From August 2017 to November 2019, a total of 38 dogs (23.1kg ± 11.2) were examined by VCE because of suspected occult (26) and overt (12) GIB. The ALICAM® was administered orally (28) or by endoscopic deployment (10) after 12 hours of fast. Preparation included enemas (29), administration of polyethylene glycol (19). A standard scoring system was used for GI visibility. All ALICAM® were administered uneventfully and excreted spontaneously. Median transit time of the capsule from administration to excretion was 30.5 hours (range 2.5 hours – 8 days). Complications included incomplete studies due to temporary gastric retention (14), lost VCE (1), and unrelated sudden death (1) or euthanasia (1). GI visibility was good to excellent in the stomach and small intestine, limited to poor in the colon. Bleeding lesions were identified in 22 dogs (10 with overt GIB, 12 with occult GIB) and included gastric ulcerations (13 dogs), intestinal ulcerations (6 dogs) and gastric/intestinal/colonic vascular ectasia (2 dogs); intestinal lymphangiectasia was identified on ALICAM® in 2 dogs subsequently confirmed by endoscopic biopsies. In 2 dogs with overt GIB, a bleeding lesion was not identified. VCE is a safe procedure and can be used to diagnose a variety of bleeding lesions in the GI tract of dogs. In ALICAM delivered per os, prolonged gastric retention leading to incomplete studies was frequently noted. Further studies are needed to improve study completion.