Gastrointestinal endoscopy in the giant panda

autumn p. davidson, Tomas w. baker, chengdong wang, rong hou, li lou introduction

Endoscopy is a minimally invasive method of evaluating the gross appearance of the mucosal surfaces of the gastrointestinal, respiratory and urogenital tracts (Guilford, 1996). Efficient methods of performing endoscopic evaluation of these systems have been developed in small and large animal medicine (Jones, 1997). Besides providing direct visualisation, endoscopy permits obtaining representative biopsy specimens for subsequent histopathological tissue assessments. Video endoscopy allows recorded observations (for retrospective evaluation) as well as group participation by investigators and students, thereby improving both diagnostics and training opportunities.

The original CBSG Biomedical Survey of the giant panda made minimal use of endoscopy, although laparoscopy was used in a few individuals and found to be effective for evaluating abdominal organs, including the uterine cornuae and all ovarian surfaces (see Chapter 4). Other medical findings from this initial survey suggested the need to test other forms of endoscopy for more advanced diagnostic evaluations. Thus the present study was conducted in 2004 at the invitation of the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. It was a

Giant Pandas: Biology, Veterinary Medicine and Management, ed. David E. Wildt, Anju Zhang, Hemin Zhang, Donald L. Janssen and Susie Ellis. Published by Cambridge University Press. # Cambridge University Press 2006.

component of a more thorough set of evaluative procedures that included case histories, physical examinations, haematology, blood chemistry, ultrasonography, serology, toxicology, histopathology and faecal analysis of 11 giant pandas. The subject of this chapter exclusively involves the effectiveness of using endoscopy at this same time to examine the gastrointestinal tract of this species.

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