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Bronchoscopy is a procedure that allows the inner lining (mucosa) of the lower respiratory tract (bronchi, bronchioles) to be examined with the use of a flexible endoscope. During bronchoscopy, the endoscope is gently introduced into the lower respiratory tract through the mouth. The lining of the lower airways is examined for disease, which may appear as discoloration, irregularities, abnormal blood vessels, polyps, masses or abnormal secretions. Abnormalities are biopsied and fluids and secretions sampled for analysis. All samples obtained are submitted to a veterinary pathologist for analysis.

Dogs and cats may accidentally inhale foreign objects (e.g. grass awns and pieces of food) that can lodge in the lower respiratory tract. These objects can be removed at the time of the bronchoscopy.

Symptoms that your pet may be exhibiting to indicate that a bronchoscopy may be needed include chronic cough or wheezing not responsive to medical management, abnormal chest X-rays or abnormal CT scan.