Esophagoscopy is a procedure that allows the lining (mucosa) of the esophagus to be examined with the use of a flexible endoscope. During esophagoscopy, the endoscope is gently passed through the mouth and into the esophagus. The mucosa of the esophagus is examined for disease, which may appear as discoloration, irregularities, abnormal blood vessels, polyps or masses. Abnormalities can be biopsied and submitted to a veterinary pathologist for evaluation for cancer and inflammation.
Foreign objects such as toys, rawhides and bones are sometimes found lodged within the esophagus. It is important that these items be removed before significant damage to the esophageal mucosa occurs which can lead to stricture.
Symptoms that your pet may be showing to indicate that they may need an esophagoscopy include difficulty swallowing, not eating, excessive drooling or regurgitation.
This picture was taken during esophagoscopy in a cat. Straight ahead is the opening to the stomach (lower esophageal sphincter).