Exploratory Surgery is a very common procedure performed on animals. There are many different reasons why one of our veterinarians would recommend this type of surgery including: twisted intestines, intussusception, bloat, cancer, and to collect biopsies for diagnostics. The most common reason for performing exploratory surgery on a pet is ingestion of a foreign body that is unable to be passed through normal elimination.
Vomiting is the primary sign seen with a variety of diseases affecting the GI tract especially when ingestion of a foreign body has occurred. Your pet may also have some diarrhea, may be lethargic, and experience pain in the abdomen.
A variety of diagnostic tests, including blood work, x-rays, and sometimes ultrasound are performed prior to exploratory surgery which helps our veterinarians determine where the problem is and what the nature of the problem might be.
Sometimes it is necessary to perform exploratory surgery even when all the above diagnostics appear normal. Sometimes surgery may be recommended to obtain biopsies of the internal organs to discover the underlying cause of clinical signs presented at the time of office visit.