Tracheoscopy is the endoscopic study of the trachea and bronchoscopy is the endoscopic evaluation of the primary airways in the lungs. In most cases a small, flexible scope is used to perform the study. Samples for culture and analysis can be obtained through the bronchoscope using either a fluid lavage technique (the flushing and retrieval of sterile fluid) or a sterile brush. Foreign material can be identified and often removed. Samples of airway growths can be obtained with biopsy instruments. In larger dogs, the scope can be passed down the throat through the breathing tube without disruption of anesthesia or oxygen. Bronchoscopy requires little patient preparation outside of withholding food the morning of the scheduled procedure. Most patients are discharged the same day that the procedure is performed. Some patients may require oxygen therapy post-procedure.
The major symptoms and reasons to perform a bronchoscopy/tracheoscopy are: