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Colonoscopy is performed after a complete diagnostic work-up and therapeutic plan have failed to resolve problems linked to the lower intestine. To perform colonoscopy, the patient is anesthetized and a flexible fiberoptic endoscope is passed into the colon. Air, passed through the scope, increases the view within the colon. Biopsies can be obtained by passing an instrument through an opening in the scope. Colonoscopy provides a valuable, non-surgical means to diagnose large bowel disorders. To perform colonoscopy, it is important that the colon be clean of fecal matter so that the surface of the colon can be visualized. This often requires withholding food for 24 to 48 hours and giving your pet a solution to drink which "cleanses" the colon. Warm-water enemas may also be used to clear the colon. Most patients are discharged the same day of the procedure.

The major symptoms and reasons to perform a colonoscopy are:

  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Blood in the stool (persistent hematochezia)
  • Study of a growth in the colon or rectum
  • Straining during defecation (persistent tenesmus)
  • Excessive mucus in the stool
  • Stools of significantly decreased or narrowed size
See our departments

Internal Medicine

Dr. Cortright graduated from The Ohio State University.  After a rotating internship at Purdue University, she completed her Small Animal Internal Medicine Residency at Cornell University Hospital for Animals.

Dr. Cortright’s professional interests include endocrinology, liver disease and renal disease.  Her resident project at Cornell involved Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Scottish Terriers.  Dr. Cortright is a board certified member of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

Dr. Cortright lives with her husband, step-daughter Lauren and son William in Ithaca.  They share their home with a Labrador named Indiana, a cat named Tom Hanks and the world’s greatest Boston Terrier, Cosmo.  Her hobbies include volunteering with Cosmo, singing, swimming, and hiking.

Why Internal Medicine?

If your veterinarian has already diagnosed your pet you may be referred to an Internist to confirm their diagnosis and ensure proper a treatment protocol is established. It is also common to be referred to an Internist if your pet has been diagnosed with a condition which your veterinarian has limited or no experience in treating. If your veterinarian is having difficulty reaching a diagnosis or current treatments are not effective, then an Internist may be able to come to the correct diagnosis or adjust treatment plans to help get your pet healthy again. The following examples are some conditions and symptoms which may lead to your veterinarian referring your pet to an Internist:

  • Bleeding disorders including anemia
  • Chronic vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Complicated pancreatic disease
  • Coughing and breathing problems
  • Endocrine disease (adrenal tumors, complicated diabetes, thyroid disorders)
  • Endoscopic retrieval of certain foreign bodies
  • Infectious disease
  • Kidney or bladder disease
  • Liver inflammation
  • Unexplained weight loss

What to Expect At Your Appointment

Dr. Cortright will perform a thorough physical examination of your pet and may discuss additional diagnostic testing when indicated. Additional testing may include testing of blood and tissue samples, diagnostic imaging such as ultrasound and radiography, biopsies of masses, internal organs or bone marrow, and endoscopy including; bronchoscopy (lungs), cystoscopy (bladder & urethra), colonoscopy (colon & small bowel), gastroduodenoscopy (stomach & upper intestines), rhinoscopy (nasal cavity), laparoscopy (minimally invasive surgery for biopsies of internal organs).

Our Internal Medicine Services

Abdominal Ultrasonography Abdominocentesis and Cystocentesis
Abdominocentesis
Arthrocentesis
Bronchoalveolar Lavage BAL

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