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Getting Inside the Gut

Horses are susceptible to gastrointestinal tract (GIT) disturbances like ulcers and colic, which often go un- or misdiagnosed given the limitations of available diagnostic tools, such as gastroscopy and rectal examinations. As such, accurate treatment can be difficult to prescribe. Graduate research by Diane Gibbard and Dr. Jeff Thomason of the Ontario Veterinary College is aimed at improving diagnosis accuracy. Their research focused on the assessment of capsule-endoscopic technology (CE) in capturing images of the equine GIT. The horse has a very large gastrointestinal tract and it is a physical challenge to reach and view sections without surgery. CE is a new diagnostic tool that has been successfully used in humans to help diagnose gastrointestinal disease by collecting images of the GIT as the capsule is traveling through it. In this study, Gibbard and Dr. Thomason’s untethered camera capsule, about the size of a large pill, with approximately 12 hours of…

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