Swallowable camera photographs entire length of dog’s digestive track for 360 degree, painless, diagnosis of canine digestive disorders.


Animal Medical of New City has acquired the ALICAM, a pill-sized device that once swallowed, photographs the entire length of a dog’s digestive track.


Flintstones Chewable-Sized Capsule Packed With Tech


“Its truly amazing,” reports Dr. Howard Gittelman, senior veterinarian with Animal Medical of New City. “The ALICAM contains eight cameras, an LED strobe for illumination, a safely contained battery, and a recording device all packed into a space no bigger than a Flintstones Chewable Vitamin. Once the capsule is swallowed, the ALICAM capture high resolution, 360 degree diagnostic images of the entire gastrointestinal tract.”


Endoscope Capsule Appropriate Diagnostic For All G.I. issues


Gittelman continued, “This kind of device, referred to as an endoscope capsule, allows us to painlessly and non-invasively learn discriminating diagnostic information about patients presenting with signs of:


  • Anemia
  • Weight Loss
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Chronic vomiting or diarrhea
  • And constipation.


No Restrictions On Activity


As diagnostic tests go, this procedure couldn’t be easier.  Says Gittelman, “We give the device to the patient just like we would give a pill, then the dog goes home to resume his or her normal activities. This can include running, swimming…anything!   The only thing the dog is not allowed to do is to eat…either 24 hours prior or 8 hours after taking the pill.”


Once Passed, Recorded Images Downloaded and Evaluated


Once the dog passes the device in his or her stool (typically 10- 30 hours later), the pet owner retrieves the device and brings it back to the veterinarian where it is subsequently sent to a board certified veterinary internist who downloads the images and evaluates them.  New devices are shipped to veterinarians as they are needed.


Chronic Vomiting Issue Solved With Device


Gittelman explained that the device was most recently used successfully on an Animal Medical patient experiencing chronic vomiting, weight loss, and diarrhea.  Gittelman: “In cases such as this, there is a natural progression of diagnostic tests: x-rays, blood panels, parasite and infectious disease tests…but all of these came back normal. We also tried medication and diet changes, but these treatments were not effective.  Finally, I decided that we should use the ALIVET capsule because it is economical and can give us a 360 view of the entire length of the digestive tract.  In this patient’s case, the pill passed in a mere 8 hours, but collected an unbelievable 18,537 images.  Best of all, the ALICAM revealed the source of the patient’s issues: irregularities in the lining of the stomach and duodenum.  We’ll need to biopsy these, but the good news is that, thanks to ALICAM, we know what we’re looking for and where to look.  Additionally, the new information on the source of the problem enabled us to prescribe treatment that’s already proving to be effective.


Endoscope Pill Part of Larger Diagnostic Capabilities


Gittelman is very pleased with the technology.  “Chronic digestive issues are always complicated to solve because there are so many rule outs.  ALICAM is a painless, highly accurate tool for diagnosing cancer, ulcers, parasites, motility issues, and all significant changes to the digestive tract lining and unlike the one used on humans, dogs are not required to wear an external machine to hold uploaded images.  Everything needed for imaging and recording is contained within the tiny capsule.  My one wish is that they will further advance the technology to allow it to be used in cats because so many of that species suffer from hard-to-diagnose digestive problems. But,” he added, “I’m glad we can offer this service to our canine patients. I’m very proud of our ability to diagnose complex medical issues, and second opinion cases.  This is one more tool we have that makes our medical service stand out and helps our patients live longer, happier lives.

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The Animal Medical of New City Animal Care Facility

22 New Hemptead Road, New City, NY 10956

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