Healthy Pet Network

Medical Glossary

 

Medical Glossary

 
 

A

Adrenal Medulla

Produces epinephrine (adrenal). The central area of the adrenal gland.

Aldosterone

Major mineral regulatory hormone produced in the first layer of the adrenal cortex zona glomerulosa.

Amnion

The membrane enveloping the fetus

Amoeba

A protozoa (microscopic organism) that may cause disease of the intestinal tract.

Amputation

The removal of a limb or other appendage or outgrowth of the body

Amyloidosis

A condition seen in dogs and cats when a deposit of extracellular protein-like substance develops in the kidney

Anaerobe

An organism that grows without oxygen

Analgesic

Describing a substance that helps reduce pain and nausea

Anaphylaxis

Allergic reaction to a substance that may cause life-threatening respiratory distress, followed by collapse of blood pressure and shock

Anastomosis

A connection or opening created by surgical, traumatic or pathological means between two normally separate spaces or organs

Androgen

A substance producing male features

Anemia

Relates to a reduced amount of red blood cells in whole blood

Anesthesia

The administering of a substance (fluid, gas, etc.) to reduce sensitivity; used on or in the body to allow for invasive procedures that may allow for surgical intervention.

Aneurysm

An abnormal enlargement of a blood vessel

Angina

A pain on the left side of the chest and/or leg

Anorectic

Appetite loss. Can apply to animals that haven’t eaten in one or more days or weeks.

Anthelmintic

Describing a substance that is destructive to worms

Antibody

A specific substance produced by immune cells in the body to protect against foreign organism.

Anticoagulant

A substance to stop the blood from clumping or clotting

Antigen

A foreign protein that may elicit a specific antibody production.

Antipruritic

A substance to stop irritation and itching.

Antiseptic

A substance that helps reduce the spread of organisms.

Anus

The terminal opening of the digestion tract.

Aplasia

The lack of development of tissues or organs in the body. Commonly seen in young canine kidneys.

Arteritis

Irritation of an artery.

Arthritis

It is common for aging cats and dogs to suffer from painful joints, which happens from normal wear and tear. Arthritis is a degenerative joint disease that is also called osteoarthritis.

Asepsis

A sterile area of tissue.

Aspirator

A machine that removes fluid and air from a body cavity.

Asthma

Asthma is a more frequent feline ailment than canine. It’s a condition in which the airways leading to the lungs become inflamed and spastic. This causes excessive amounts of mucus to build up.

Ataxia

A loss of muscle control that leads to swaying, staggering.

Atelectasis

The inability of a lung to expand normally.

Atrophy

The unhealthy reduction or diminishing of tissue. For example, reduced muscle size. May be indicated by enhanced protrusions of boney prominences.

Autoimmune

A disorder when the body has a specific antibody or immune response that rejects the body’s own red blood cells.

Avascular

A reduction or complete loss of blood flow to a tissue or organ.

Azotemia

An excessive amount of nitrogenous waste products in the blood.

Azoturia

An excessive amount of nitrogenous waste products in the urine.

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B

Bile

A substance produced in the liver that is excreted into the first part of small Intestine.

Bilirubin

Pigment production from the breakdown of red blood cells. This product circulates in plasma and may be excreted in urine.

Biopsy

A sample of tissue taken for identification of medical problems.

Bladder stones

A rock-like structure that develops in the bladder. Signs include difficult urination, urinating in abnormal places, or urinating with blood.

Blastomyces

A form of fungus that may cause disease in the body.

Bordetella

Commonly known as Kennel Cough, Bordetella bronchiseptica is the name of the specific germ that causes an infection and subsequent inflammation of the trachea (wind-pipe) and bronchi.

Botulism

A toxin produced by a bacteria that causes vomiting, diarrhea, and muscle weakness.

Bradycardia

Slow heart rate.

Bronchiospasm

Closing of the bronchia due to muscle spasm.

Bruit

An abnormal sound heard with a stethoscope.

Bulla

A large fluid or air-filled cyst.

Bursa

A fluid-filled sac usually occurring over a joint to help with mobility.

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C

Calcinosis

Abnormal deposits of calcium compounds, usually referring to the skin.

Calculus

A deposit of minerals, like calcium in the tissue of the body.

Calix

A moon-shaped organ or cavity occurring in the body.

Canal

A tunnel-like passage in the body.

Cancer

Cancer is an uncontrolled growth of cells inside or on the body. It’s not uncommon in pets and appears in dogs with about the same frequency as people. Veterinary oncologists specialize in cancer.

Capillary

A small vessel that connects arteries to veins.

Carcinoma

A malignant growth made up of epithelial cells that tend to invade other tissues and spread (i.e., cancer).

Cartilage

A gristly connective tissue attached to bones, found in juvenile and adult patients.

Castration

Surgically removing the testicles. Reasons for castration include hypersexual activity, chronic prostatitis, testicular tumors and tumors. This procedure should not be done without a reason. A vasectomy is safer in a normal male.

Cataract

An opacity of the lens of the eye.

Catarrh

Inflammation of the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract causing abnormal mucous secretions.

Catheter

A tubular instrument placed into various cavities and organs of the body.

Catheterize

Procedure to chemically or electronically alter tissue functioning.

Caustic

Describing a substance that can cause damage to tissue.

Chemotherapy

Chemical treatment to alter specific disease processes.

Cherry Eye

Enlargement of the small lymph nodes in the inside cornea of the eye.

Chondroitin Sulfate

A glucosamine substance that occurs in cartilage, bone, blood.

Chorioretinitis

Inflammation or irritation of the choroids retinal structure.

Chymopapain

A digestive enzyme that occurs in papaya.

Cirrhosis

Relates to the scarring of tissue and reduction in size of liver cells.

Coccidia

A type of common ‘protozoa-like’ organism living in the small intestine often causing bloody diarrhea.

Colitis

An inflammation or irritation of the large bowel (colon).

Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis refers to an inflammation of the eyelid’s lining of the eyelid. The signs of conjunctivitis are red, swollen lid tissue and itchy, water eyes. The most common cause of conjunctivitis are airborne pollens.

Constipation

Constipation in dogs is often caused by overfeeding them with bones. A veterinarian can help relieve the animal. Signs include straining without stool production, hard and dry stools, chronic vomiting.

Convolution

A bend or twisting of a tubular suture.

Cornea

The clear surface structure of the eye. One layer on the back of the cornea controls water metabolism of the eye.

Corpse

A dead body.

Corpuscle

Old references to red and white blood cells.

Cortex

The external layer of a structure or organ in the body.

Corticosteroid

Hormone secretion produced in the middle layer of the adrenal gland.

Cortisol

A hormone produced from the middle layer adrenal cortex (zona fasciculata).

Cortisoid Binding Globulin

Binds plasma cortisol to a globulin called transcortin.

Cranium

The bony part of the head or skull.

Crisis

A sudden change in a disease process where the disorder may cause death.

Cryptorchid

Partially descended testicles.

Crystalluria

Mineral products occurring in urine.

Curettage

The scraping away of materials from the body surface, structures, and bones.

Cushing’s Disease

Hyperadrenocorticism, also called Cushing’s Disease, occurs when too much cortisone is secreted from the adrenal glands. This results in a number of serious signs that include increased thirst and hair loss without itching.

Cutaneous

Pertaining to the skin.

Cyst

A walled-off area of tissue with a ‘secretory’ membrane (production of unnatural materials). This becomes a small lump in the skin that is freely moveable with concise borders. This may rupture on its own and then treated as an open sore.

Cysticercus

A cyst formed around a tapeworm larvae that occurs in unnatural places.

Cystomy

The opening of the bladder through surgery.

Cytoplasma

The substance occurring around the nucleus of a cell.

Cytotoxicity

A substance that causes damage to specific cells.

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D

Dacryocystitis

Irritation of the lacrimal sac.

Dandruff

Flaking and shedding of skin in an abnormal manner. This can be a sign of an imbalance or also a sign of healing.

Decalcify

A loss of calcium in bony tissue.

Declaw

Surgical removal of the first join on each of a cat’s digits to remove their nails.

Decongestant

A chemical that reduces swelling in usually respiratory tissue.

Degeneration

The reduction of tissue mass due to circumstance or age.

Dehydration

The state of loss of fluid in body cells and blood stream.

Dermatitis

Irritation of the skin.

Dermatosis

Abnormality of the skin.

Dewclaw

A remnant of a ‘thumbnail’ on the front and rear paws in cats and dogs. If detached from the bone at birth.

Diabetes Insipidus

A lack or development of a lack of a pituitary hormone that is necessary for reclaiming water from the kidneys

Diabetes Mellitus

A lack or binding of insulin from the pancreas that helps regulate blood sugar levels. Most commonly seen in middle-aged to older dogs and cats.

Dialysis

Perfusion of intravenous fluids to help cleanse the kidneys and help reduce their abnormal function.

Diaphragmatic

A tear in the muscular membrane that divides the lung cavity from the abdominal cavity. Can be caused by trauma or genetics.

Diarrhea

Liquid-like condition of the feces.

Diethylstilbestrol

A synthetic type of estrogen.

Digitalis

A chemical that occurs in nature or is synthetic that causes the heart to contract more forcibly.

Dipetalomena

Larva with pointed tail that is often confused with heart worm larva.

Dirofilaria

Heart worm larva.

Disc

The fibrous elastic cushion that is found between vertebrae and helps absorb shock. It consists of a fibrous outside ring and a pulpy nucleus.

Disinfectant

A chemical that helps destroy bacteria and contaminants.

Dissection

The orderly removal of body parts.

Distal

Refers to the farthest structure.

Distemper

A virus that causes a pneumonia-like lung disorder that leads to brain disorders, trauma, and death.

Distichiasis

Relates to excess hair of the eyelids that grow inward, causing irritation and sometimes leading to conjunctivitis.

Diuresis

Excessive urination.

Diuretic

A chemical causing excessive urination.

Diverticulum

Usually refers to a pouch of the esophagus as it passes through the diaphragm.

Dorsal

Anatomical word for the top of a structure (e.g., dorsal side of a torso).

Dosage

Refers to a pharmacological level of a chemical to be given to a patient for maximum effect with lowest risk of undesired outcome.

Drainage

Refers to fluid that leaves an open area.

Duct

A tubular structure leading from one organ to another.

Ductus

A fetal vesicle that helps bypass the lungs, from the heart to the aorta.

Dysentery

Loose and runny stool.

Dysplasia

Abnormal development of tissue.

Dystocia

Difficult birthing.

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E

Eclampsia

During birth or thereafter, a lack of blood calcium that causes shaking and/or seizures.

Ectropia

A folding out of the eyelids causing irritation.

Edema

Excess fluid in tissue. Signs include a swollen area of skin.

Ehrlichiosis

A disease caused by a ricketsia.

Electrocardiogram

A measurement of electrical activity of the heart that also determines any cardiac interrupting between the atria and the ventricles.

Electrocautery

The use of electricity-heated wire to alter various tissues, used mainly to coagulate incised vessels.

Electrolyte

A chemical substance necessary to continue life that is found in the body and in nature. When ingested, electrolyte solutions dissolved and transform into electrically charged particles, capable of conducting sodium and potassium.

Elizabethan collar

A restraining collar designed to prevent an animal from licking and biting itself, usually used after a surgical procedure.

Emascular

A term used for crushing certain male spermatic structures to obtain testicular removal.

Emetic

A chemical that causes vomiting.

Emphysema

A fibrous condition of lung tissue disallowing oxygenation and breath.

Empyema

Refers to a build-up of pus in a body cavity.

Enamel

The hard white substance on the outside of the tooth.

Encephalitis

Irritation of the brain.

Encephalomalacia

Refers to a softening of the brain tissue.

Endemic

A disease that is fairly predictable in a population of animals.

Endobronchial

Refers to the internal lining of the airways in the lungs.

Endocardic

Refers to the membrane lining of the heart.

Endocarditis

Refers to an irritation of the lining of the heart.

Endocrine

Refers to the system of organs that secretes hormones.

Endodontia

Refers to the pulp cavity of a tooth.

Endometritis

An inflammation and production of purulent discharge due to infection.

Endometrium

Refers to the lining of the uterus.

Endoscope

An instrument that is used to help visualize body cavities and structures.

Endoscopy

The medical procedure for examining the digestive tract.

Endothelium

A layer of cells that line many internal structures and organs.

Endotracheal

Within the main air duct in the body.

Enteritis

An irritation of the small intestines.

Enterotomy

A surgical incision into the small intestines.

Enterotoxemia

A disorder produced by the bacteria in the small intestines that find their way into the blood stream.

Entropion

Entropion is a condition describing which the pet’s eyelids have rolled inward. This can lead to conjunctivitis and corneal lesions. Signs include closure of the eyes, plus excess tearing, red eyes, or white spots on the surface of the cornea.

Enucleate

The surgical removal of an eyeball.

Enzyme

A type of protein that enhances certain reactions to processes in the foods and nutrients.

Eosinophil

A type of white cell thought to block an allergic reaction.

Epethelium

A cell type that covers and lines many structures in the body.

Epidermis

The outer layer of the skin.

Epididymis

Tubular structure associated with the testicles.

Epiglottis

The tissue flap that opens and closes to protect the voice box and trachea.

Epilepsy

Convulsions, or epileptic seizures, are not uncommon in pets. These convulsions are caused by abnormal electric impulses in the brain, which then causes seizures. The less severe condition results in “petit or grand mal seizures.

Epinephrine

a hormone produced from the center of the adrenal gland.

Epiphysis

A cartilaginous disk residing at either end of a long bone.

Epistaxis

A nose bleed.

Epizootic

A medical effect caused in a limited population of animals due to a specific disease which may not be widespread.

Epulis

A non-0malignant gum mass.

Equilibrium

A balance between opposite forces or influences. It may refer to a chemical equilibrium, or a physical one.

Equine

Referring to horses.

Erection

Stiffening of the male sex organ for the purpose of reproduction.

Erythema

Inflammation or redness of the skin.

Erythrocyte

A red blood cell.

Esophagitis

irritation of the esophagus.

Esophagus

Tubular structure or intestine-like tissue that connects the mouth to the stomach.

Estradiol

Produced not only by the ovaries, but also adrenal cortex – inner layer – zona reticularis. It is the main estrogenic hormone when the animal is not pregnant.

Estriole

A metabolic product from estradiole and estrone. Often found in female urine as a high excretion product.

Estrogen

A protein hormone produced by the inner layers of the adrenal cortex and ovaries. It is a combination of estradiol, estriol, and estrone.

Estrone

Oxidized from estradiol and androstenedione. It occurs in greater concentrations in the pregnant animal.

Estrus

Heat cycle of a female.

Excision

Surgical removal of a portion of the anatomy.

Excretion

The passage of waste materials.

Exophthalmos

Refers to an eye that abnormally protrudes forward out of the socket.

Exostosis

Extra growth of abnormal bone.

Expectorant

A chemical that helps loosen respiratory secretions.

Extensor

Any muscle group that straightens a limb.

External Ear

Outer skin-covered cartilage structure.

Exudative

Relates to a secretion from a lesion.

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F

F.I.V. (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus)

FIV is a virus that affects cats, often fatally so. Often called ‘kitty AIDS,’ the virus is thought to destroy the immune system of cats and makes them very susceptible to infection from other terms that they normally are not exposed to.

Fascia

The connective tissue sheets that cover muscles.

Fasciculation

Uncontrolled muscle spasm.

Fecal

Relating to the stool.

Fecalith

A rock-like structure made of stool that occurs in the intestinal tract.

Feline Leukemia

Notes with the acronym FeLV, it’s a disease that can be transmitted through saliva and urine. Leukemia can cause reproductive failure and autoimmune anemia. this virus may cause weight loss or death.

Feline

Referring to cats.

Feminizing

Production of female hormones occurring in males.

Femur

The bone in the upper leg.

Fenestration

Making an opening into a structure like bone.

Fertilization

The union of a sperm with an egg.

Fetal

Referring to the fetus.

Fetus

Unborn offspring.

Fiber Optics

Medical instrument that is tubular and allows for viewing internal organs.

Fibrillation

Uncontrolled spasms in the heart chamber.

Fibrin

A protein substance in serum that is necessary for the clotting of the blood.

Fibrinogen

A protein in the blood that is changed to fibria.

Fibroma

A non-malignant mass made out of connective tissue.

Fibrosarcoma

A malignant mass made of connective tissue.

Fibula

A small bone attached to the tibia in the lower leg.

Filaria

A small microscopic larva from a nematode.

FIP

Feline Infectious Peritonitis, inflammation of the peritoneum (membrous lining of the abdominal cavity). Signs include stiffness and pain when touching the abdomen, absence of feces, and fever.

Fissure

Valley-like structure in certain organs.

Fixation

The stabilization of an anatomical structure.

Flank

The area in front of the hips up to the last rib.

Flatulence

Gas production.

Flea

The flea is an insect that sustains itself by feeding on the blood of host animals. Flea infestation can lead to a host of health issues for pets. Generally, healthier and cleaner animals are less like to face flea infestation.

Flexor

Usually refers to any muscle that draws a limb into the body.

Fluid

A natural liquid occurring in the body.

Fluorescence

A type of dye used in the eye to identify fresh damage to the surface.

Follicle

Depression in an organ or cavity.

Folliculitus

Irritation of the structure that holds hair.

Foramen

An opening or hole in a bone.

Foreign body

An abnormal substance in the body.

Fossa

A concavity or depression in bone.

Fracture

Damage to a bone.

Free Fatty Acids

Substances that cannot be synthesized by the body and must be obtained from dietary sources that are not esterified .

Funal

Plant-like organism growing on or in the body.

Fundus

The part of a structure farthest from the head.

Fusion

Coalescing of structures normally not attached.

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G

Gall Bladder

A saculation in the liver necessary for a portion of digestion.

Gallop

Abnormally fast heart rate.

Gammopathy

Over-production of antibodies by certain white blood cells.

Ganglion

A network or mass of nerves.

Gangrene

Devitalization of tissues; dead tissues.

Gas

Production of air from the digestive tract.

Gastritis

Irritation of the stomach.

Gastropexy

Suturing the greater curvation to the ventral abdominal cavity to avoid future bloat or gastric torsion.

Gastrostomy

Surgically opening the stomach.

Genetic

Refers to inherited traits.

Genital

Refers to the external sex organs.

Genome

Genetic picture carried by an animal or person.

Germ

Archaic term for a disease-causing micro-organism.

Gestation

The time needed to grow from embryo to birth.

Giardia

A protozoa-like organism causing chronic diarrhea.

Gingivitis

See periodontal disease.

Gland

An accumulation of cells producing protein-like substances called hormone.

Glaucoma

An increase in fluid in the eye, causing bulging and other effects like corneal ulcers and loss of vision.

Globulin

A protein antibody substance produced by one immuno cell.

Glomerulonephritis

Inflammation or irritation in the tubular structure of the kidneys.

Glucocorticord

Adrenal hormones, like cortisol, hydrocortisone, and corticosterone.

Glucogen

A protein-like substance produced by the pancreas to help increase blood glucose.

Glucose

A simple sugar that comes from glucogen and foods to feed cells.

Glycogen

A source of glucose stored in the liver.

Goiter

Usually an enlargement of the thyroid glands, often due to an iodine deficiency.

Gonadotropic

A protein-like substance that causes effects on the testicles.

Granuloma

A non-malignant growth made of fibrous tissue.

Griseofulvin

A derivative of penicillin mold that acts against external skin growth.

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H

Haemobartonella

A microscopic organism that acts as a parasite on red blood cells.

Halitosis

Dental problems or poor digestion are the typical cause of halitosis, a more commonly called “bad breath.” If dental disease is ruled out, a veterinarian may recommend a special diet supplement or diet.

Heart Block

Loss of electricity in the heart that could stop function of the organ.

Heart Failure

Inability of the heart to function as a normal organ.

Heartworm

Heartworms are parasites (a parasite is an organism that lives off another animal or organism to survive). While heartworms are not themselves contagious, they are transmitted from animal to animal by mosquitos.

Hemangiosarcoma

A malignant tumor of the vascular system.

Hematemesis

A term describing the presence of blood in vomit.

Hematinic

Supplement that enhances the growth of blood cells.

Hematocrit

The measurement of red blood cells as compared to serum.

Hematoma

An accumulation of blood in an unnatural area of the body.

Hematomyelia

Abnormal blood flow into the spinal cord.

Hematopoiesis

Production of blood cells.

Hematuria

The presence of blood in the urine.

Hemoglobin

A protein associated with red blood cells for the transport of oxygen.

Hemoglobinuria

The presence of hemoglobin in urine.

Hemolysis

When red blood cells break up and are destroyed in serum.

Hemophilia

Often a genetic disease causing lack of blood clotting.

Hemorrhage

Uncontrolled bleeding.

Heparin

Anticoagulant.

Hepatic

Refers to the liver.

Herbicide

A chemical that is used to kill unwanted vegetation and foliage.

Herbivore

An animal that east only plant matter.

Hereditary

Inheriting certain genetic traits from the parents.

Hermaphroditism

The presence of both male and female sex organs.

Hernia

Abnormal passage of anatomical parts in the wrong tissue. A weak spot or other abnormal opening in a body wall permits part of an intestinal organ to move into an abnormal site.

Herniation

Refers to a disk in the spine that ruptures.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a disease involving the ‘ball and socket’ joint of the hip, where the hind leg attaches to the pelvis. Symptoms of hip dysplasia can be related to arthritic changes that occur as a result of genetics.

Histamine

A chemical released from certain cells that cause capillary dilation.

Histiocytoma

A tumor made up of certain cells.

Histocompatability

A term to describe the agreeability of tissues from different animals to maintain a homeostasis (well-being).

Histopathology

The microscopic description of tissue anatomy.

Hookworm

A parasite with larva that penetrates the skin of hosts upon contact. Most often in dogs on skin that contacts the ground.

Hormone

A chemical protein acting as a messenger to body organs that have specific receptors. Hormones cause specific regulatory effects on those organs and are produced by other organs or body tissues.

Humerus

A bone in the upper arm that joins with the shoulder.

Hydrocephalus

The lack of drainage of fluid.

Hydronephrosis

The increase in the size of the kidney due to lack of urine drainage.

Hydrotherapy

The use of water to help disease.

Hygroma

Accumulation of fluid in the purse that covers a joint.

Hyperadrenocorticis

Producing too much cortisol.

Hyperesthesia

Abnormal sensitivity that often relates to the nervous system.

Hyperextension

The over-angulation of a joint.

Hypergammaglobulinemia

Increased levels of antibody.

Hyperglycemia

Elevated blood glucose levels.

Hyperkalemia

Higher than normal potassium level.

Hyperkeratosis

Excess existence of callous materials on the skin, usually on foot pads.

Hyperlipidemia

Excess amount of fat in the blood.

Hyperplasia

Increase in size of tissue without the presence of a tumor.

Hypersensitivity

Over reactant.

Hypertension

Increased blood pressure.

Hyperthermia

Elevated body temperature.

Hyperthyroidism

In hyperthyroidism, which is more common in middle-aged to older pets, the thyroid gland enlarges as its functional tissue stretches beyond normal range.

Hypertonic

Refers to a solution more dense than water and other fluids.

Hypertrophy

Increase in the size of tissue.

Hypervitaminosis

The inserting of too high-level quantities of vitamins.

Hypervolemia

Too much fluid in the blood vessels.

Hypoadrenalcorticis

Under production of adrenal cortisol due to injury or trauma to the adrenal gland.

Hypocalcium

Low blood calcium.

Hypochloremia

Reduced levels of chloride.

Hypoglycemia

Low blood sugar. Signs include muscle weakness and lethargy.

Hypokalemia

Low blood potassium.

Hyposensitization

The process of reducing sensitivity, typically refers to allergens.

Hypotension

Low blood pressure.

Hypothyroidism

Low thyroid hormones.

Hypoxia

Reduced oxygen in the body.

Hysterectomy

Surgical removal of the uterus.

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I

Iatrogenic

Adverse health condition caused by a doctor.

Ileitis

Irritation of the lower small intestine.

Ileocecal

Area of intestine between the lower intestine and colon.

Immunization

The process of developing protection by way of vaccines.

Immunodeficiency

A reduced state of antibody and cellular protection.

Immunoglobulin

A special protein produced by specific immune cells.

Immunosuppressant

A chemical or substance that reduces the protection in the body.

Immunotherapy

An alteration of the immune system with chemicals.

Inbred

Genetic breeding that is improperly related.

Incision

An opening in the body that is created with a scalpel.

Inclusion Body

An extra vacuole appearing in the cytoplasm of a cell.

Incontinence

Urinary incontinence occurs when an animal loses the ability to control its bladder to hold urine. Signs are when the animal urinates involuntarily, when awake or asleep. Causes include spaying, abnormal bladder position and estrogen imbalance.

Indurated

Tissue that is inflamed or swollen.

Infarct

An area of dead tissues, often relates to the heart.

Infectious

A disease that is passed from one organism to another.

Infertility

The loss of ability to create embryos.

Inflammation

Irritation and swelling of an anatomical structure.

Inguinal

Refers to the groin.

Inspissated

A secretion that has thickened.

Insulin

A hormone produced by the pancreas to regulate blood sugar.

Insulinoma

A benign tumor that produces insulin.

Integument

The skin.

Intercellular

Location between cells.

Interdigital

Refers to the area between the fingers or phalanges.

Interstitial

Spaces between tissue.

Intradermal

Within the skin.

Intraosseous

Region located inside the bone.

Intravenous

Area located inside the vein.

Intussusception

A telescoping of the intestine upon itself.

Iridocyclitis

Irritation of the iris or cilliary apparatus.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome is common and can be enhanced by diet, allergies, bacteria, or internal parasites. A primary symptom is diarrhea but occasionally results in vomiting as well.

Isotonic

Same density as water or serum.

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J

Jejunum

Middle area of the small intestine.

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K

Keratinization

Production of callous-like skin

Keratitis Sicca

Keratitis sicca describes a condition involving a lack of tears to cleanse and lubricate the eyes. This can lead to conjunctivitis and corneal ulcers.

Keratoconjunctivitis

Irritation of the surface of the eye and white membrane of the eye.

Keratopathy

A degeneration of the cornea.

Ketosis

Increased amount of ketones in the body and blood stream.

Knuckling

Relates to stumbling and/or dragging the extremities.

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L

Labyrinth

Bony canal connecting the inner ear.

Lacrimal

Refers to the tear-producing system of the eye.

Lactation

Production of milk from a mammary gland.

Larva

Immature form of an organism that is different in form and size.

Laryngitis

Inflammation of the membrane of the voice box, or larynx.

Larynx

A structure made of muscles and cartilage, located in the throat, that contains the vocal cords. Also called the voice box.

Lavage

Cleaning out an organ or cavity, like the stomach.

Lesion

A traumatic abnormality of tissue; including wounds, sores, ulcers.

Leukopenia

A reduction in the number of white blood cells.

Levamisole

A chemical substance used to eliminate intestinal and lung worms.

Ligament

A band of tissue that connects bones or cartilage.

Ligature

A material that is used during surgery to tie off the end of blood vessels, intestines etc.

Limbic

Pertaining to an edge or margin of a part of the body.

Lingual

Pertaining to the tongue.

Lipemia

An excess of fats in the blood.

Lipid

A kind of fat tissue.

Lipoma

A fatty non-malignant deposit that appears between the skin and muscles (subcutaneous).

Liposarcoma

A malignant fat cell tumor.

Liver

Large, dark-red organ in the abdomen that stores and filters blood, secretes bile, breaks down fats, develops serum proteins, detoxifies chemicals etc.

Lobe

A well-defined part of an organ or body part.

Lobotomy

A psychosurgical procedure in which nerve fibers are cut to separate a lobe of the brain and the thalamus.

Local

Pertaining to one spot; not general.

Lubb

A term used to symbolize the first beat of a heart’s cycle.

Lumbar

Refers to the lower portion of the vertebrae.

Lungworm

Any parasitic worm that inhabits the lungs of a host animal.

Lupus

Abbreviated ‘LE’, is an autoimmune disorder.

Luxation

Malposition of a skeletal structure.

Lyme Disease

A severe polyarthritis of digs. most commonly transmitted by certain ticks.

Lymph

A slightly yellow liquid contained in the lymphatic system of the body.

Lymphadenitis

Inflammation of lymph nodes, sometimes in indicator of disease.

Lymphangitis

Inflammation of a lymphatic vessel, sometimes an indicator of disease.

Lymphocyte

A type of white cell.

Lymphoma

A type of white blood cell malignancy.

Lymphomatosis

The presence of more than one lymphoma in the body.

Lysine

Naturally occurring amino acid.

Lysis

Destruction of a cell caused by a specific agent.

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M

Maceration

Softening a solid material by soaking it.

Macrophage

A class of large white cells that are activated by inflammation.

Macula

An area or spot distinguished by color from its surrounding area.

Malathion

A commonly used insecticide for topical administering to animals.

Malignant

A term describing a progressively more severe affliction.

Mandible

the bone that forms the lower jaw.

Mange

A skin disease affecting domestic animals that can be caused by a hormonal antibody imbalance (demodex) or a contagious mange which is scabies.

Mastitis

An inflammation of the mammary gland.

Maxilla

One of the two bones that forms the upper jaw.

Mebendazole

A widely administered anthelmintic (anti-worm agent) that destroys gastrointestinal and lung worms.

Meconium

Developed in the full-term fetus, represents the first stools passed by the fetus.

Medical Ice Age

Click here for definition.

Medulla

The inner part of an organ.

Megacolon

Enlargement of the colon often associated with chronic constipation.

Megaesophagus

Enlargement of the esophagus.

Melanin

A dark pigment located in the skin, hair, and certain nerve cells.

Melanoma

Malignancy of pigment producing cells, most common in dogs, cats and people.

Membrane

A thin layer of tissue that covers a surface.

Meningitis

Inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord.

Meniscus

A round, smooth structure; often refers to the cartilage in the knee.

Mesentery

A membrane that attaches organs to the body walls.

Mesoderm

The middle of three primary layers that make up an embryo’s structure.

Mesogenic

Describing a situation in which a parasite dominates a host and survives.

Metabolism

The combined physical and chemical processes in which an organism maintains homeostasis.

Metastasis

The transfer of a tumor from one organ to another.

Metastasize

Reflects the spread of a primary malignancy (a cancer).

Metopic

Pertaining to the forehead.

Metritis

Inflammation of the uterus.

Microangiopathy

A disorder associated with smaller blood vessels.

Microbe

A microorganism, often referring to a harmful bacterium.

Microfilaria

Larva of an adult worm found in the bloodstream; the larva are ingested by biting insects and transmitted to another permanent host.

Microsomatic

Describing a type of animal with a poor sense of smell.

Mineral Corticord

Aldosterone and desoxycorticosterone and small amounts of androgen.

Mite

A type of very small arthropod that are either free-living or parasitic on animals and plants.

Mole

A fleshy wart that may contain pigment.

Molting

The change in the feathers, skin, or fur of an animal.

Monomeric

Pertaining to a single part.

Monorchid

One undescended testicle.

Motility

Refers to the ability to move voluntarily.

Mucus

A slimy substance lining a mucous membrane.

Murine

Refers to mice or rates.

Murmur

An abnormal sound heard in the heart.

Mutant

A change in programmed genetic structure.

Mutilation

Removing or damaging an essential part of the body.

Mycosis

A disease that is caused by a fungus.

Mydriasis

Abnormal dilation of the eye’s pupil.

Myectomy

Cutting and removing a muscle or part of a muscle.

Myelin

The fatty substance surrounding nerve fibers.

Myelitis I

nflammation of the spinal cord.

Myelopathy

Describing any harmful disturbance of the functioning of the spinal cord.

Myocardial

Referring to the muscular tissue of the heart.

Myocardiopathy

Describing a non-inflammatory disease of the thickest layer of the heart.

Myodysplasia

Refers to an abnormal development of muscle tissue.

Myoglobinuria

Refers to the presence of globulin in the urine.

Myopathy

Any disease attacking muscle tissue.

Myopia

Short-sightedness.

Myositis

Inflammation of muscle tissue.

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N

Narcosis

A temporary, drug-induced depressed state that affects the central nervous system.

Nasal

Pertaining to the nose.

Necrocytosis

The death and decay of cells.

Nematode

A roundworm.

Neonatal

The period of time immediately following birth.

Neoplasia

A type of uncontrolled tissue growth which can be malignant or not.

Neoplasm

A benign or malignant tumor.

Nephrectomy

Removing a kidney during surgery.

Nephritis

Inflammation of a kidney.

Neural

Referring to a nerve or nerves.

Neuritis

Inflammation of a nerve.

Neuroaxonal

A degenerative disease of the nerves found in dogs and cats and people.

Neurogenic

Pertaining to the nervous system.

Neuroleptic

Referring to a quality that modifies psychotic behavior.

Neurology

The branch of science that studies the nervous system.

Neuroma

A tumor-like mass of nerve fibers.

Neuropathy

Referring to disturbances and disorders of the nervous system.

Node

A small mass of tissue, can be normal or abnormal.

Nodule

A node that can be felt by touch.

Nystagmus

An involuntary movement of the eyes.

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O

Obesity

Excessive amount of fat in the body considered outside normal range.

Obstruction

Refers to a clogging of a structure.

Ocular

Pertaining to the eye.

Oculomotor

Pertaining to the movement of the eyeball.

Odontopathy

A disease affecting the teeth.

Olfactory

Pertaining to the system that provides the sense of smell.

Omnivore

An animal that eats both plant and animal matter.

Onychectomy

Also called ‘declawing,’ surgical removal of claw or nail.

Onycholysis

When a nail or claw loosens or separates from its bed.

Oophorectomy

Removing one or both ovaries, also called ovariectomy.

Opthalmitis

Inflammation of the eyeball.

Optic

Pertaining to the eye.

Orbital

Pertaining to the socket that holds the eye.

Orchitis

Inflammation of the testes.

Organ

A part of the body that works somewhat independently for a specific function.

Orifice

An opening of any body cavity that serves as an entrance or an exit.

Orthopedics

Surgery that address skeletal system functioning.

Osmosis

The passage of a solvent between two membranes.

Ossification

Transforming or forming bone or a bony substance.

Osteitis

Inflammation of the bone.

Osteoarthritis

See ‘arthritis.’

Osteochondritis

Inflammation of bone and cartilage.

Osteogenesis

The development of bone.

Osteoma

A non-malignant tumor consisting of bony tissue.

Osteopathy

Any disease of a bone.

Osteoporosis

A condition in which there is a loss of bone matter.

Osteotomy

Cutting into bone tissue.

Otic

Pertaining to the ear.

Otitis

Inflammation of the ear.

Ovarian

Pertaining to an ovary.

Ovary

The female reproductive gland which produces eggs.

Ovine

Pertaining to sheep.

Ovulation

The process when the egg (ovum) is discharged into the follicle.

Ovum

The egg produced by the female.

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P

Palate

The roof of the mouth.

Palpable

An easily ‘felt’ tissue (i.e., the doctor an feel it).

Palpebral

Pertaining to the eyelid.

Pancreas

A large gland in the abdomen that produces enzymes that assist in the breakdown of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.

Pancreatitis

Inflammation of the pancreas.

Panleukopenia

Also known as feline distemper, feline panleukopenia is very contagious viral disease. It is not related to canine distemper. The signs of feline distemper include fever, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea and death if untreated.

Panniculitis

Inflammation or irritation of fatty tissues.

Papilloma

A benign wart.

Paracentesis

Refers to the surgical puncture of a cavity.

Paralysis

Partial or complete loss of motor function in a body part due to injury or trauma to neural or muscular mechanisms.

Paraplegia

When the hind limb(s) suffers paralysis.

Parasite

A plant or animal that lives on or within another organism that typically suffers in some way so the parasite can live.

Paresis

When there is partial paralysis.

Parvo Virus

Canine Parvo Virus can be a fatal disease, especially among young puppies. the highly infectious agent destroys the intestinal lining of affected dogs and causes them to vomit severely and have bloody diarrhea.

Pathogen

Any substance or organism that produces disease.

Pectoral

Pertaining to the chest.

Periodontal Disease

The general ailment known as Periodontal Disease, or Gum Disease, is very common in pets.

Petit mal

A mild seizure, often difficult to detect in animals.

Phlebitis

Inflammation of a vein.

Phlyctena

A small blister that is caused by a burn.

Phrenic

Pertaining to the diaphragm.

Pilus

A hair.

Placenta

An organ in mammals that connects the mother and the offspring that allows for the selective exchange of fluids and substances.

Plexus

A network of veins or nerves.

Pneumonia

An illness that causes inflammation of the lung.

Pollakiuria

Abnormally frequent urination.

Prenatal

Before birth.

Progesterone

A steroid hormone that is the primary hormone that helps prepare the body for pregnancy.

Prognosis

Predicting the direction and outcome of the course of a disease.

Prostate Gland

A secondary sex organ in a male animal that produces a fluid to provide sperm nutrition and mobility.

Prostatitis

An irritation (inflammation, infection, or enlargement) of the prostate gland.

Prosthesis

When a missing part of the body is replaced with an artificial substitute.

Pruritis

Itching, a symptom of many skin disorders.

Puberty

The time when an animal first becomes able to reproduce.

Pulicicide

A substance used in flea control.

Pulmonary

Pertaining to the lungs.

Pupil

The area in the middle of the eye that expands and constricts in order to control the amount of light that reaches the retina.

Pupillary

Pertaining to the eye’s pupil.

Purulent

The formation or presence of pus.

Pus

A liquid substance created as an inflammation product. It’s rich in protein and made of white blood cells and cellular debris matter.

Pyocyst

A cyst that contains pus.

Pyorrhea

A significant discharge of pus.

Pyrectic

Pertaining to fever.

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Q

Quadriplegia

Paralysis affecting all four limbs.

Quarantine

To be placed in a restricted area for observation.

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R

Rabies

Rabies can cause severe illness and death in animals and humans alike. It’s a viral disease that can infect all mammal can be infected, but the susceptibility of species varies widely.

Rachis

The vertebral column.

Receptor

A molecule that recognizes and binds with chemicals and substances.

Recess

A small empty space.

Recessive gene

A gene that may be present but only recognized in the absence of a dominent gene.

Rectal

Pertaining to the rectum.

Rectum

The end of the large intestine.

Recumbent

describing an animal that is lying down and cannot rise on its own.

Refusion

The process in which blood is temporarily removed and then replaced.

Regression

Returning to a previous state.

Regurgitation

The backward flow of a liquid substance.

Rejection

When the body does not accept a treatment, organ or graft.

Relapse

When a disease returns after its apparent disappearance.

Renal

Pertaining to the kidney.

Respiration

The act of breathing via exchanging oxygen and carbon-dioxide.

Retina

The internal part of the eye onto which light is projected and received.

Retinal

Pertaining to the retina.

Retinitis

Inflammation of the retina.

Retrices

The long feathers on either side of the tail in domestic birds.

Rhagades

Fine cracks in the skin.

Rhinitis

Inflammation of the mucous membrane in the nose.

Rhinogenous

Occurring in the nose.

Ricketts

A calcium-deficient disease in juvenile animals caused by a deficiency of Vitamin D or phosphorous.

Rima

A crack.

Rostrum

The most forward part of the body (e.g., beak or snout).

Roundworm

A class of internal parasites that most commonly invade the gastrointestinal tract; appearing elongated, cylindrical, and migrate out of the intestines as a larva and reaches the lungs and is coughed up and swallowed as an adult.

Runt

An offspring that is smaller than average in size.

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S

Sacral

A bone attaching the lower spine to the pelvis (hip bone).

Saliva

Produced by saliva glands in the mouth.

Sarcoma

A highly malignant tumor that can develop quickly and reside in muscle tissue.

Sarcoptic Mange

Also known as scabies, a very irritating skin ailment caused by a particular mite. Lesions lead to self-trauma that causes loss of hair.

Scabies

Also known as Sarcoptic Mange, a very irritating skin ailment caused by a particular mite. Lesions lead to self-trauma that cases loss of hair and skin.

Scar

A distinguishable mark that remains after healing.

Scatoscopy

Examining the feces.

Sclera

The white part of the eyeball.

Scrotal

Pertaining to the scrotum.

Scrotum

The pouch of skin and tissue that contains the testes.

Sebaceous

Pertaining to the glands that produce oil to lubricate the skin.

Secretory

Producing a liquid or fluid.

Sedative

An agent that calms the central nervous system to reduce its sensitivity.

Seizure

The sudden attack of a disease; often refers to convulsions in Epilepsy. Grand Mal and Petit Mal represent the most severe, and the least severe seizures.

Semen

The fluid that is discharged with the male ejaculation.

Sensitization

A process to reduce sensitivity of an organism to a foreign substance.

Septicemia

A disease spread widely within the body due to persistent harmful bacteria or virus.

Septum

A wall that divides a body space.

Serotonin

A hormone that helps with the transmission of nerve impulses.

Serum

The fluid that is left after solids have been removed.

Sheath

A tubular envelope surrounding different tissue.

Shock

A collapse of the vascular system.

Shunt

A passage between two natural channels that can occur physiologically or through surgical procedure.

Sialitis

Inflammation of a salivary gland.

Sign

A clinical observation of a disorder.

Sinus

A cavity or channel.

Smegma

A cheesy-like secretion from the foreskin of the penis.

Sneeze

An involuntary, sudden expulsion of air caused by an irritation of the nose.

Spasm

A sudden involuntary contraction or twitching of muscle tissue.

Sperm

The male reproductive cell that maps genes and fertilizes the ovum.

Sphincter

A muscle that encircles a channel and closes or opens the channel.

Sphygmic

Pertaining to the pulse.

Spinal Cord

The part of the central nervous system that is contained in the spinal canal, protected by vertebrae.

Spleen

A large organ in the abdomen whose primary function is filtration.

Splenic

Pertaining to the spleen.

Splenitis

Inflammation of the spleen.

Splint

A stiff external support used in treatment of displaced or fractured bones.

Spondylolisthesis

Also called Wobbler Syndrome, a congenital conduction in which a cervical vertebrae is displaced. Most common in large breed dogs.

Sputum

Thick mucous secretion that is formed in the lungs.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Relatively common malignancy that arises from epithelial tissue.

Stain

A discoloration of the skin.

Staining

Use of artificial discoloration for enhanced ability to examine tissues, cells, or other microorganisms through a microscope.

Stasis

To stop the flow of fluid, blood, or intestinal contents.

Steatitis

Inflammation of fatty tissue.

Steatorrhea

A disorder in which excess fat is seen in the feces.

Stenosis

Reduction in diameter of an opening or tube.

Sterilization

A process to reduce or remove pathogens; also refers to rendering an animal incapable of reproduction.

Sternal

Pertaining to the sternum.

Sternum

The breastbone of an animal.

Steroids

Complex hormones that are important in many of the boy’s activities.

Stertor

Difficult breathing, often resulting in snoring.

Stethoscope

A medical instrument used to amplify the body’s sounds that relate to the heart, lungs and the abdomen.

Stomach

The muscular structure that aids in digestion.

Stranguria

Difficulty with urination.

Stratum

Sheets of tissue.

Stria

A streak or line.

Subcutaneous

Between the epidermis (top layer of skin) and the muscles

Sublingual

Under the tongue.

Subluxation

Partial loss of position of a bone at the joint.

Suture

Use of stitching to close a surgical or traumatic wound.

Swelling

The abnormal enlargement of an area or body part.

Symbiosis

When two separate entities work together.

Symphysis

A type of joint in which bones are firmly held by cartilage tissue.

Syncope

A temporary loss of consciousness.

Syndrome

A combination of clinical signs that are commonly seen when a medical effect occurs.

Synovia

The thick fluid inside joints that lubricates moving parts.

Synthetic

Artificial production.

Systole

The contraction of the heart during which blood is pushed into the atria.

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T

Tabescent

Becoming emaciated.

Tachycardia

Abnormally fast heart rate.

Tachyphagia

Describing rapid eating.

Tachypnea

Abnormally fast breathing with short, shallow breaths.

Tactile

Referring to feeling or touch.

Tapeworm

A class of internal parasite that is elongated and somewhat flat. In most cases, tapeworms do not pose a serious health risk.

Tartar

A build-up of yellowish matter formed of calcium phosphate and carbonate that is deposited on teeth by saliva.

Taurine

An amino acid found only in animal products. Taurine is often required to avoid heart enlargement.

Teat

Nipple or Areoli.

Tendinitis

Inflammation of tendons.

Tendon

A strong connective tissue that attaches muscle to bone.

Tenesmus

Painful straining during defecation or urination.

Testis

The male gonad.

Tetanus

A potentially fatal disease caused by bacterial infection, most commonly following a traumatic injury. Causes muscle spasms.

Tetracycline

An antibiotic effective against many different microorganisms.

Thalamus

Part of the brain that functions as a relay station for synapses traveling into the cerebral cortex from the spinal cord and brainstem.

Thermal

Pertaining to heat.

Thermogenesis

Producing heat within the body.

Thoracic

Pertaining to the chest.

Thorax

The area of the body between the neck and the abdomen.

Thrombus

A collection of blood cells that cause obstruction.

Tic

An involuntary twitching of a muscle.

Ticks

A tick is an external parasite that feeds on the blood of pets. animals with regular time outdoors, especially in brush or high foliage, are most likely to be bitten by ticks.

Toilet

When a wound is cleaned and dressed.

Tonic

Restoring normal tone.

Tonsil

A small mass of tissue located in the throat and associated with a lymph node.

Topical

Pertaining to the outer part of a body.

Tourniquet

A tool, including make-shift, to control bleeding by pressing.

Toxemia

The weakened condition caused by the spread of bacteria in the blood. Toxic Poisonous.

Toxicology

The study of chemicals that cause illness in animals.

Toxin

A poisonous substance.

Trachea

The windpipe, an air passage from the larynx to the lungs.

Tracheal

Pertaining to the trachea.

Tracheostomy

Creating an opening to the trachea directly through the neck.

Tract

A long bundle of tissues or organs.

Traction

A pulling force to preserve proper positioning of a fractured bone.

Trait

A condition determined by genes; also used to describe a specific genetic defect.

Transfusion

Adding whole blood or blood components directly into the bloodstream.

Transmissible

The condition when a disease can be spread from one animal to another.

Transplant

To remove and replace tissue from within one body or into another.

Trauma

A type of injury, usually by an external force.

Treatment

The process of attempting to reduce or eliminate a patient’s disease.

Tremor

Repetitious twitching of a skeletal muscle.

Trichomycosis

Disease caused by fungi that affects the hair.

Trichopathy

Disease affecting the hair.

Tricuspid

Having three points.

Trocar

An instrument used to puncture a membrane and remove fluid or air.

Trochlear

Bony or fibrous structure that is shaped to accommodate tendons.

Trombiculidiasis

A type of dermatitis caused by a specific mite.

Trophic

Pertaining to nutrition.

Truncal

Pertaining to the trunk.

Tubectomy

To remove part of the uterine tube.

Tuber

A swell or a bulge.

Tuberculosis

A disease caused by bacteria called Myobacterium that case a variety of symptoms in different animals.

Tuberosity

A raised area.

Tumor

A growth of tissue with progressive development.

Tunica

A coating or covering.

Tympanum

Part of the cavity in the middle ear.

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U

Ulcer

An area of erosion of tissue. Ulcers can occur externally or internally.

Ulcerogenic

Describing a stimulation or substance that causes ulcers.

Ulotomy

Cutting into scar tissue.

Umbilicus

The navel, or ‘belly button.’

Undershot

Describing a lower jaw that juts farther forward than the upper jaw.

Ungual

Pertaining to the claws.

Uremia

An excessive amount of nitrogenous waste products in the blood stream due to kidney failure, also known as azotemia.

Uresis

The process of urination.

Ureter

The tubular structure that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder.

Ureteritis

Inflammation of a ureter.

Urethra

The tubular structure that carries urine from the bladder to the exterior.

Urethritis

Inflammation of the urethra, caused by infection or trauma.

Urinalysis

The analysis of a urine sample, performed to identify any abnormalities.

Urine

Waste matter that is secreted by the kidneys, and stored in the bladder.

Urolith

Uroliths are also called bladder stones, which are formed when minerals clump together in the urine.

Uterus

A hollow organ in the female in which the fetus develops.

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V

Vaccination

To administer a vaccine.

Vaccine

A small sample of specific microorganisms to stimulate the body’s immune system to produce protective antibody.

Vagina

The canal in the female that opens to the external genitalia.

Valve

A fold in a tubular structure that prevents a reverse flow of the moving material contained within the passage.

Valvulitis

Inflammation of a valve.

Variant

A tissue or organism that is distinctly different from the average specimen but still alike enough to be classified the same.

Varix

A swollen vein.

Vas Deferens

The duct that carries sperm from the testes to the urethra.

Vas

A vessel.

Vascular

Pertaining to blood vessels.

Vasculitis

Irritation or inflammation of a blood vessel.

Vasectomy

Removing part or all of the vas deferens.

Vector

A carrier of disease or infectious agent that transfers it from one host to another.

Vein

A blood vessel that carries de-oxygenated blood back to the heart.

Venereal

Caused or transmitted by sexual intercourse.

Venom

A poison produced by an animal for predation or self-defense.

Venous

Pertaining to the veins.

Vent

An opening.

Ventricle

A small cavity.

Vesecotomy

Cutting into the bladder, usually to redirect the flow of urine.

Vesicle

A small sac filled with liquid.

Vessel

Any tubular structure that carries a liquid.

Vetebra

A bone segment that is part of the spine.

Villus

A small protrusion.

Viral

Pertaining to a virus.

Virus

A small protein particle that may cause disease.

Viscous

Describing a liquid or liquid-like substance that is thick and/or sticky.

Vital

Necessary to live.

Viviparous

Giving birth to offspring that develop inside the female.

Voluntary

An intentional action.

Vomiting

In any case of persistent vomiting, take the animal to a veterinarian. If you believe that the vomiting was caused by a toxin or poison (e.g., a dog drank some detergent or a cat ate a toxic plant), rush the animal on for care.

Vomitus

The contents of the stomach that have been expelled during vomiting.

Vulva

The female’s external genital organs.

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W

Walleye

Walleye refers to several conditions: Leukoma, when the cornea of the eye develops a white opacity; heterochromia iridis, where the iris becomes blue-white or pink-white.

Wean

To separate the offspring from nursing on the mother.

Wheal

A particular area on the skin afflicted with edema.

Wobbler Syndrome

Also called spondylolisthesis, a congenital condition in which a cervical vertebrae is displaced. most common in large breed dogs.

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X

Xenobiotic

A substance that is not natural to an animals’ biological system.

Y

Z

Zoodermic

A process executed with the skin from another species of animal.

Zygote

The cell created when an ovum is fertilized by a sperm.