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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Pet Medical Dictionary

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Abortion - Death of a fetus after organ development (28 days), followed by expulsion of the products of conception.

Abscess - A collection of pus in a cavity. It may be beneath the skin, in an organ, or in a body space.

Accommodate - The process by which the lens of the eye changes shape to focus light on the retina.

Acidosis - A buildup of acids in the blood, resulting in a lower pH than normal.

ACTH - Adrenocorticotropic hormone, the pituitary hormone that stimulates the adrenal cortex to produce corticosteroids.

Acute - Occurring suddenly. Often indicates the early stage of a disease, when symptoms are most pronounced. Acute symptoms are usually short term.

Afebrile - Without fever.

AKC - American Kennel Club.

Allergen - Any substance that is capable of causing an allergic reaction. Drugs, insect toxins, pollens, molds, dust mites, foods, and vaccinations are common allergens for dogs.

Alopecia - Loss of hair or failure to regrow hair, resulting in an area of thinning or baldness.

Analgesia - Pain relief.

Anestrus - The fourth phase of the estrous cycle in which there is little, if any, ovarian activity. The length of this phase varies, lasting on average 130 to 150 days.

Anomaly - Out of the ordinary; a condition that departs from the normal.

Anorectal - Anatomically, the area encompassed by the anus, anal canal, and rectum.

Anorexia - Loss of appetite and failure to eat.

Anthelmintic - A medication that acts to dispel or destroy parasitic intestinal worms.

Antibody - A protein substance produced by the immune system to neutralize the effects of an antigen.

Antigen - A substance recognized by the immune system as foreign to the body. The immune system develops antibodies that bind the antigen and prevent it from harming the animal or causing disease.

Arrhythmia - An abnormal heart rhythm. It may be inconsequential, or serious enough to cause cardiac arrest.

Ascarids - Roundworms.

Ascites - An abnormal accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal cavity. Congestive heart failure and liver failure are the most common causes.

Assay - Testing the serum to determine the relative proportion of a substance, such as the concentration of an antigen or antibody.

Ataxia - Incoordination; an inability to coordinate voluntary muscle movements that is symptomatic of some central nervous system disorders and injuries and is not due to muscle weakness. The adjective is ataxic.

Atresia - Failure to a channel or passage to open in the course of fatal development.

Atrophy - Shrinkage in the size of an organ or tissue due to disuse or death of cells.

Auto-Antibodies - Antibodies that a host makes against its own tissues. Auto-antibodies cause destruction of the targeted cells.

Autoimmune disease - A disease resulting from auto-antibodies targeting host tissue.

Autosomal - All chromosomes that are not the X and Y sex chromosomes.

Bactericidal - Capable of killing bacteria, as opposed to just inhibiting their growth.

Bengin - An abnormal growth that is not a malignant cancer. Bengin growths are usually not life threatening and do not spread to other areas of the body.

Bezoars - Foreign bodies in the stomach composed of hair and other ingested materials that form hard concretions too large to pass out of the stomach.

Bilateral - On both sides.

Biopsy - The removal of tissue for microscopic examination and diagnosis.

Bitch - A female dog.

Bleb - A skin blister filled with serum or blood.

Boil - A small skin abscess, usually at the side of a hair follicle.

BPH - Bengin prostatic hyperplasia, a noncancerous form of prostate enlargement.

Brachycephalic - A dog with a broad skull and short muzzle, resulting in a flat face, as in the pug and pekingese.

Breeder - The owner of the female dog when it was bred.

Brisket - The lower chest, particularly the sternum.

Bronchoscopy - A procedure in which an endoscope is passes into the trachea and bronchi to directly visualize the interior of the respiratory tract.

Brood Bitch - A female dog used for breeding.

Bulla - A large skin blister filled with clear fluid. Or, in the case of the lungs, air sacs filled with air. May also refer to the tympanic bulla, a part of the inner ear.

Calculus - Dental Calculus (also called tartar) is a plaque like material composed of calcium slats, food particles, and bacteria.

Cancer - A tumor on the surface of the body or within an organ that has the potential to destroy tissue and kill the animal through local growth and/or spread to distant parts.

Canids - Foxes, wolves, coyotes, jackals, and other cousins of dogs.

Capillary refill time - The time it takes the gums to pink up after being firmly pressed with a finger- normally one to two seconds or less. A measure of the quality of the circulation.

Cardiac Massage - Compression of the heart, resulting in temporary support of the circulation.

Castrate - To remove the testicles of a male dog.

Cellulitis - Infection of all layers of the skin along with inflammation of the connective tissue, characterized by redness, swelling, tenderness, and increased warmth. Usually very painful.

Cerebral edema - Swelling of the brain following injury or a period of oxygen deprivation.

Chemotherapy - The use of drugs that are cellular poisons to attack and kill cancer cells, or to suppress the immune system in the treatment of auto-immune disease.

Chondroprotective - Compounds that protect joint cartilage from the destructive effects of degenerative joint disease.

Chromosomes - The collection of DNA proteins that are organized into genes and aligned to provide genetic information to the body. Dogs have 78 chromosomes (arranged in 39 pairs).

Chronic - Present for a long period. Often indicates that stage of a disease in which symptoms persist in a milder form.

Cilia - Hairlike projections on cells in the respiratory tract.

Colonoscopy - A procedure that uses an endoscope to view the interior of the colon and rectum.

Colostrum - The first milk of the dam, containing the all-important maternal antibodies that protect puppies from common diseases for the first three months of life.

Conceptus - The products resulting form the union between egg and sperm.

Condition (of the body) - A subjective term that refers to overall health as shown by the coat, general appearance, body weight, and musculature.

Conformation - How the various angles, shapes, and parts of the dogs body conform to the breed standard. At dog shows, dogs are judged by how well they conform to the standard of their breed.

Congenital - A condition that exists at birth, although it is not always clinically evident until later in life. Congenital conditions can be either genetically determined or acquired before or during delivery.

Corpus Iuteum - A growth that forms in the ovary at the sight of ovulation. The corpus luteum manufactures progesterone, essential to the support of pregnancy. The plural is corpora lutea.

CPK - Creatine phosphokinase, an enzyme found in muscle tissue that is released when there is muscle injury or disease.

CPR - Cardiopulmonary resuscitation; the combination of mouth to mouth resuscitation and cardiac massage.

Crossbred - A dog who's sire and dam are of different breeds.

Cryopreservation - Freezing and storing tissue for late use.

Cryotherapy - A procedure in which tissue is destroyed by freezing it with liquid nitrogen.

Cryptorchid - A male dog with one or both testicles retained in the abdomen or inguinal area instead of in the scrotum.

CT Scan - Computerized tomography, a diagnostic X-ray procedure that produces cross sectional views of a body structure.

Cyanosis - A bluish discoloration of the gum's and tongue due to inadequate oxygen in the blood.

Cytology - The microscopic examination of cells to determine the cause of a disease.

Dam - The mother of a puppy.

Dementia - Loss of memory or reasoning power characterized by varying degrees of confusion, disorientation, apathy and stupor.

Depigmentation - Loss of dark color in the skin caused be destruction of melanin-producing cells. Depigmented areas are shades of white.

Depression - A marked decrease in activity in which the dog withdraws, spends most of its time laying down, is disinterested in her surroundings, and exhibits little or no interest in eating.

Dermis - The sensitive connective tissue layer of skin located below the epidermis.

Dewclaws - Vestigial toes; the equivalent of a fifth digit high on the inside of each foot. Normally present on the front feet, unless they are removed. Double dewclaws are required by the breed standard on the back feet of Briards, Great Pyrenees, and Icelandic Sheepdogs.

Diestrus - The third stage in the estrous cycle, also called the luteal phase, which begins when the female refuses to stand for mating. It lasts, on average, about 60 days, then merges with anestrus.

Dominant - A gene is dominant if it alone is capable of determining the expression of a particular trait.

Duodenum - The first part of the small intestines, after the stomach.

Dysfunction - Abnormal performance of an organ or system.

Dysphagia - Painful and or difficult swallowing.

Dysplastic - Developmentally malformed.

Dysuria - Painful and or difficult urination.

Early embriotic loss - Loss of the productions of conception before 28 days gestation, often by internal resorption so that no external evidence of the loss is found.

ECG (EKG) - Electrocardiogram; the readings from an electrocardiograph, which measures the changes in electrical currents associated with heart activity. An ECG is used to measure heart function and detect abnormalities.

Echocardiogram - A test that used plain and doppler ultrasound (high frequency sound waves) to create a computerized image of structures within the heart and the detail of blood flow. The procedure that uses an echocardiogram to diagnose heart disease is called echocardiography.

EEG - Electroencephalography; a procedure that records the electrical activity of the cerebral cortex. It is used to diagnose epilepsy , tumors, and brain diseases.

Egema - The accumulation of fluid beneath the skin of within an organ.

Ejaculate - The total volume of semen emitted by the stud dog during breeding.

Electrocautery - The use of an electric probe to destroy tissue using heat.

Electrolites - Sodium, chloride, potassium, bicarbonate, calcium, phosphorus, and other minerals required for organ functioning.

ELISA - Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay, a serologic test used to detect antibodies to a protein, such as those associated with a bacteria or virus.

Embolus - A blood clot that develops at another site and travels through the circulatory system to a smaller vessel, where it becomes lodged and interrupts blood flow.

Embryo - A conceptus younger than 28 days gestation, before the stage of organ development.

Encapsulated - Surrounded by a capsule that created a distinct boundary between two tissue planes.

Encephalitis - Inflammation and/or infection of the brain.

Endemic - Occurring in or native to a particular population or region.

Endometrium - A layer of glandular tissue lining the cavity of the uterus.

Endoscope - An instrument that uses lights and fiber optics or a miniaturized video camera to view the interior of a body cavity.

Enteritis - Inflammation of the lining of the intestines, caused by bacterial, parasitic, or viral infection as well as immune-mediated disease.

Eosinophil - A type of white blood cell that is often associated with diseases that have an allergic component.

Epididymis - The coiled tube on top of the testicle that stores the sperm.

Epithelium - A layer of non living cells that forms the surface of the skin, mucous membranes, and cornea.

Erosion - An area where a body surface has been destroyed by trauma or inflammation.

Erythrocytes - Red blood cells; the cells that carry oxygen and carbon dioxide.

Estrous cycle - The entire reproductive cycle, as determined by one ovulation to the next, normally occurring every 5 to 9 months in a mature female dog.

Estrus - Same as heat. The first phase of the estrous cycle, during which the female is receptive of the male; last on average 7 to 9 days.

Etiology - Cause of the disease.

Euthanasia - The humane process of giving an animal a fatal, painless injection to end suffering.

Excision - The surgical removal of a tumor or lesion.

Excoriation - A deep scratch or abrasion of the skin.

Exudate - A liquid discharge that contains pus and bacteria.

FDA - Food and Drug Administration; licenses the use of human and veterinary drugs.

Fertility - In stud dogs, the ability to impregnate the female. In dam's the ability to conceive and carry a litter.

Fetus - A conceptus older than 28 days gestation, generally after the stage of organ development.

Fibrosis - The replacement of normal tissue by scar tissue.

Flatus - Breaking wind; passing gas from the rectum.

Follicle - A growth within the ovary that contains an egg. Also, the cells in the skin from which hair grow.

Fontanel - A soft spot on the top of the skull where the bones of the skull come together. It normally closes before or shortly after birth.

Fresh Semen - Semen that is artificially inseminated into the female within a few hours of collection.

FSH - Follicle-stimulating hormone; produced by the pituitary gland. It causes the ovaries to produce egg follicles.

Furuncle - A small skin boil, about 2-3 millimeters in size.

Gastroesophageal junction - The anatomical area formed by the junction of the esophagus and the stomach.

Gastroscopy - A procedure that used an endoscope to view the interior of the esophagus and the stomach.

GDC - Institute for Genetic Disease Control in Animals.

Gene - The basic unit of heredity. Each gene contains the code that produces a specific protein or molecule.

Genome - The map that gives the locus (chromosome and site) of all the genes that control the makeup of an animal (80,000 in dogs); the complete set of hereditary factors.

Genotype - The combination of genes that determine a physical characteristic.

Gestation - Length of pregnancy; the period from conception to birth. It averages 63 days from the day of ovulation, with a normal range of 55 to 66 days.

GI - An abbreviation for gastrointestinal. GIT is sometimes used to denote the gastrointestinal tract.

Gn-RH - Gonadotrophin-releasing hormone; triggers the release of FSH and LH from the pituitary gland.

Gonadotropins - Hormones released from the pituitary gland or placenta, acting on the ovaries or testicles to cause them to manufacture and release the sex hormone.

Grand mal - A type of seizure that is typical of epilepsy. It usually involves loss of consciousness and falling down.

Hackles - Hairs on the neck and back; they are raised when the dog experiences fright, anger, or excitement.

Haw - A visible third eyelid at the inner corner of the eye.

Head-pressing - Pressing the head against the wall or furniture without apparent purpose.

Heat - The first phase of the estrous cycle, during which the female dog is receptive to the male. This cycle lasts about 7 to 9 days.

Hematocrit - The percentage of red blood cells in whole blood.

Hematoma - A collection of blood, caused by a broken blood vessel.

Hematuria - The passage of blood in the urine, recognized by red colored urine or blood clots in the urine. Microscopic hematuria is the presence of red cells on microscopic exam.

Hemolytic anemia - The disease that results when red blood cells are destroyed in the dog's circulation.

Hepatic - Referring to the liver.

hGC - Human chorionic gonadotrpin, used to induce ovulation.

Histiocye - A cell that is part of the immune system that wanders in the connective tissue and kills foreign cells, such as bacteria.

Histology - The microscopic study of the structure of tissue to determine the cause of disease.

Hives - Small, raised, red, pruritic areas, generally caused by an allergic reaction.

Hydrotherapy - Cold water delivered to the site of injury using a shower head or nozzle. May also involve warm water pools or under water treadmills.

Hyperpigmentation - A darkening of the skin due to the deposition of melanin in the dermis. Associated with chronic inflammation of the skin.

Hypertrophy - Enlargement of an organ or tissue; an increase of size and volume.

Hypoxia - Lack of oxygen in the blood and tissue. If untreated, it results in coma and death.

Iatrogenic - An unintended disease that results from a medical treatment or procedure.

Idiopathic - A disease or condition for which no cause is known.

IFA - Immunofluorescent antibody test; a serologic test used to detect antibodies to bacteria and viruses.

Ileocecal valve - A flap of mucosa at the junction of the small bowel and the colon that acts like a valve.

IM - Abbreviation for intramuscular; an injection given into the muscle.

Immune- mediated - A process in the body which means proteins in the immune system lead the body to destroy its own cells. This can happen for unknown reasons (idiopathic) or due to a secondary cause such as infection, parasites, cancer or a drug reaction.

Immunosuppressants - Medications that suppress the immune response, a desirable effect in autoimmune disease.

In utero - Occurring in the uterus.

Incarceration - Trapping an organ or part of an organ within a closed space. Most commonly refers to intestine trapped in a hernia.

Infarction - Death of tissue as a consequence as an interruption in the blood supply.

Infection - Disease caused by a bacteria or a virus.

Infertility - Absence of fertility. A dam or sire that can not conceive or sire a litter.

Infestation - The presence of parasites in numbers that may be sufficient to cause an infection.

Intact - An animal that has not been spayed or neutered.

Intersex - The condition in which the animal has sex organs that have characteristics of both sexes and/or has chromosomes containing both male and female genetic material. Such animals are usually relatively or absolutely infertile.

Intromission - The introduction of the penis into the vagina during breeding.

Intubation - Placing a breathing tube into the trachea to establish an airway for assisted breathing.

Involution - The process in which the uterus empties and returns to normal size after whelping.

IV - Abbreviation for intravenous; an injection given into a vein.

IVP - Intravenous pyelogram; an x-ray of the kidneys taken after injecting dye into a vein. The test provides an assessment of the renal circulation, ureters, bladder, and urethra

Jaundice - A yellow discoloration in the whites of the eyes and mucous membranes of the mouth, caused by an accumulation of bile in the serum and tissues. Usually associated with liver disease or the destruction of red blood cells.

Karotype - A "picture" of all the chromosomes in a cell.

Karyotyping - Analysis of the number, size, and shape of the paired chromosomes of a specific dog to determine the dogs sex.

Killed vaccine - A vaccine made from killed virus particles. Killed vaccines are generally safe, but may not be as effective as modified live vaccines (MLV).

Lagation - Tying off a vessel.

Laparoscopy - A surgical procedure in which an endoscope and surgical instruments are inserted into the abdomen through several small incisions.

Lavage - Flushing out a wound or cavity with large amounts of irrigating solution.

Lavage - Commonly referred to as stomach pumping or Gastric irrigation, is the process of cleaning out the contents of the stomach.

Lession - Damage to tissue caused by an injury or specific disease.

LH - Luteinizing hormone, produced by the pituitary gland. It causes ovarian follicles to mature and ovulate.

Lobulated - Having the appearance of several lobes or swellings.

Luteal activity - The influence of the corpora lutea, particularly the effects of progesterone.

Luteal phase - The third stage in the estrous cycle, also called diestrus, which begins when the female refuses to stand for mating. It lasts on average about 60 days.

Luteolysis - The process that results in the regression and disappearance of the corpora lutea. Accompanied by a fall in serum progesterone.

Luxation - The displacement of a bone from its normal position within a joint.

Lymphadenopathy - The enlargement of one or more lymph nodes as the result of inflammation of cancer.

Macule - A spot on the skin that is a different color (such as red or whitish) but not elevated.

Malignant - A growth that is cancer that is likely to spread throughout the body and may be life threatening.

Megaesophagus - An enlarges esophagus that does not contract well and interferes with normal swallowing.

Melanin - Naturally occurring dark pigment.

Melena - The dark or tarry black stools associated with upper gastronomical bleeding (bleeding in the stomach, duodenum or small intestine).

Meniscus - A cushioning bad of cartilage interposed between two bones.

Merle - A color pattern involving a dominant gene and characterized by dark splotches against a lighter background of the same pigment.

Metastasize - The spread of a cancer from its site of origin to another part of the body.

MLV - Modified live virus vaccine; a vaccine made from live bacteria or viruses that have been treated so that they can not cause disease.

Monorchid - A dog who truly has only one testicle. True monorchids are unusual.

MRI - Magnetic resonance imaging, a diagnostic procedure that uses a nuclear magnetic spectrometer to produce computerized images of body structures.

Mucociliary blanket - The mucosal lining of the upper respiratory tract that contains cells with cilia that are capable of propelling inhaled irritants into the back of the throat.

Mucopurulent - A discharge containing mucus and pus.

Mucosa - The inner layer of mucus producing cells that lines the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and genitourinary tracts.

Mucus - The slippery substance that is secreted as a protective coating by cells and glands of the mucosa.

Multinodular - A growth composed of nodules, giving it an irregular, bumpy surface.

Mutation - An alteration in a gene causing a change in some bodily function that is perpetuated in all the cells that descend from the original mutant cell.

Myelitis - An infection or inflammation of the spinal cord.

Myelogram - An X-ray study in which a contrast material is injected into the fluid surrounding the spinal cord to show whether a disc or tumor is impinging on the spinal cord.

Myopathy - A disease of muscle or muscle tissue.

Necrosis - The death of a cell or group of cells that are in contact with living tissue.

Nephron - The basic working unit of the kidney, composed of a glomerulus that filters urine and a system of tubules that concentrates the urine and re absorbs water and electrolytes.

Neutering - Removing both testicles in the male. Also known as castration or orchiectomy.

Nictitating membrane - The third eyelid; a membrane at the inner corner of the eye that comes out across the eye in response to eye pain and other conditions.

NSAID - Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug.

Nutraceutical - A nutritional supplement that can have disease modifying effects.

Nystagmus - A rhythmic movement of the eyeballs in which the eyes slowly wander a few degrees in one direction and then jerk back. Seen in dogs with diseases of the inner ear and brain.

Occlusion - An obstruction or closure of a passageway or vessel.

Occult - Not evident by clinical signs.

OFA - Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, a group that certifies dogs are screened for certain inheritable health problems, such as hip dysplasia.

Off-label - Using a medication in a dog that is not approved by the FDA for use in dogs. This may be a drug that is in common use for another species and it simply is not financially viable for a company to go through FDA testing.

Opacity - Loss of transparency of the cornea or lens of the eye.

Organisms - Living members of the animal or plant kingdom; usually refers to bacteria, viruses, and other small one celled beings.

OTC - Over the Counter; refers to drugs.

Ovariohysterectomy - Removal of the uterus and ovaries of a female dog. Also called spaying or OVH.

Oviduct - The tube that carries the egg from the ovaries to the uterus.

Ovulation - The process during which the egg follicle releases the egg into the oviduct.

Palliation - Treatment that affords relief but not a cure.

Palpation - Feeling, pressing on, and examining the body with the hands.

Papule - A small bump on the surface of the skin, varying in size from a pin point to a split pea.

Parturition - Giving birth; the period covered by labor and delivery.

Pathogenic - Having the potential to cause disease.

Pathogens - Agents such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi that are capable of causing death.

Pedigree - The written record of a dogs genealogy, covering three generations or more.

Perianal - The glands and skin structures surrounding the anal opening.

Perineum - The area extending from the anus to the bottom of the vulva in the female, and to the scrotum in the male.

Peristalsis - Rhythmic contractions that propel ingested foods from the mouth to the anus.

Peritoneal cavity - The abdominal cavity, containing organs of the intestinal, urinary, and reproductive tracts.

Peritonitis - Inflammation or infection of the peritoneal or abdominal cavity.

Placentitis - Infection of the placenta, usually caused by bacteria that ascends into the uterus through the cervix.

Plaque - A soft, yellow brown material deposited on teeth that hardens into calculus.

Pleural effusion - An accumulation of fluid in the chest cavity caused by right-side heart failure, infection or tumor.

PMN - Polymorphonuclear leukocyte; inflammatory cells that make up pus.

Pneumothorax - Air in the chest caused by a tear in the lung or a wound in the chest wall. The lung collapses resulting in respiratory distress.

Polygenic traits - Heritable traits that are controlled by the effects of multiple genes.

Polyuria - The passage of large amounts of urine, usually recognized by more frequent voiding.

Postmaturity - The condition in which the puppies are mature and ready to be born but the dam does not go into labor, especially after 67 days gestation.

Postpartum - After giving birth, a period of whelping that lasts four to six weeks.

Premature puppy - A pup born alive before 56 days gestation.

Prepuce - The foreskin; the sheath that surrounds the glands or head of the penis.

Prodromal - The period in a disease just before tho onset of symptoms.

Productive cough - One that brings up a quantity of phlegm. Also known as a moist cough.

Proestrus - The initial stage of the estrous cycle, lasting on average nine days. The first sign is a bloody discharge from the vagina.

Progeny - Descendents or offspring.

Progesterone - The pregnancy hormone produced by the ovaries.

Prognosis - A forecast based on the probable outcome of the disease.

Prolapse - The protrusion or falling out of a body part; generally referring to the gland of the third eyelid, the intestines, or the uterus.

Prophylactic - A medication or a procedure used as a preventive.

Protrusion - Extending beyond the normal location, such as a protruding eyeball.

Pruritic - Itchy.

Psychogenic - Caused by emotional or psychological factors, as opposed to a specific disease.

Pulmonary edema - The accumulation of fluid in the lungs, usually caused by congestive heart failure.

Purulent - Puslike; a discharge containing pus.

Pus - A discharge that contains serum, inflammatory cells, and sometimes bacteria and dead tissue.

Pustule - A small bump on the surface of the skin that contains pus.

Pylorus - The part of the stomach that forms a channel between the stomach and the duodenum.

Pyoderma - A purulent skin infection including pustules, boils, abscesses, cellulitis, and infected scabs.

There are currently no terms beginning with this letter.

Radiography - The use of X-rays to take an image of the inside of the body; commonly referred to as an X-ray.

Recessive - A gene that expresses a trait only when it is combined with another recessive gene.

Recombinant vaccine - A vaccine made by splicing gene-sized fragments of DNA from one organism (bacteria or virus) and transferring them to another organism (dog), where they simulate the production on antibodies.

Reflux - A reversal in the normal direction of flow.

Regurgitation - The passive expulsion of esophageal contents without conscious memory.

Reinfestation - An infestation of parasites that occurs after the original group was eliminated.

Remission - The period during which the dog remains free of symptoms.

Renal - Referring to the kidneys.

Renal pelvis - The funnel that collects the urine excreted by the kidney. It tapers and becomes the ureter.

Resection - Removing malignant, dead, or unwanted tissue by surgically cutting it out.

Retrobulbar space - The space between the back of the eye ball and the bony socket, occupied by fat and blood vessels.

Sarcoma - A cancer that arises from muscle, bone or other connective tissue.

Scaly - Shedding flakes of skin.

Sclera - The white membrane surrounding the cornea of the eye.

Scrotum - The bag of skin that surrounds and supports the testicles.

Semen - The contents of the ejaculate, containing sperm cells, gel, and the secretions of the accessory sex glands.

Senile - An age-related decline in physical and mental faculties.

Sepsis - The presence of infection, often accompanied by fever and other signs of illness, such as vomiting and diarrhea. The adjective is septic.

Septicemia - The stage of sepsis in which microorganisms and/or their toxins are found in the blood.

Serosanguinous - A discharge, generally pink or red, that contains serum and blood.

Serum - The clear fluid component of the blood. The adjective is serous. Serologic refers to blood tests that evaluate or measure antibody responses.

Sire - The father of a puppy.

Soundness - Mental and physical health when all of the organs and systems are functioning as intended.

Spay - Neutering a female dog by removing the ovaries and uterus.

Spermatogenesis - The production of sperm by the testicles.

Spinal tap - A procedure in which a needle is inserted into the spinal canal to remove cerebrospinal fluid for laboratory analysis.

Sporadic - Isolated, occasional, or infrequent.

SQ - Abbreviation for subcutaneous; an injection given beneath the skin. Also sometimes called sub-Q or SC.

Staging - A system developed to determine the extent and prognosis of a cancer, as well as treatment.

Stenosis - Construction or narrowing, especially of a channel or passage. The adjective is stenotic.

Stillbirth - A full term puppy who is born dead.

Strangulated - The compression or pinching off of the blood supply to an abdominal organ, such as a segment of bowel. Leads to death of tissue.

Stridor - A high-pitched raspy sound caused by air passing through a narrowed larynx.

Stud dog - A male dog used fro breeding.

Subclinical - A stage of illness where an infection occurs without apparent signs.

Subfertility - Less than normal fertility.

Subluxation - A partial dislocation, in which the bone is partially out of the joint.

Superinfection - The development of a second infection on top of (or following) the first infection.

Synovial fluid analysis - A procedure in which a needle is inserted into a joint to remove fluid for chemical and microscopic examination.

Systemic - Into the system; used in reference to widespread dissemination of infection or cancer, or a drug given orally, intramuscularly, intravvenously, or subcuntaneously.

Tartar - A plaque like material composed of calcium salts, food particles, and bacteria.

Teratogenic - That which causes developmental malformations in the fetus.

Testosterone - The male hormone, produced by the testicles.

Thromboembolism - The process by which a blood clot forms in a vein or artery and than moves up or down in the circulatory system, where ir causes further clotting.

Titer - The concentration of a measured substance in the serum.

Torsion - The twisting of an organ and its blood supply, resulting in insufficient blood flow and death of that organ.

Toxemia - A state of shock induced by the absorption of bacterial toxins from an infected area in the body.

Tracheobronchitis - A viral or bacterial infection of the cells lining the trachea and bronchi.

Tracheostomy - Surgery in which an opening is made through the skin into the windpipe to establish a new airway.

Transtrachael washings - Cells obtained by flushing the trachea with saline; used to diagnose the cause of upper respiratory infections.

Tucked up - A tightening of the muscles of the abdomen wall, creating a narrow waste and a hunched up back.

Tumor - Any growth or swelling (such as an abscess). A cancerous growth is called a neoplasm.

Ulcer - A defect on the surface of an organ or tissue. A skin ulcer is an open sore with an inflamed base, involving the outer layer of the skin and often the dermis. A gastrointestinal ulcer is an open sore in the lining of the stomach or intestines. A corneal ulcer is on the clear surface of the eye.

Ultrasinography - A diagnostic procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to map a picture of an organ or structure inside the body.

Unilateral - On one side only (as opposed to bilateral-on both sides).

Urethra - A tube that conveys urine from the bladder to outside the body.

Uterine inertia - Failure of the uterus to contract to start labor or to continue to contract during labor.

Vaginal cytology - A procedure in which cells are obtained from the vaginal lining and examined microscopically to determine the stage of the estrous cycle.

Ventricle - A cavity or chamber. Ventricles within the brain contain cerebrospinal fluid. Within the heart the ventricles are the larger chambers on both sides.

Vesicle - A small skin blister filled with clear liquid.

Vulva - The labia (lips) of the vagina.

Wheal - In intensely itchy, raised patch of skin with a white center and red rim. Varies in size from a pinhead to several inches. Often transient.

Whelp - To give birth.

There are currently no terms beginning with this letter.

There are currently no terms beginning with this letter.

Zoonosis - A disease that is communicable from humans to animals and vice versa under natural conditions. The adjective is zoonotic.