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Terminology

  1. Veterinary Glossary

Glossary Term: Pyotraumatic Dermatitis
Pyotraumatic Dermatitis is more common than you think, especially in dogs. This condition can be seen at any time, but more commonly seen in the warmer months. What does this term mean, and what are the clinical signs seen with this condition?

Glossary Term: Bezoar
A bezoar is a mass found in the gastrointestinal tract, most commonly the stomach. The mass may consist of hair, plant materials, even drugs and may become so large they may be life-threatening. Learn what causes bezoars, and the common types of bezoars found in dogs and cats.

Glossary Term: Brachycephalic
Brachycephalic describes many popular dog and cat breeds today; short-nosed. Find out the origin of this word as well as possible health problems to watch out for.

Glossary Term: Aminopterin
This little-known chemical has become front page news after being named the primary suspect in the Menu Foods pet food recall (March 2007). Learn its origins, what it was (and is, in some cases) used for, and why this compound is considered "highly toxic".

Glossary Term: Atopy
Atopy is a very common problem in pets and in people, as evidenced by the many drugs (and foods) on the market to help relieve symptoms. What is atopy and what are some of the common clinical signs? Find out in this glossary entry.

Glossary Term: Backyard Breeder
What is a "backyard breeder" and what should people consider before breeding pets?

Glossary Term: BARF acronym
The BARF diet has its share of strong supporters, detractors and people who just think that the whole thing is just too much work for today's busy lifestyles. Learn what this method of feeding is all about in this glossary entry.

Glossary Term: Blepharospasm
If you notice blepharospasm in your dog or cat, should you try a bland diet and wait until tomorrow? Should you be worried about convulsions? Does your pet need a warmer place to sleep? Or none of the above? Read this glossary entry to find out the meaning of this medical term.

Glossary Term: Cryptorchidism
Cryptorchidism is a fairly common problem, seen in dogs, cats and other mammal animals. Is this an emergency or something that is a more "wait and see" type of problem? Find out in this glossary entry.

Glossary Term: Cherry Eye
Cherry eye is a very descriptive term for this eye condition. Like a bright red cherry, this lesion can be a frustrating one to correct. Thankfully, it is not usually painful for the patient. Find out more in this Veterinary Glossary entry.

Glossary Term: Dehiscence
In veterinary circles, the word "dehiscence" usually refers to surgery, although it can refer to internal organs or plant structures too. Find out what this word means and why you want to prevent a dehiscence post-operatively

Glossary Term: Dental Calculus or Tartar
Dental health is important for both the oral and overall health of your pet. Knowing what your veterinarian is describing during a dental examination will help you identify potential problems with your pet's teeth and help provide optimal dental care for your pet.

Glossary Term: Dental Plaque
We hear the term all of the time, but what is plaque composed of? What are the possible adverse health effects of dental plaque? Find out in this glossary entry.

Glossary Term: Dewclaw
Learn about this anatomical term of largely unknown origin in this glossary entry. Also, about the different types of dewclaws found on dogs and cats.

Glossary Term: Emetic
The term emetic is a word that is used by itself, or perhaps more commonly as the term "anti-emetic". What is an emetic, and why would you want to give one to your pet? Or... would giving an anti-emetic be more appropriate? Find out the meaning of these words and why knowing the definitions are important; especially for first aid and emergency situations.

Glossary Term: Epidemic
The term epidemic and the related pandemic are words used often in the news and daily conversations. What does epidemic mean, and how is it related to the term pandemic? Find out in this glossary entry.

Glossary Term: Estrus
This is a clinical term for a recurring condition that is eradicated by spaying your pet, also known as a "heat" cycle.

Glossary Term: FLUTD (Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease)
FLUTD was previously known as FUS (Feline Urologic Syndrome). This condition is common in cats, and may be seen as straining to urinate, urinating in odd (non litterbox) places or bloody urine. This condition may be life-threatening, and it is always wise to see your veterinarian immediately before any urethral blockage occurs.

Glossary Term: Lacrimation
If you look at your pet and see lacrimation, should you be concerned? What is "normal", and when should you consult your veterinarian? Find out in this glossary entry for "lacrimation".

Glossary Term: Lavage
Lavage is a word meaning "to wash" in medical terminology. What type of washing, and what part of the body does this term refer to? Find out in this veterinary glossary entry.

Glossary Term: Linear Foreign Body
Cats and string seem to go together, made popular by images and toys through time. Likewise, dogs may be tempted to eat string or similar materials. As harmless as it sounds, string can be very dangerous! Learn about this common, yet easily avoidable, health emergency.

Glossary Term: Melamine
Melamine is known to many people as a type of dinnerware, the hard plastic material used to make colorful plates and trays for picnics and camping. Now, with recent headlines detailing the pet food recall, the public has learned another thing about melamine -- it is toxic when eaten.

Glossary Term: Necropsy
Necropsy is a familiar-sounding word. Do you think you know the meaning? Read this entry to find out!

Glossary Term: Otitis Externa
Many vets can diagnose this condition with one quick whiff of the nose upon entering the exam room. What is otitis externa, and how can you help your pet if s/he suffers from this condition?

Glossary Term: Pandemic
What is a pandemic and how is it related to an epidemic? Find out in this glossary entry.

Glossary Term: Pathognomonic
A bullseye rash (erythema migrans) lesion is considered to be pathognomonic for Lyme disease. What does this difficult word mean? Find out in this glossary entry.

Glossary Term: Pediculosis
Pediculosis is parasite condition that is actually more common in humans than animals, but many species are susceptible. What is pediculosis, and how can you prevent infection? Read this glossary term to find out.

Glossary Term: Pedunculated (Polyp or Tumor)
What does "pedunculated" mean? Is a pedunculated tumor harder or easier to remove than an invasive tumor? Find out in this glossary entry.

Glossary Term: Petechia
If your pet has a petechia, is it serious? Should you call your vet and it is considered an emergency? Find out the meaning of this Latin-Italian word in this new glossary entry.

Glossary Term: Polydactyl
Is a polydactyl animal a modern day dinosaur? Does a polydactyl animal need medical attention? Find out what this ancient greek word means and learn something new about animal terminology.

Glossary Term: Prandial
If your pet struggles with being overweight, you vet may advise you to take more post-prandial walks with your dog instead of post-prandial naps. Learn the interesting orgins of this medical term in this new glossary entry.

Glossary Term: Pruritis
It is probably safe to say that all of us have experienced some degree pruritis before, and our pets too! What is does this mystery medical term mean? Find out more in this Veterinary Glossary entry.

Glossary Term - Pseudopregnancy
Pseudopregnancy is the medical term for a condition more commonly known as false pregnancy. This condition occurs a few weeks after the canine estrus cycle. It is rare in cats.

Glossary Term: Psychogenic Alopecia
While there are many causes of hair loss, stress can be a major factor; especially for "nervous" cats. Hair loss from stress and subsequent overgrooming is commonly referred to as psychogenic alopecia.

Glossary Term: Ptyalism
A VetMed forum post prompted this glossary entry. Ptyalism is not a disease, but a symptom. Many diseases and conditions can cause this symptom, and ptyalism may be seen when an animal is stressed or hungry.

Glossary Term: Pyelonephritis
Pyelonephritis is a serious disease of the urinary system. Symptoms can range from "obviously sick" to very few signs seen, depending on the length and severity of infection. Being familiar with possible warning signs could help save your pet's life. Learn more in this glossary entry.

Glossary Term: Pyometra
Pyometra is a potentially life-threatening infection of the uterus in unspayed dogs and cats. Learn more about this condition and how to treat and prevent it in this glossary entry.

Glossary Term: Pyrexia
Pyrexia is a fairly common symptom for both pets and people; it may be a life-threatening situation or just "part of the process" and not much to worry about. What is the meaning of this Greek-origin word? Find out with this Veterinary Glossary entry.

Glossary Term: Recombinant Vaccine
Recombinant vaccnine technology allows for safer vaccination for our pets with less risk of disease or allergic reaction and better protection from natural disease. What exactly is a recombinant vaccine? Read this glossary term to find out more.

Glossary Term: Rhinoscopy
Rhinoscopy a diagnostic procedure used in both human and animal medicine. Learn how rhinoscopy is performed and some of the indications for doing this procedure in this FAQ.

Glossary Term: Separation Anxiety
In veterinary circles, separation anxiety is a term most often thought of as a "dog problem", but cats can suffer from this condition, too. What signs are seen with separation anxiety and what behaviors to dogs and cats share? Learn more in this glossary entry.

Seroma - Veterinary Glossary Terminology - Seroma
A seroma is a collection of fluid under the skin, usually formed after a surgery or injury.

Glossary Term: Sphincter
This is an anatomical term that is common to animals and to humans. There are several different types of sphincters in the body, from head to tail. Find out more about this anatomical term in this glossary entry.

Glossary Term: Thrombocytopenia
Thrombocytopenia is a low platelet count in the blood; a potentially life-threatening blood disorder. Learn what platelets are and some of the common reasons this condition can occur in animals.

Vet Speak
From your Veterinary Medicine Guide. Understanding veterinary lingo and where to find help on the web for understanding medical terminology.

Cancer Terminology and Symptoms
From OncoLink. Signs that may indicate cancer and a glossary of common terms.

Avian External Anatomy Glossary
Glossary of anatomical terms - some general, some related to avians specifically.

Dental Glossary
Extensive photo-glossary of dental terminology.

Animal Congregations
What do you call a group of...? Find out here what a sleuth, a business, and a trip are. From the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center.

Definitions and Terms
Large general dictionary with brief, easy-to-understand explanations of veterinary terminolgy.

Diabetes Glossary
From PetDiabetes.org, an outstanding site on everything to do with diabetes in pets.

Feline Glossary of Terms
Medical, behavioral, and coat color dictionary for felines.

Iguana Glossary
Well-developed glossary, frequently cross-linked to more information on this excellent iguana site.

Nutrition Glossary
Geared for horses, this glossary is useful for general nutrition terms for any species, including but definitely not limited to: herbal, vitamin, and supplement terminology.

Seizure Terminology and Abbreviations
Good selection of terms relating to signs, types, and medications for seizures.

Units, Measurements, & Conversions
Excellent site filled with several calculators to compute conversions for everything from length to density to flow rates and more.

Veterinary Dictionary
Thorough online veterinary dictionary from Drs. Foster and Smith.

Weights, Measurements and Conversions
Useful conversion tables for metric to English conversion, and vice versa. Lenth, weight, volume measurements.

Glossary Term: Jaundice
Definition of Jaundice including signs of jaundice, and possible causes in dogs and cats.

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