We understand that vets can sometimes use quite complicated words , sometimes for quite simple things! Here is a glossary of words that you might hear and their meanings.
Abdomen- the part of the body between the chest and the hips containing the stomach and other digestive organs.
Addisons- also known as hypoadrenocorticism. A condition where the adrenal glands fail to produce the hormones that they are in charge of in the body.
Adrenal glands-small glands at top of the kidneys that produce hormones that help regulate metabolism, immune system, blood pressure, response to stress and other essential functions.
Alopecia- hair loss
Antiseptic – something that can be used to make a surface free of germs
Arrhythmia- a heart beat that does not have a normal rhythm
Arthritis-inflammation of the joints
Ascities- build up of fluid in the abdomen
Ataxia-unbalanced gait. Uncoordinated movement /loss of balance
Atopy/atopic dermatitis-itchy skin disease associated with allergies to things in the environment
Aural-relating to the ears
Auscultation- listening with a stethoscope
Benign-used to describe a tumour that does not spread or invade nearby tissue
Bilateral- meaning on both sides
Biopsy- taking a small sample for further testing, often from a growth /tumour or the skin
Bloat- stomach filled with gas
Brachycephalic- used to describe short-nosed or flat-faced dogs.
Bradycardia- a heart beat that is slower than normal
Bronchitis-inflammation of the airways
Cardiac- relating to the heart
Castration-usually refers to surgical removal of the testicles.
Chemical castration-involves a hormonal implant under the skin which suppresses testosterone.
Chronic-describing a condition that has been going on for a prolonged period of time
Colitis- Inflammation of the colon (large intestine) causing diarrhoea often with mucus and /or blood
Congenital- a condition that has been present since birth
Cornea-the transparent layer at the front of the eye
Cruciate ligament-tough band of fibrous tissue that attaches the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia (shin bone), preventing the tibia from shifting forward relative to the femur.
Cryptorchid- one or both testicles have not descended into the scrotum.
Cushings- also known as hyperadrenocorticism. A condition where a dog’s body produces too much of the stress hormone cortisol.
Cystitis- inflammation of the bladder
Cytology- examining cells down a microscope
Defaecation- the act of passing poo!
Dermatitis-inflammation of the skin
Dermatophytosis-also known as ringworm, a fungal infection of the skin
Diuretics- ‘water tablets’, drugs used to prevent or reduce water retention in the body
Dyspnoea- difficulty breathing
Dystocia- Difficulties giving birth
Ectoparasites- parasites that live on the skin such as fleas, ticks, lice
Endocrine- relating to hormones
Endoscopy- allows the inside of the body to be looked at using an endoscope which is a thin flexible tube with a light and a camera on the end.
Epilepsy- a condition causing frequent or recurring seizures.
FAD- Flea allergic dermatitis- also known as flea bite hypersensitivity, it is an allergic reaction to flea saliva injected by the bites of fleas.
FNA- fine needle aspirate- a quick procedure using a needle is to remove some cells from a lump or growth . These are squirted onto a slide and examined under the microscope.
Gastric- relating to the stomach
Gastritis- inflammation of the stomach lining
Gastroenteritis-inflammation of the stomach and intestines causing vomiting and diarrhoea
GDV-Gastric Dilation Volvulus – where a dog’s stomach becomes overstretched and twisted by excessive gas content.
Gestation- the amount of time for which an animal is pregnant.
Gingivitis – Inflammation of the gums
HGE- Haemorrhagic gastroenteritis-sudden disorder characterised by vomiting and bloody diarrhoea
Haematology- the study of blood cells
Haematoma- abnormal collection of blood outside of a blood vessel
Haematuria- blood in the urine
Hernia – where contents of the abdomen such as fat or organs push through a hole or weak area in the muscle wall.
Hyper- too much or an excess of something
Hypo- not enough or a deficit of something
Hypertension- High blood pressure
Hypotension- low blood pressure
Iatrogenic- illness caused by medical exam or treatment
Icterus- another word for jaundice- yellowing of the skin and mucous membranes
Immune mediated- a disease caused by the body’s own immune system
Inflammation-the body’s reaction against injury and infection
Intertrigo- skin fold dermatitis, a rash between skin folds
Intestines- the ‘guts’ from the stomach to the rectum
Intravenous- into a vein, usually used to describe how a drug or fluids are given
Jaundice-yellow discolouration of the skin and mucous membranes
Jugular- major blood vessels that run on the left and right side of the neck, often used to collect blood sample from in dogs.
Lactation- producing milk from the mammary glands
Laparotomy- a surgical procedure that involves opening up the abdominal cavity.
Larynx-the voice box, part of the respiratory system
Lethargy- reduced activity, lack of energy
Malassezia- a type of yeast that lives on the surface layers of the skin .
Malignant- used to describe a cancerous tumour that can invade nearby tissues and spread to other
parts of the body.
Mange-a disease of the skin caused by certain mites.
Mastitis- Inflammation and infection of the mammary glands
Melaena- black faeces that have digested blood in them.
Meningitis-a condition where the protective tissue around the brain and spinal cord becomes inflamed.
Mucous membranes -moist membranes that line and protect the inside of the body and can be found on the gums, inside of the nose for example.
Nasal- relating to the nose
Necrosis- death of tissues, can be found in wounds and abscesses for example
Neoplasia- abnormal growth of cells, another word for tumours
NSAID- Non Steroidal Anti inflammatory Drug – a group of drugs that relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
Oncology- the study of tumours
Oral-relating to the mouth
Otitis- inflammation of the ear canal
Ovariohysterectomy- Spaying- Surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus
Palliative- care aimed at keeping an animal comfortable rather than treating a condition.
Palpation- examination through feeling
Pancreas-an organ that sits close to the stomach and produces enzymes to assist in food digestion and hormones such as insulin, which regulates blood sugar or glucose metabolism.
Pancreatitis- inflammation of the pancreas that causes vomiting, nausea and pain.
Paralysis-loss of use of part of the body
Parasite-an organism that lives off another animal
Perineal- relating to the area around the anus
Peritoneal-relating to the inside of the abdominal cavity
Pinna- the ear flap
Platelets-small blood cells responsible for blood clotting
Polyuria- excessive urination
Purulent- containing pus
Pyoderma- bacterial skin infection
Pyometra- womb (uterus) infection
Pustule- a pus filled spot
Pyoderma- bacterial skin infection
Radiograph- an X-ray
Regurgitation- bringing up undigested food/fluids from the throat, happens suddenly without nausea/heaving or retching.
Renal- relating to the kidneys
Respiration-the act of breathing
Respiratory rate- number of breaths per minute
Sclera- the white part of the eye
Seborrhoea-skin condition that causes flaky skin and greasiness of the skin and hair
Seizure-an involuntary action which causes the muscles to contract ( a fit )
Septic- something that is infected
Spay- common term for an ovariohysterectomy which is a surgical procedure that involves removing the female dog’s reproductive organs.
Spleen-a vascular organ in the abdomen involved in the production and removal of red blood cells and forming part of the immune system.
Splenic- relating to the spleen
Tachycardia-fast heart rate
Thrombus- blood clot
Torsion-a twist, sometimes in an organ. Eg gastric torsion is a twisted stomach
Toxin- a poisonous substance capable of causing harm
Uraemic-build up of waste products and toxins in the blood stream that are normally filtered by the kidneys.
Urolith- a stone in the bladder
Uterus- womb, female reproductive organ
Vomiting – bringing up food partially digested food from the stomach with abdominal contractions and nausea
Whelping-the process of a dog giving birth to puppies
Zoonosis- diseases that can be passed from animals to humans