Dictionary

The MyPetsDoctor.com Dictionary is not meant to be all-inclusive or to compete with a formal dictionary such as Webster’s. The definitions included herein are meant to illuminate the MyPetsDoctor.com articles and reading/educational experience.

Words within a definition which appear bold have a definition entry elsewhere in the MyPetsDoctor.com Dictionary.

  • abscess: a localized collection of pus in a cavity formed by the disintegration of tissues. (Courtesy Dorland’s Medical Dictionary)
  • adjuvant:  a substance that aids another.  In immunology, any such subtance that, when  mixed with an antigen, enhances antigenicity and gives a superior immune response. (Courtesy Dorland’s Medical Dictionary)
  • anteversionis excessive external rotation of the proximal femur relative to the distal femur. (Courtesy Small Animal Surgery textbook)
  • anthropomorphize:  to attribute human form or personality to (courtesy Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary)
  • antibody: an immunoglobulin molecule that has a specific amino acid sequence by virtue of which it interacts only with the antigen that induced its synthesis in lymphoid tissue, or with antigen closely related to it. credit Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary, 25thEdition
  • aseptic: free from infection or septic material. credit Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary, 25th Edition
  • asymptomatic: see symptomatic
  • auricular hematoma occurs when blood collects between the skin layers and cartilage of the ear. See auricular hematoma article for details.

 

Junior's ear immediately after Auricular Hematoma surgical repair

Junior’s ear immediately after Auricular Hematoma surgical repair

    • auscult: same as auscultate. to examine by listening, usually to the sounds of the thoracic or abdominal viscera, with or without a stethoscope. (Courtesy Dorland’s Medical Dictionary)
    • axilla:  the “armpit” area where a pet’s front leg meets the trunk of the body.
    • axillae:  plural of axilla.
    • bacilli are rod-shaped bacteria. No connotations may be derived from their shape regarding their virulence.
    • bacillus  is the singular form of bacilli.
    • biopsy: the removal and examination of tissue, cells or fluid from the living body.
    • blepharospasm:  “Bleph” prefix is Greek for eyelid.  “Blephara” is plural, “Blepharon” is singular.  Blepharospasm occurs when an inflammatory or painful condition exists in the eyes and/or lids, causing the eyes to resact with a shaking action.
    • board-certified: a doctor who has completed specialty training and has completed a certifying examination administered by a specialty board. credit Merriam-Webster’s Medical Dictionary, © 2007 Merriam-Webster, Inc.
    • calculus is the material that hard, solid material which appears on teeth as a result of the action of normal oral bacteria on food particles we eat combined with minerals in the saliva. Bacteria form a matrix, a microscopic geometric pattern into a material called plaque. If the plaque and matrix are undisturbed by toothbrushing for 24 hours the plaque hardens and becomes calculus. Plaque can be brushed away, calculus must be removed by scaling the teeth.
    • carcinoma: a malignant new growth made up from epithelial cells tending to infiltrate the surrounding tissues and give rise to metastases. (credit Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary, 25th Edition.)
  • caudal: of, at, near, or in the direction of the back end of the body, toward the tail. From the Latin caud, meaning tail.
  • cellulitis: inflammation of a cellular tissue; especially purulent inflammation of the loose subcutaneous tissue.
  • cerumen is ear wax, produced by the ceruminous glands of the ears.
  • chondrodysplasia is a condition resulting from a mutation in many dog breeds, which causes them to be short and stocky, with longer-than-average bodies, short, crooked front legs and rear legs which may also be crooked. Characteristic breeds include the Basset, beagle, Corgi, Pekingese and Dachshund.
  • clinician  is a doctor who works in a clinical environment. as opposed to a doctor who works in research or a pathology laboratory.
  • clinical pathologist:
  • Clinical sign indicates evidence of a disease or physical abnormality a clinician observes during physical examination.
  • coagulopathy:  any disorder of blood coagulation. coagulopathies is the plural. (credit: Dorland’s Medical Dictionary)
  • cocci are round bacteria.
  • coccus  is the singular of cocci.
  • contralateral:  relating to or denoting the side of the body opposite to that on which a particular structure or condition occurs
  • cranium:  skull
  • cyst: any closed cavity or sac, normal or abnormal, lined by epithelium, especially one that contains a liquid or semisolid material.(Courtesy Dorland’s Medical Dictionary)
    • debridement:  is the surgical process of removing damaged tissue as part of the healing process or preparing a damaged area for surgical repair.
    • demodicosis is a condition of parasitized skin that affects people, dogs and cats. The causative agent of the condition in dogs is Demodex canis and in catsDemodex felis.
    • definitive diagnosis is obtained when physical signs and/or test results sufficiently fit a particular disease process to make the practitioner positive of the patient’s diagnosis.
    • diaphysis:  the shaft of a long bone
    • differential:  (1) a part of the Complete Blood Count (CBC) that tells us how many of each different type of white blood cell is present in a blood sample. (2) short for differential diagnosis.
    • differential diagnoses are the items on a list of possibilities a doctor considers when narrowing down possible causes for a patient’s illness.
    • diuresis:  increased secretion of urine, most commonly used in the sense of tubular diuresis, diuresis resulting from the administration of nonabsorbable or poorly absorbable, osmotically active substances (medications) in the renal tubules.  Diuresis may also be performed by administration of fluid therapy in volumes higher than maintenance amounts, thus delivering a “washing” action of the bloodstream and urinary tract.  Unwanted and/or harmful waste products, toxins and inappropriately-administered pharmaceuticals can be removed from the body by this method.  diurese is the verb form. (adapted from Dorland’s Medical Dictionary)
    • dystocia:  difficult or abnormal labor or delivery
    • emesis: the act of vomiting
    • endocarditis: inflammation of the lining membrane of the heart and the connective tissue bed on which it lies. credit Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary, 25th Edition
    • endogenous: arising from causes within the organism.drawn from Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary, 25th Edition
    • endoscope:  an instrument to examine the interior of a hollow organ, such as the urinary bladder or gastrointestinal tract.  (adapted from Dorland’s Medical Dictionary)
    • enucleation:  (from the Latin, enucleate, to remove the kernel):  surgical removal of they globe or eyeball.  The term may also refer to any surgical removal of a core or nucleus, such as an encapsulated mass.
    • entomologist:  an expert in the study of insects.

epiphysis:  the end of a long bone, usually wider than the shaft, and either entirely cartilaginous or separated from the shaft by a cartilage disk.  Each end contains one epiphysis.

    • excision: surgical removal of a body part.  The term stems from the Latin excisio, which is made up of the prefix “ex,” meaning “out,” and the root “caedere,” meaning “to cut.”  Excised is the past tense. Contrast with incision.
    • exogenous: originating outside the organism.credit Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary, 25th Edition
    • flea control: products or actions which result in the death of adult fleas.
    • flea prevention: products or actions aimed at killing pre-adult fleas, usually eggs and larvae, but can also be focused on killing the flea pupa stage.
    • Flea Bite Allergy is a condition of dogs and cats which results in itchiness, hair loss and skin lesions because of the victim’s immune system response to flea saliva.
    • fomite: from the Latin “tinder,” a fomite is an object, such as a book or item of clothing that, in itself, is not harmful, but is able to harbor pathogenic microorganisms and thus may serve as an agent of transmission of an infection. (adapted from Dorland’s Medical Dictionary)
    • fundus: the posterior layers of the eye which can be seen with an ophthalmoscope. These layers include the retina, tapetum, optic disc and retinal blood vessels.
    • ganglion: an encapsulated collection of nerve-cell bodies usually located outside the brain and spinal cord. pl: ganglia
    • globe:  the eyeball.
    • gonad: An ovary or a testicle.  From the Latin gonas, meaning “seed.”  It refers to the “seeds” of future generations of any species of any gender.
    • granuloma: a mass of immune system cells reacting to a material the body determines is foreign but is unable to remove from the body.
    • growth plate (metaphysis): The area of bone between the epiphysis (end cap) and diaphysis (shaft) of long bones. Bone cell activity in this area causes long bones to grow in length.
    • hematoma is a swelling caused by bleeding. Hematomas may occur when a needle is used to take a blood sample and hemostasis was not adequate, allowing bleeding to occur under the skin. Hematomas may also occur in trauma in any part of the body, such as a bleeding in the cranium between the skull and brain.
    • histopathologyis the process of microscopically evaluating tissues to determine what is abnormal about the tissue. An example would be histopathology on a tumor suspected to be cancerous.
    • history is the information taken about a patient which tells the clinician about the problem for which the patient presents.
    • hypercalcemia:  an excess of calcium in the blood.  (credit Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary, 25th Edition.)
    • hyperglycemia: abnormally increased content of sugar in the blood.
    • idiopathic: of unknown cause, from the Greek idios, meaning “one’s own,” and pathos, meaning “what befalls one.”
    • immunologist:  a scientist who studies the function of the immune system, its humoral and cell-mediated response to diseases and vaccines, and immunologic techniques of analysis (diagnostic techniques).
    • incision: a cut made into a body part. An incision can be a cut that begins an excision, but an incision alone does not allow one to remove tissue.
    • indicated:
    • inspissated: being thickened, dried or rendered less fluid. credit Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary, 25th Edition.
    • laparotomy:  From the Greek lapara, meaning “flank,” and otomy, meaning “to cut.”  Thus, a true laparotomy is performed through the flank, but, in general use, the term is used for any incision to access the abdomen.  (adapted from Dorland’s Medical Dictionary)
    • lenticular sclerosis:  a cloudiness that occurs in the lens of the eye as it hardens, caused by normal aging changes in the proteins of the lens.  Eventually Lenticular Sclerosis can result in a true cataract.
    • ligature: any suture material used to tie a vessel or strangulate a part.(Courtesy Dorland’s Medical Dictionary)
    • lymphadenopathy: any disease of the lymph nodes.(Courtesy Dorland’s Medical Dictionary)
    • mammal: warm-blooded animals who possess modified sweat glands which can produce milk.
    • mammary glands are the location of breast tissue for production of milk used to sustain and nourish newborn mammals.
    • metaphysis: see growth plate
    • metastasis:  the transfer of disease from one organ or part to another not directly connected with it, due either to the transfer if pathogenic microorganisms or to transfer of cells as in malignant tumors.  The capacity to metastasize is a characteristic of all malignant tumors.  Metastasized is the past tense.  (credit Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary, 25th Edition.)
    • neoplasia is the term used to describe any new growth. Neoplasia can be cancerous or non-cancerous.
    • nutraceutical: In 1989, Stephen DeFelice coined the term and defined nutraceutical as any substance that is a food or a part of food that provides medical or health benefits, including the prevention and/or treatment of disease. My own “definition,” or, at least, use of the word is, “a nutrient with pharmaceutical properties.  Dasuquin and Denosyl are examples.
    • palpate is another term for feel. We palpate internal and external body parts by feeling them with our hands and fingers, checking for normal as well as abnormal.
    • palpation is the noun form.
    • pathogenesis: the development of morbid conditions or of disease; more specifically the cellular events and reactions and other pathological mechanisms occurring in the development of disease.  (Courtesy Saunders Comprehensive Veterinary Dictionary, 3rd Edition)
    • pathologist is a doctor who is a board-certified specialist in the abnormalities of the body. Most commonly we think of a pathologist examining dead bodies or parts that have been removed surgically for examination, such as a biopsy of a suspected malignant tumor.
    • perineal is the adjective form of the noun, perineum.
    • periodontitium: the supporting structures of the tooth, including cementum, periodontal ligament, alveolar bone and gingiva (gums). Periodontitis is inflammation of some or all of these structures.
    • perineum is the area around the anus, vulva and/or scrotum.
    • pH is the measure of acidity or alkalinity. Neutral pH is 7.0. All readings below 7.0 are acidic and all readings above 7.0 are alkaline.
    • pinna is the flap of the ear.
    • plaque is the material that hard, solid material which appears on teeth as a result of the action of normal oral bacteria on food particles we eat combined with minerals in the saliva. Bacteria form a matrix, a microscopic geometric pattern into a material called plaque. If the plaque and matrix are undisturbed by toothbrushing for 24 hours the plaque hardens and becomes calculus. Plaque can be brushed away, calculus must be removed by scaling the teeth.
    • plasma:is the fluid portion of the blood in which particulate components are suspended(Courtesy Dorland’s Medical Dictionary) . “Particulate components” include red blood cells, white blood cells and thrombocytes. Also see serum.
    • pollakiuria is the act of frequent urination. Most commonly there is the implication of urinating small amounts frequently.
    • polydipsiaPoly is a Latin prefix meaning “many.” Dipsia is a Latin root meaning “thirst.” Therefore, the polydipsic (adjective) patient drinks often, or in large quantities, resulting in a 24-hour intake being higher than normal.
    • polyuria:  Poly is the Latin prefix meaning “many.”  Uria comes from the Latin verb “to urinate.”  Thus, the condition of polyuria describes a patitent who urinates large volumes.  Differentiate from pollakiuria above.  polyuric is the adjective form.
    • prandial comes from the Latin root “prandium,” which means late breakfast or lunch. However, with use it has come to mean of or relating to a meal. There are two common medical uses of the term. Preprandial refers to a time (or diagnostic specimen) obtained fasting, prior to a meal. Postprandial, then, is a time or specimen obtained after a meal.
    • predilection: predisposition
    • present, presents or presented usually followed by “for,” means a patient came to see the doctor for the purpose of a certain problem, such as, Rufus presented for a cough or Daphne presented with a broken leg.
    • pusa liquid inflammation product made up of cells (leukocytes, white blood cells) and a thin fluid called liquor puris.(Courtesy Dorland’s Medical Dictionary)
    • pyoderma is bacterial infection of the skin. By implication the infection is in the pores and hair follicles of the skin.
    • radiograph is the film and image produced when X-rays are released from an X-ray generating machine, passed through a body, body part or object onto film designed to respond to exposure to those rays. Radiographed is the past tense of the verb form.
    • radiography is the process of producing radiographs.
    • radiology is the study of producing and interpreting radiographs.
    • renal: of or pertaining to the kidneys.
    • rodenticide: poison to kill rats, mice and other rodents. Rodenticides are also toxic to other mammals.
    • Sarcoma: a tumor made up of a substance like the embryonic connective tissue; tissue composed of closely packed cells embedded in a fibrillar or homogeneous substance.  Sarcomas are often highly malignant.(Courtesy Dorland’s Medical Dictionary)
    • scaling is the practice of using dental instruments to remove dental calculus.
    • septic: produced by or due to decomposition by microorganisms. credit Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary, 25th Edition
    • sequela(plural: sequelae): any abnormal condition that follows and is the result of a disease, treatment, or injury. (Credit: Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, 8th Edition)
    • serology the study of antigen-antibody reactions in vitro (laboratory setting). credit Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary, 25th Edition
    • serum is differentiated from plasma by the removal of fibrinogen in the clotting process. When blood is drawn in a red top tube (RTT), a glass specimen tube which contains no amendments. Blood drawn into an RTT will clot in approximately 15 minutes. If it is then subjected to centrifugation (spinning), the blood will separate into serum and cellular components. Red blood cells, being the heaviest, will be sent to the bottom and white blood cells will layer on top of those. With the serum on top it can easily be removed to a transport tube for laboratory testing.
    • signalment:  that part of the veterinary medical history dealing with the animal’s age, sex and breed.  (Saunders Comprehensive Veterinary Dictionary, 3 ed. © 2007 Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved)
    • Specific gravity:
    • spectrum: range of microorganisms an antibiotic is sensitive to. Usually referred to as a broad spectrum or narrow spectrum.
    • SPF: specific pathogen free: animals raised in an environment which prevents them from becoming infected or infested with a specific pathogen, usually a bacterium, virus, fungus or parasite.
    • sp::the singular abbreviation of species.
    • spp::the plural abbreviation of species.
    • subclinical: without clinical manifestations said of the early stages, or a slight degree, of a disease. credit Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary, 25th Edition.
    • subcutaneous:  beneath the skin.  credit Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary, 25th Edition.
    • symptomatic as a noun means that a patient is exhibiting a symptom or symptoms. As an adjective it is usually coupled with treatment, indicating that symptomatic treatment is based on a patient’s symptoms, not on a definitive diagnosis. It can also be phrased “treated symptomatically.”
    • symptom is a description of a disease or physical ailment. Veterinarians prefer the term clinical sign because our patients cannot tell us, or describe, what their symptoms are.
    • tenesmus: straining, especially ineffectual and painful straining at stool or in urination.  credit Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary, 25th Edition.
  • tumor: literally means swelling, but is commonly (incorrectly) used interchangeably with mass or cancer.
  • ureter: the tiny tube that carries urine from each kidney to the urinary bladder.
  • virulence is a measure of an infectious organism’s ability to cause severe or mild disease.
  • vomitus is the material that is produced in the act of vomiting or emesis.
  • zoonotic: The first syllable is pronounced zo’, with a long “o”, comes from the Greek word for life and has evolved to mean “animal.” “Nosis” is also Greek and refers to disease. In modern usage zoonosis refers to a disease of animals that is transmissible to people. Zoonotic is the adjective form.