Common Terms

Learn some common terms that come up in TexVetPets articles and in discussions with your veterinarian.

Anaphylactic

An acute allergic reaction to an antigen (e.g., a bee sting) to which the body has become hypersensitive.

Anesthesia

Insensitivity to pain, especially as artificially induced by the administration of gases or the injection of drugs before surgical operations.

Anti-emetics

Of or pertaining to a substance that is useful in the suppression of nausea or vomiting.

Antigen

A toxin or other foreign substance that induces an immune response in the body, esp. the production of antibodies.

Antihistamine

A drug or other compound that inhibits the physiological effects of histamine, used especially in the treatment of allergies.

Arthritis

Painful inflammation and stiffness of the joints.

Avian

Of or relating to birds.

Aviary

A large cage, building, or enclosure for keeping birds in.

Body Condition Score

A method of testing a pet’s body weight, indicating a score of: 1 = Emaciated, 2 = Thin, 3 = Moderate, 4 = Stout or 5 = Obese

Cartilage

Firm, whitish, flexible connective tissue found in various forms in the larynx and respiratory tract, in structures such as the external ear, and in the articulating surfaces of joints. It is more widespread in the infant skeleton, being replaced by bone during growth.

Cloven-hooved

A cloven hoof is a hoof split into two toes.

CT scan

An X-ray image made using computerized axial tomography.

Defecate

Discharge feces from the body.

Diabetes

A metabolic disease in which the body’s inability to produce any or enough insulin causes elevated levels of glucose in the blood.

Electrolyte

A liquid or gel that contains ions and can be decomposed by electrolysis.

Feces

Waste matter discharged from the bowels after food has been digested; excrement.

General anesthesia

Anesthesia that affects the whole body and usually induces a loss of consciousness.

Hemorrhage

An escape of blood from a ruptured blood vessel, esp. when profuse.

Hip dysplasia

The failure of the hip joints to develop normally (known as malformation), gradually deteriorating and leading to loss of function of the hip joints. Hip dysplasia is one of the most common skeletal diseases seen in dogs.

Histamine

A compound that is released by cells in response to injury and in allergic and inflammatory reactions, causing contraction of smooth muscle and dilation of capillaries.

Immunosuppressive

A drug that suppresses the immune response of an individual.

Inflammation

A localized physical condition in which part of the body becomes reddened, swollen, hot, and often painful, esp. as a reaction to injury or infection.

Insulin

A hormone produced in the pancreas that regulates the amount of glucose in the blood. The lack of insulin causes a form of diabetes.

Laceration

A deep cut or tear in skin or flesh.

Metabolic

Relating to the sum of the physical and chemical processes in an organism by which its material substance is produced, maintained, and destroyed, and by which energy is made available.

MRI

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a diagnostic technique that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce a detailed image of the body’s soft tissue and bones.

Osteoarthritis

Degeneration of joint cartilage and the underlying bone, most common from middle age onward. It causes pain and stiffness, esp. in the hip, knee, and thumb joints.

Osteophytes

A bony outgrowth associated with the degeneration of cartilage at joints.

Patellar luxations

A condition in which the patella, or kneecap, dislocates or moves out of its normal location.

Periodontal

Relating to or affecting tissue and structures surrounding and supporting the teeth.

Respiratory compromise

Having respiratory difficulty.

Rheumatoid arthritis

A chronic progressive disease causing inflammation in the joints and resulting in painful deformity and immobility, esp. in the fingers, wrists, feet, and ankles.

Septicemia

Blood poisoning, esp. that caused by bacteria or their toxins.

Synovial

Relating to or denoting a type of joint that is surrounded by a thick flexible membrane forming a sac into which is secreted a viscous fluid that lubricates the joint.