Glossary of Terms

Addisonian Crisis: is a medical emergency and potentially life-threatening situation requiring immediate emergency treatment. It is caused by insufficient levels of the hormone cortisol.

Angiography: a medical imaging technique used to visualize the inside of blood vessels or organs, with particular interest in the arteries, veins, and the chambers of the heart.

Arrhythmia: also known as cardiac dysrhythmia or irregular heartbeat is a group of conditions in which the heartbeat is irregular, too fast, or too slow.

Arthrocentesis: is the clinical procedure of using a syringe to collect synovial (joint) fluid from a joint capsule. It is used to diagnose inflammatory and infectious conditions.

Arthroscopy: is a minimally invasive surgical procedure on a joint in which an examination and sometimes treatment is performed using a scopethat is inserted into the joint through a small incision.

Aspirate: A fine-needle aspirate is a procedure used to investigate various organs (liver, spleen, lymph nodes, masses) by collecting a few representative cells.

Aspiration pneumonia: is a condition that develops due to the entrance of foreign materials into the lungs from the mouth or stomach, it includes food, saliva and stomach contents.

Atlantoaxial joint instability: is excessive movement of the junction between the first and second cervical (neck) vertebrae resulting in neurological signs when the spinal cord or adjacent nerves are involved.

Auto immune disorders: arise from an abnormal immune response by the body targeting it’s own cells and tissues.

Biopsy: is a medical test commonly performed involving the removal of tissue from an organ to be analyzed for underlying disease.

Brachycephalic breeds: dogs with flat and wide skull shape that are prone to breathing problems, heat and exercise intolerance. Common breeds include the Pug, Bulldogs, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Boston Terrier, Shih Tzu and Pekinese.

Bronchoalveolar lavage: is a medical procedure in which a bronchoscope is passed through the mouth and into the lungs where fluid is then placed into small parts of the lung followed by collection for examination for lung diseases.

Bronchoscopy: is an endoscopic technique of visualizing the inside of the airways for diagnostic and therapeutic purpose.

Chiari malformation: is a condition affecting the brain characterized by the displacement of the cerebellum (a part of the brain) through the foramen magnum (opening at the base of the skull).

Congestive heart failure: occurs when the heart is unable to pump sufficiently to maintain blood flow to meet the body’s needs and results in difficulty breathing.

Cystoscopy: is the use of a scope to examine the bladder to aid in the diagnosis of disease affecting the bladder.

Degenerative myelopathy: is a chronic, incurable, progressive condition affecting the spinal cord in dogs causing progressive weakness and incoordination of the hind legs.

Demodex: is a tiny parasite that lives in or near hair follicles of the face, muzzle and around the eye. It can cause hair loss and thickening of the skin.

Diabetic ketoacidosis: is a potentially life-threatening complication in patients with diabetes mellitus that happens when there is a shortage of insulin and ketones are produced from fat metabolism.

Diabetes mellitus: commonly referred to as just diabetes in which there are high blood sugar levels over a prolonged period causing frequent urinating, increased thirst, and weight loss.

Digital thoracic radiography: Digital radiography is performing an x-ray that does not require the development of film. Thoracic radiography specifically refers to x-rays of the chest.

Direct arterial blood pressure: is the monitoring of blood pressure via a peripheral artery and provides valuable and more accurate information than other blood pressure monitors.

Echocardiography: often referred to as an echo is an ultrasound of the heart and is routinely used in the diagnosis and management of heart conditions.

Electrocardiography: the process of recording the electrical activity of the heart over a period of time using electrodes placed on the patient’s body.

Encephalitis: is an acute inflammation of the brain.

Endocrine: refers to the collection of glands (thyroid, adrenal, pancreas) that secrete hormones directly into the blood stream to the target organ.

Endocrinopathies: refers to conditions of the glands that secrete hormones. An exampleis diseasesof the pancreas causing altered insulin secretion.

Endoscopy: means “looking inside” and refers to looking inside the body for medical reasons using an endoscope.

Fecal biotherapy: is the transplant of fecal bacteria from a healthy individual into a recipient for the purpose of restoring the body’s normal microflora in patients with chronic diarrhea.

Femoral head excision: is a surgical procedure that removes the head and neck from the femur to alleviate pain. It is considered a salvage procedure and is reserved for conditions where pain cannot be alleviated in any other way.

Fluoroscopy: is an imaging technique that uses x-rays to obtain real-time moving images of internal organs.

Gastrointestinal: is an organ system responsible for consuming and digesting foodstuffs, absorbing nutrients and expelling waste. It includes the mouth, esophagus, stomach, intestines and colon.

Gastrointestinal endoscopy: specifically refers to “looking inside” the organs associated with digestion using an endoscope.

Gingivostomatitis: is a common infection of the mouth and gums causing swelling and lesions.

Hematologic: refers to the blood and includes red blood cells, hemoglobin, proteins, platelets and white blood cells.

Hemolytic anemia: is a form of anemia due to the abnormal and often excessive destruction of red blood cells that can be life-threatening.

Hepatic: is a term that refers to the liver.

Holter monitoring: is a portable device for continuously monitoring various electrical activity of the heart for at least 24 hours.

Immunological: refers to aspects of the immune system.

Luxated teeth: teeth that are moved out of position.

Meningoencephalomyelitis: is a condition that causes inflammation of the brain, spinal cord, and their membranes due to abnormally high numbers of blood cells.

Mucogingival surgery: is surgery that is performed on the tissue of the cheeks and mouth.

Myositis: is inflammation and degeneration of muscle tissue.

Neuromuscular electrical stimulation: is the elicitation of muscle contraction using electric impulses to diagnosis conditions affecting nerves and muscles.

Odontoclasticresorptive lesions: is a dental condition affecting cats where there is resorption of the tooth.

Oronasal fistulas: is the inappropriate connection between the oral cavity and the respiratory tract that can result in respiratory tract inflammation and infection.

Osteoarthritis: is a type of joint disease that results from breakdown of joint cartilage and underlying bone causing pain and stiffness.

Pacemaker: is a mechanical device that uses electrical impulses delivered to the heart muscle to generate a contraction or heartbeat.

Pancreatitis: is inflammation of the pancreas which can cause abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.

Patellar luxation stabilization: is the surgical procedure to repair the patella (kneecap) which is moving out of its normal location.

Patent ductusarteriosus: is a congenital disorder in the heart where the ductusarteriosus (blood vessel) fails to close after birth causing labored breathing and poor weight gain.

Periodontal: is a term refers to the gums and tissues that support the teeth.

Polyneuropathy: is a term that refers to damage or disease affecting the peripheral nerves and therefore can impair sensation, movement, and organ function.

Radiograph: imaging technique that uses electromagnetic radiation to view the internal structures of the body.

Renal: also referred to as the kidney. The kidney’s regulate electrolytes, blood pressure and filter the blood to produce urine.

Respiratory: The respiratory system refers to the organs involved in breathing. The lungs supply the body with oxygen during inhalation and expel carbon dioxide with exhalation.

Rhinoscopy: term refers to the use of a scope to examine the inside of the nose.

Scabies: a contagious skin infestation by the mite Sarcoptesscabiei. The most common symptoms are severe itchiness and a pimple-like rash.

Seborrheic: a chronic, relapsing and usually mild inflammatory skin disorder that presents with scaly, flaky, itchy and red skin.

Thrombocytopenia: refers to a disorder in which there is a relative decrease of platelets in the blood.

Tibial plateau leveling osteotomy: is a surgery performed on dogs to stabilize the stifle (knee) joint after rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament.

Tibial tuberosity advancement: is an orthopedic procedure to repair deficient cranial cruciate ligaments in dogs and sometimes cats.

TMJ: temporomandibular joint is the joint of the jaw and allows you open and close your mouth.

Ultrasonography: is a diagnostic imaging technique based on visualizing internal body structures with the purpose of non-invasively evaluating organs for disease.

Urogenital: is the organ system of the reproductive and the urinary organs. They are grouped together because of their proximity to each other and use of common pathways.

Urohydropropulsion: is a procedure used to relieve urethral (urinary) obstruction by gently propelling urinary stones from the urethra back into the bladder under pressure.

Vestibular disease: is the sensory system that provides the sense of balance and spatial orientation for the purpose of coordinating movement with balance.

Wobbler’s syndrome: is a term referring to several possible malformations of the cervical (neck) vertebrae that cause an unsteady (wobbly) gait and weakness in dogs and horses.