Abdominal: relating to the abdomen (inside and out).
ACTH stimulation: test for adrenal gland function via adrenocorticotrophic hormone injection.
Alopecia: hair loss.
ANA (antinuclear antibody testing): lab test for presence of antibodies against one’s own cells.
Ancillary: accessory or supporting.
Anomaly: deviation from the norm.
Anterior: the front part.
Anterior uveitis: inflammation of the iris and ciliary body of the eye.
Arrhythmia: abnormal heart beat/rhythm.


Biopsy: process of removing tissue from living patients for diagnostic examination.


Cardiomyopathy: disease of the heart muscle.
Cardiovascular disease: disorders of the heart, blood and vascular system (arteries, veins, etc.).
CBC (complete blood count): analysis of number and characteristics of blood cells.
Cell: a minute structure which is the active basis of all plants and animals.
Chem screen/blood chemistries: analysis of the blood enzymes that help indicate organ health.
Chordae tendonae: chords running from heart valves to heart muscle, which stabilize the valves.
Clotting/coagulation panel: laboratory tests to evaluate the blood’s ability to clot.
CNS: central nervous system (brain and spinal cord).
Cobalamin: vitamin B12, blood levels may decrease with inflammatory bowel disease.
Colitis: inflammation of the colon.
Congenital: existing at birth.
Cornea: normally clear front of the eyeball.
Cranial nerves: nerves coming off the CNS within the head.
Creatine kinase: muscle breakdown enzyme.                                                                                                                                Creatinine: normal break down product of creatine phosphate (muscle); elevation indicates kidney disease.
CT scan: computed tomography scan; computer synthesis of x-ray transmissions for diagnostic purposes.
Culture: growth of bacteria or fungus.
Culture and sensitivity: laboratory growth of bacteria and/or fungi; then testing against antimicrobials for treatment.
Cystoscopy: endoscopic visualization of the bladder lumen.
Cytology: diagnostic examination of cells.


Degenerative: retrogressive pathologic change in which function may be impaired or destroyed.
Degenerative disc disease: disorder of the intervertebral discs leading to their failure.
Dermatitis: inflammation of the skin.
Dexamethasone suppression test: test for adrenal gland/pituitary gland axis function.
Dilatation: enlarging the lumen of a hollow organ.
DTM (dermatophyte test medium): test for ringworm fungus.
Dyspnea: difficulty breathing.
Dystrophy: defective nutrition.


ECG (electrocardiogram): electric analysis of the heart.
Echocardiogram: ultrasound of the heart.
Edema: an excessive accumulation of fluid within tissue.
Emesis: vomiting.
EMG (electromyogram): test of muscle function.
Endodontics: relating to the inside of teeth.
Endoscopy: visual examination of the interior of a hollow structure by means of a special instrument.
Enteritis: inflammation of the small intestine.
Enterotoxins: a poison specifically against the cells of the intestinal lining.
Eosinophilic: infiltration with eosinophils.
Episcleritis: inflammation of the episclera (tissue covering the white of the eye).
Epithelium: cellular, non vascular covering of bodily free surfaces.
Esophagitis: inflammation of the esophagus.


Fecal exam: fecal analysis for parasites.
Fluoroscein stain: eye stain that reveals corneal ulcers.
Folate: salt of folic acid, blood levels may increase with inflammatory bowel disease.
Food trial: test for food allergies.
Foreign body: material not normally found in the body (“foreign”) residing within the body.
Free T4: measurement of unbound thyroid hormone; considered the “gold standard”.


Gastric reflux: backward flow from the stomach.
Gastropathy: any disease of the stomach.
Geriatric: relating to the elderly.
Glaucoma: disorder characterized by an abnormal increase in the pressure within the eye.
Gram negative: bacteria which stain pinkish with Gram’s stain.
Gram positive: bacteria which stain purple black with Gram’s stain.
Granulomatous: term applied to nodular inflammatory lesions infiltrated with mononuclear phagocytes.



Heart block: blockage of electrical impulse through heart muscle.
Hepatic: in reference to the liver.
Hernia: protrusion of a part or structure through the tissues normally containing it.
Hiatal: relating to hiatus (an aperture or fissure).
Hip dysplasia: malformation of the hips.
Hypertrophic: general increase in bulk of a part, not due to tumor formation.
Hypoglycemia: abnormally low blood sugar.
Hypokalemia: abnormally low blood potassium levels.
Hypotension: abnormally low blood pressure.


Idiopathic: a disease of unknown cause.
Immunoglobulin gel electrophoresis: diagnostic analysis of serum immunoglobulin.
Intolerance: abnormal metabolism, excretion or other disposition of a given substance.
Intradermal skin test: skin allergy test via injections into the skin with subsequent monitoring and grading.
Intussusception: the taking up of one part within the other, especially the infolding of one segment of intestine within another.


Joint tap: retrieval of joint fluid for analysis.


Ketoacidotic diabetes mellitus: diabetic acidosis caused by abnormal production of ketone bodies.


Lymphocytic plasmacytic: infiltration with lymphocytes and plasma cells.


Malocclusion: abnormal positioning of teeth.
Megaesophagus: abnormal enlargement of the lower portion of the esophagus.
Metabolic bone disease: skeletal disorders due to abnormal bone metabolism.
MRI: magnetic resonance imaging; diagnostic images produced with the use of magnetic fields and radio frequency pulses.
Multiple myeloma: malignant neoplasm that originates in bone marrow, involves mainly the skeleton and is chiefly composed of plasma cells.
Myasthenia gravis: a chronic progressive muscular weakness.
Mycotic: fungal.
Myelogram: x-rays of spinal cord/vertebrae after dye placed with spinal canal to outline lesions.
Myocarditis: inflammation of the heart muscle.
Myopathy: any disorder of the muscles.
Myositis: inflammation of muscle.
Myxomatous endocardiosis: neoplasia of the heart derived from connective tissue.


Neonatal: newborn.
Neoplasia: abnormal growth; tumor; cancer.
Neuromuscular junctionopathies: any disorder of the neuromuscular junction.
Neuropathy: any disorder of the nervous system.
Nictitans gland: gland of the third eyelid found in dogs and cats.


Obstipation: severe constipation.
Ocular nodular fasciitis: nodular disorder involving the connective tissue of the eyeball.
Oralmaxillary: Oral and Maxillofacial; relating to the mouth, jaw and face.
Orthodontics: relating to the correction and prevention of malocclusion of the teeth.
Orthopedics: relating to the preservation, restoration and development of form and function of the extremities, spine and associated structures.
Osteoarthrosis: degenerative arthritis.


Peritonitis: inflammation of the abdominal cavity lining.
Pheromone: substance that changes the sexual or social behavior of an individual.
Plasma cell: cell that produces immunoglobulins (antibodies).
Polyneuritis: simultaneous inflammation of a large number of spinal nerves, marked by paralysis, pain and muscle wasting.
Polyp: general term for any mass of tissue that bulges or projects outward.
Polyradiculoneuritis: inflammation of the ventral nerve roots.
Pruritic: itchy.
Pylorus: outflow tract of the stomach.
Pyoderma: skin infection, characterized by pustules.




Radiograph: X-rays.
Regurgitation: a backward flow.
Renal: in reference to the kidney.
Rheumatoid arthritis: immune mediated arthritis.
Rhinoscopy: visual examination of the inside of the nasal passages via a scope.


SDMA (symmetric dimethylarginine): renal biomarker specific to kidney function.
Seizure: sudden onset of convulsions.
Sensitivity: test of bacteria sensitivity to various antibiotics.
Separation anxiety: behavioral disorder initiated by separation of pet from owner.
Sepsis: presence of pathogenic organisms within the blood.
Septic joint: infected joint.
Serum: fluid portion of blood.
Stenosis: stricture of any canal.


Taurine: an essential amino acid in the cat.
Telemedicine: transfer of medical images (eg. radiographs, ultrasounds, etc.) and information for the purpose of diagnostic consultation with medical specialists.
Temporal mandibular joint: attachment of lower jaw to skull.
Thoracic: relating to the chest (inside and out).
Thymoma: neoplasia of the thymus.
Tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO): surgical procedure to stabilize the stifle (knee) joint following cranial cruciate ligament rupture. The procedure repositions the top surface of the tibia (shin bone) by cutting free the proximal part of the tibia (via circular osteotomy), repositioning it and then securing the piece in such a way as to minimize the forward sliding of the tibia, thereby stabilizing the joint and reducing pain.
Tissue: a collection of similar cells and the intercellular substances surrounding them. (eg. epithelium; connective tissues (blood, bone, cartilage); muscle tissue; and nerve tissue)
Titer: measurement of antibody to an infectious agent.
TLI (Trypsin-Like Immunoreactivity): measurement of pancreatic enzyme activity.
Tonometry: measurement of intraocular pressure (pressure within the eyeball).
Toxin: a poisonous substance formed as an integral part of cells or tissue.
Trichobezoar: hair ball.
Trichogram: examination of hair samples for diagnostic purposes.


Ulcer: loss of superficial tissue.
Ultrasound: diagnostic imaging via sound waves.
Unconjugated bile acids: blood levels may increase with inflammatory bowel disease.
Uveitis: inflammation of the entire uveal tract (iris, ciliary body and choroid).


Vegetative endocarditis: blood, fibrin and bacteria clot adhered to a heart valve.
Vestibular: in reference to the balance system.
Volvulus: a twisting of an organ causing obstruction.


Wrenching: active jerky contraction of the abdomen.