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Glossary of Terms

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Abdomen

‘ab-du-mun
The section of the body between the chest and the reproductive organs that includes the stomach, small intestine, large intestine, liver, pancreas, and spleen.

Abscess

‘ab-ses
A circumscribed cavity filled with pus that can occur internally or just below the skin.

Acute

u-‘kyoot
A sudden onset of signs/symptoms. May be severe and of short duration.

Adeno

ad-now
A term used to relate to the structure, diseases, etc. of glands.

Adenoma

`ad-‘now-mu
A benign glandular tumor.

Aerobe

A microorganism that lives and grows in the presence of free oxygen.

Agonistic

ag-uh-nis-tik
Pertains to a range of behavior associated with aggressive encounters between members of the same species, including threat, attack, appeasement, or retreat. A broader term than just aggression.

Allodynia

`a-lo-‘din-e-ah
Pain due to a stimulus which does not normally provoke pain.

Alopecia

`a-lu-‘pee-shee-u
Hair loss either by congenital/hereditary or acquired.

Anemia

u-‘nee-mee-u
A condition where the blood cells, hemoglobin, or the volume of packed red cells in blood are below normal.

Anaerobe

A microorganism that can live and grow in the absence of free oxygen.

Anorexia

`a-nu-‘rek-see-u
The loss of appetite.

Anthroponosis

an-`thro-po-‘noh-sis
Any disease that is spread from humans to animals (also referred to as reverse zoonosis). Anthroponotic (the adjective).

Antibacterial

An agent that inhibits the growth of bacteria.

Antibody

‘an-ti-`bâ-dee
That produced by the body to counteract an antigen.

Antigen

‘an-ti-jun
An external agent introduced that attacks the body resulting in the formation of antibodies.

Ascites

uh-‘sahy-teez
The accumulation of fluid in the abdomen.

Asymptomatic

ey`-simp-tu-‘ma-tik
Having no signs or symptoms of illness.

Atopic/Atopy

u-‘tâ-pik / u-‘tâ-pee
Where a hypersensitive state or allergy has a hereditary predisposition. The tendency to develop an allergy is inherited, but a specific clinical form (food allergy) is not.

Autopsy

‘o-tâp-see
See Necropsy

Bacteremia

The presence of viable bacteria in the circulating blood stream.

Bactericidal

An agent that is capable of killing or destroying bacteria.

Bacteriostatic

An agent that is capable of inhibiting bacteria from growing or multiplying.

Benign

bi-‘nIn
Non cancerous or malignant.

Cachectic

ku-‘kek-tik
The appearance of malnutrition and wasting as in ill health.

Caecotrophy

cee-‘co-tro-fee
The eating of caecotrophes, a soft feces having a higher level of water content, electrolytes and nitrogen directly from the rectum.

Calvarium

kal-‘va-ree-um
The upper portion of the skull, excluding the jaw and facial portions, that covers and protects the brain.

Carcinoma

`kâr-su-‘now-mu
A cancer of the epithelial tissue.

Castration


To surgically remove the testes of a male animal.
Also see Neuter. Also see Orchiectomy.

Cellulitis

The inflammation of cellular or connective tissue characterized by redness, swelling, and tenderness that signifies spreading infection.

Chronic

‘krâ-nik
That which persists over a long period of time, e.g., illness.

Colon

kow-‘lân, kow-‘lown
Majority of the large intestine and extends from small intestine to anus.

Colonized

The presence of bacteria on or in tissue without indications of infection.

Commensal

ku-‘men-sul
One of two organisms existing together where one of the participants (typically the symbiont) benefits but the other organism (typically the host) neither benefits nor is harmed.

Conjunctivitis

kun-`jungk-tu-‘vI-tis
An inflammation of the conjunctiva or surrounding tissue of eye.

Coprophagy

ko-‘prof-a-gee
The eating of excrement.

Cornea

‘kor-nee-u
The part of the eyeball that is transparent through which light passes.

Craniorachischisis

,krey-nee-ow-ru-`kis-ku-sus
A congenital defect of the skull and spine which exposes the spinal cord.

Creatinine

‘kree-u-`tu-nin
A nitrogenous protein produced by muscle and released into the blood.

Cryptorchidism

krip-‘tawr-ki-diz-uhm
A developmental defect in which one or both of the testes fail to descend into the scrotum.

Culture

‘kul-chur
The propagation/growth of microorganisms in a special media.

Cyst

sist
An abnormal membranous sac containing fluid or semisolid material. In parasitology it is a thick-walled protective membrane enclosing a cell, larva, or organism.

Cytology

Study of the structure and function of cells.

Debride

di-‘brId
To remove dead or damaged tissue, foreign material, or debris from a wound to prevent infection and promote healing.

Delayed Hypersensitivity

dul-‘eyd `hI-pur-sen-su-‘ti-vu-tee
A slowly developing increase in cell mediated immune response to a specific antigen.

Dermatitis

`dur-mu-‘tI-tis
An inflammatory condition of the skin that is characterized by redness, pain or itching.

Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC)

di-‘se-mu-`ney-ted `in-tru-‘vas-kyu-lur `ko-wag-yû-‘ley-shun
A condition that leads to the formation of microthrombi in the vascular system throughout the body, using up clot forming mechanisms and resulting in clot dissolving mechanisms being increased, which in turn leads to hemorrhaging (severe bleeding).

Duodenum

`do-ou-‘dee-num
The term used for the first part of the small intestine.

Edema

i-‘dee-mu
An abnormal accumulation of fluid in the interstitial spaces of tissue.

Embolism

‘em-bu-li-zum
By which obstruction by a foreign object (such as plaque or a blood clot) occurs.

Embolus

em-bu-lus
A foreign body (such as plaque or a blood clot) circulating in the bloodstream.

Enema

‘e-nu-mu
Introduction of fluid into the rectum and colon in order to stimulate bowel activity and emptying.

Enucleation

i-`noo-klee-‘ey-shun
A removal of a mass in whole or part without rupture; e.g., relating to eyeball.

Enteritis

`en-tu-‘rI-tis
Inflammation of intestines.

Epithelial

`e-pu-‘thee-lee-ul
The thin layer of tissue that covers internal organs, glands and other structures.

Etiology

The cause or origin of a disease or condition.

Euthanasia

`yoo-thu-‘ney-zhu
The act of putting to death in a painless manner for reasons of mercy.

Exacerbation

ig-`za-sur-‘bey-shun
An increase in the severity of a disease.

Excision

ek-‘si-zhun
The surgical removal of tissue.

Exudate

‘ek-syû-`deyt
Substances such as fluid or cells that have slowly discharged from cells or blood vessels through breaks in the cell membranes and which accumulates in cavities, such as a wound.

First Pass Metabolism

This refers to drugs that enter the portal blood supply after they are absorbed from the small intestine and are exposed to enzymes in the liver. If a large portion of the drug is metabolized in this “first pass” through the liver, the drug is then said to have a “first pass effect” , and only a smaller portion of the absorbed dose will enter into the systemic circulation.

Ganglion

‘gang-glee-un
Part of the peripheral nervous system, it is a group of neuronal cell bodies.

Glaucoma

glo-‘kow-mu
A disease of the eye where there is increased intraocular pressure, resulting in optic nerve atrophy and blindness.

Gram-negative

gram ‘ne-gu-tiv
A term used in “Gram’s method” to identify bacteria that lose the violet color of the stain used, taking on the color of the counterstain.

Gram-positive

gram ‘pâ-zi-tiv
A term used in “Gram’s method” to identify bacteria that retain the violet color of the stain used.

Granulation Tissue

In reference to wound healing: pink to red, moist tissue that contains new blood vessels, collagen, fibroblasts, and inflammatory cells.

Guard Hairs

The longest most coarse hairs forming the top coat, and which add sheen to the coat. These hairs become more erect (making the coat appear ruffled) when the rat is stressed, ill, or in pain.

Gubernaculum

goo-ber-‘nak-yuh-luhm
Embryonic structure that guides the descent of the testes to the scrotum.

Harderian gland

hâr-‘deh-ree-un gland
A tear gland, located rostral and ventral to the eyeball. An accessory lacrimal gland.

Hematoma

`he-mu-‘tow-mu
A collection of blood within soft tissue that results in swelling

Histologic

`his-‘ta-lâ-jik
That which pertains to the microscopic exam of cells.

Histology

The microscopic study of the appearance and behavior of tissues.

Hyperkeratosis

`hI-pur-`ke-ru-‘tow-sis
The overgrowth of dead and dying cells on the outer most layer of skin.

Hyperplasia

`hI-pur-‘pla-zha
An abnormal increase in the number of cells occurring in tissue or organs.

Hypertrophy

`hI-pur-‘tro-fee
An increase in the size of the cells. The enlargement in organs or tissues of the body. This can occur together with hyperplasia.

Idiopathic

`i-dee-u-‘pa-thik
Disease without a recognizable cause.

Immunoglobulin gamma E (IgE)

`im-joo-now-‘glâb-yû-lin ‘ga-mu ee
One type of closely related though not identical proteins. A reaginic antibody generally present in increased levels in allergies. Reacts with a specific antigen for which it is produced. Attaches to cells that become sensitized to the allergen and causes a release of histamine.

Infection

An overgrowth of microorganisms that are capable of tissue destruction and invasion, and accompanied by local or systemic signs.

Inflammation

The body’s defense to tissue injury. It involves the increase of blood flow and facilitates the cleanup of a wound. It is accompanied by increased heat to the area, redness, swelling and pain.

Inguinal canal

‘ing-gwu-nul
A passage in the lower anterior abdominal wall.

Integumentary

in-`teg-yu-‘men-tu-ree
The system pertaining to skin and its appendages such as hair, claws, and nails.

Intussusception

in-`tah-sah-‘sep-shun
The inversion, invagination, enfolding, telescoping of one segment of the intestine into the lumen of an immediately adjacent segment of intestine. Produces recurring attacks of increasing cramping abdominal pain. Distended abdomen and diarrhea can present. Gangrene of the intestine and death can ensue if not treated quickly.

-itis

I-tis
A suffix denoting an inflammatory condition. example: Dermatitis

Keloid

ke ’ loid
This is a mass of scar tissue that can occur at the site of a cut.
They can be of various shapes and sizes. They are often seen raised above the surface of the skin and may extend beyond the original site of injury. They are a result of the overproduction of fibrous connective tissue in the inner layer of skin (called the dermis). They can occur after the skin has been injured by a laceration or by surgery. They can also appear spontaneously. While keloids can be surgically removed, it is not uncommon for them to reappear at a later time.

Keratoconjunctivitis

`ke-ru-tow-kun-`jungk-tu-‘vI-tis
An inflammation involving both the cornea and the conjunctiva of the eye.

Keratouveitis

`ke-ru-to-‘yoo-vI-tis
An inflammation involving both the cornea and the uvea of the eye.

Lesion

‘lee-zhun
A structural change that is abnormal, and which may be the result of trauma or disease.

Meninges

mu-‘nIn-jiz
The three membranes that envelop the brain and spinal cord in vertebrates.

Metastasis

mu-‘ta-stu-sis
The movement of cells, as in cancer, from a point of origin to other places within the body.

Murine

mu-‘reen
Pertaining to or affecting rats or mice.

Necrosis

The death of tissue.

Neoplasm

‘nee-u-`pla-zum
New, abnormal growth of tissue that serves no useful purpose.

Necropsy

‘ne-krâp-see
An examination after an animal has died used to determine the cause of death and the characteristics of the disease/injury that caused it.
( *note: autopsy is the term used to denote a human performing a post-mortem examination on one of its own species.)

Neuter


Surgery to remove the reproductive organs, sterilizing the patient. Also called spaying (if female) or castration (if male).

Nodule

‘nâ-jool
A firm, elevated, circumscribed lump which is palpable, and located deeper in the dermis layer of the skin. example: lipoma

Orchiectomy (also spelled Orchidectomy)

awr-kee-‘ek-tuh-mee, awr-ki-‘dek-tuh-mee
The surgical removal of one or both testicles.
See castration or neuter.

Orchis / Orchid

‘awr-kis / ‘awr-kid
Testis, testicles.

-osis

ow-sis
A suffix added to another word that indicates and increase in the status, or process of a condition. example: Mycoplasmosis

Papule

‘pap-yool
A firm, elevated, and circumscribed bump less than 1 cm. It may precede vesicular or pustular formation. example: eczema

Parasite

‘pa-ru-sIt
A plant or animal that lives on another living organism.

Parenteral

pa-‘ren-tu-rul
Refers to medication being given SQ, IM, IP, or by IV injection, and not going through the digestive or GI tract.

Pathognomonic

puh-thog-no-‘mon-ik
A sign or symptom which is so characteristic of a disease that it makes the diagnosis.

Pathology

Study of disease, its cause, process, effect and consequence.

Peduncle/Peduncular

pi-‘dung-kul / pi-‘dung-kyoo-lur
That which has a stem or stalk.

Piloerection

A bristling of hairs.

Pinna

‘pi-nu
The projected part of the external ear.

Plaque

plak
Any patch or flat area such as fibrous plaque. May be composed of calcium, phosphorus, salts, polysaccharides, proteins, lipids, or collagen depending on location found inside or outside of the body.

Polyp

‘pâ-lip
A mass of swollen and excessively developed or tumorous membrane attached to tissue by a base and a stalk.

Porphyrin

‘por-fu-rin
A reddish brown or rust colored tear secretion produced by the Harderian gland.

Priapism

‘prI-u-`pi-zum
A painful, persistent, and abnormal erection of the penis not associated with mating.

Proprioception

,pro-pree-ow-`sep-shun
Ability to sense position, location, orientation, movement of body and its parts, e.g. sensation on body, sense of movement, equilibrium.

Pruritus

prû-‘rI-tus
Itching.

Pustule

‘pust-yool
A small often distinctively colored elevation of the skin containing pus and having an inflamed base. example: ulcerative dermatitis

Sarcoma

sâr-‘kow-mu
A malignant tumor of connective tissue.

Seroma

The accumulation of fluid build up at an incision site.

Sessile

‘se-sil
A growth attached directly by the base having no peduncle(stem/stalk) as with a polyp.

Sphincter

‘sfingk-tur
Circular muscle that constricts a passage or closes an orifice.

Spay


To surgically remove the ovaries and uterus of a female animal.

Subcutaneous (sub-Q)

`sub-kyoo-‘tey-nee-us (`sub-kyoo)
A term that means “beneath the skin” as in a subcutaneous injection.

Starey coat

The piloerection (bristling) of guard hairs.

Syndrome

‘sin-drâm
A group of signs and symptoms that collectively characterize a particular disease or condition associated with a pathological process. example: Murine Respiratory Mycoplasmosis

Systemic

si-‘stem-ik
Manifested throughout the body.

Testes

tes’tez
The male sex glands that produce and store sperm, and the body’s source of male hormones, such as testosterone. Also known as testicles. Also see orchid/orchis.

Thrombo-

thróm’bow
A lump or clump.

Thrombosis

thróm’bow-sis
Formation or presence of a blood clot.

Thrombus

thróm-bus
Blood clot.

Torticollis

`tor-tu-‘kâ-lis
A contraction of cervical or “neck” muscles that causes the head to tilt.

Tumor

‘too-mur
An abnormal malignant or benign mass of tissue that arises without obvious cause from cells of preexistent tissue, is not inflammatory and may or may not vary from skin color, and possesses no physiologic function. Example: neoplasm

Ulcer

‘ul-sur
A break, open sore/lesion, of the skin with loss of epidermis and dermis, which may have a concave appearance, vary in size, and which may produce pus.

Uveitis

yoo-‘vI-tis
An inflammation of the iris or inner portions of the eye.

Vesicle

‘ve-sik-ul
A small sac or skin elevation, similar to a blister, that varies in size and contains thin watery (serous) fluid.

Wallerian Degeneration

wâ-‘lee-ree-un di`-je-nu-‘rey-shun
eg: Merck Source Health Library
A fatty degeneration of a nerve fiber that has been severed from its nutritive centers.

Wheezing

‘wee-zing
The sound that arises from difficulty in breathing when air tries to move through partially obstructed or narrowed airway passages. May have continuous high pitched squeak, or musical quality to it.

Wound

woond
An injury to the body that involves laceration or breaking of a membrane usually damaging underlying tissues.

Wry Neck

rI nek
See Torticollis.

Zoonosis

zoh-uh-‘noh-sis
Any disease spread from animals to humans. Zoonotic (the adjective).

Zymbal’s gland

‘zim-bulz gland
An auditory sebaceous (fatty) gland that opens into each external ear canal.

Posted on June 20, 2003, 15:12, Last updated on March 10, 2014, 21:49 | Reference



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