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A list of words, phrases and terms... all related to dogs.

There are 288 entries in the dog dictionary.
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Term Definition
Deciduous Teeth

Temporary Puppy teeth.

Dew Claw

A left over vestigial digit usually found on the inside of the front legs, but can sometimes be found on the rear legs as well. It is slightly higher on the leg from the foot so that when the dog is standing, it does not touch the ground. They are usually removed from young puppies.


Any loose hanging skin on the throat under the jaw.


DHA is short for Docosahexaenoic acid which is a 22 carbon unit long fatty acid chain found primarily in the brain, sperm, nerve cells and retina of the eye. Whole sardines (with the head on) as well as fish oil from cold water fish are excellent sources of DHA. Breast milk is rich in DHA and is important in the development of the eyes, nervous system and brain, especially during the first 2 weeks of the puppy's life.


A single injection with the combined vaccines for distemper, hepatitis,leptospirosis parainfluenza and parvovirus.

Diastole Phase

One of the 2 phases in the cycle of the heart where the ventricle chambers relax and the heart fills with blood. Diastolic heart murmurs occur when the ventricles are relaxed between heart beats.

Diastolic Heart Murmur

Diastolic Heart murmurs occur when the ventricle chambers are relaxed and the heart fills with blood. They are heard between beats. (See Blog article Canine Heart.)


About 1 week after ovulation cornified vaginal cells return to there normal shape when examined under a microscope. This marks the beginning of Diestrus which follows Estrus. This stage ends when progesterone levels fall below 1ng/ml. In general this will take about 60 days if the Bitch was not bred or just before whelping if the Bitch was bred.


Diploid organisms have 2 copies of every gene for a given trait, one from the father and one from the mother. Dogs like humans are diploid.


Distemper is a very infective viral disease related to the virus that causes measles in humans. Around the world, it is the number one virus causing death to dogs. Unvaccinated young puppies and older dogs with lower immunity are the most vulnerable to the disease. The virus is present in feces, urine, saliva and other excretions and is very contagious because it can be inhaled without contact to infect the animal. Common carriers include foxes, raccoons and skunks. Initial symptoms include high fever, runny eyes and nose, lethargy, loss of appetite,excessive salivation and labored breathing, accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea. Later the virus attacks the nervous system and can lead to convulsions. Vaccines against distemper are effective and mandatory in the United States.


Distichiasis is an inherited condition in which additional eyelashes from either the upper or lower eyelid grow from deep within the glands instead of from the surface of the eyelid. These extra eyelashes can be a constant source of irritation to the eye and cause abrasion to the cornea. A CERF exam can easily identify distichiasis.


To remove a part of the Dog's tail. Usually done 3-4 days after birth, the tail is cut with a scalpel without anesthesia during an office visit.


A skull and muzzle that is long and narrow as seen in a Saluki for example.

Dominant Gene

An allele that passes its trait to the offspring over the presence of another allele of the same gene by blocking its characteristic. (See Allele)

Down Face

A muzzle with a rounded slope down to the nose like a Bull Terrier.


Doxycycline belongs to a class of antibiotics known as tetracyclines and is used to fight bacterial infections, especially Lyme disease.

Drop Ears

Usually refers to Dogs with natural ears in the breeds where ear cropping is customary such as the Bouvier des Flandres, Doberman or Boxer.

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