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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
Heartworm

Dirofilaria Immitis is a thread like parasitic worm that is transferred between hosts through mosquito bites. The dog is a particularly susceptible host. The adult female heartworm produces microfilariae in a host and the mosquito is infected with the microfilariae when they feed on the animal. Within 10 to 14 days inside the mosquito, the microfilariae mature into the infective larval stage. The mosquito then feeds on another susceptible animal and infects the new host. The larvae mature into adult heartworms in about 6 months and live in the arteries of the lungs and less frequently in the right side of the heart. An adult female heartworm can produce microfilariae for several years. (See Heartworm Disease)

Hemangiosarcoma

An aggressive malignant cancer of the cells that line blood vessels. Tumors are commonly found attached to the spleen, heart or the tissue just below the skin anywhere on the body. The cancer metastasizes easily to the lung, liver and intestines. The tumors are not painful and often go undetected until late in the disease. For this reason, and because of the vascular nature of the tumors, many dogs collapse and die from internal bleeding when a tumor ruptures. Symptoms also appear in later stages and can include pale gums, labored breathing when prone, bleeding from the nose, expanded abdomen and loss of appetite.

Heterozygous

Having 2 different alleles of a given gene. (See Allele)

Histamines

Histamines are produced by mast cells when they come in contact with a foreign toxin, or in response to an injury. They cause the dilation of blood vessels to help the body move more blood into the affected area bringing in antibodies, compounds and cells to fight the invader. This is what causes the inflammation surrounding the affected area. Sometimes mast cells overact to harmless compounds and uneccessarily release histamines that cause an abnormal immune response known as an allergic reaction. Dogs exhibit allergic reactions to compounds in their skin. (See Mast Cells.)

Hock

The Hock is a very complicated joint in the rear leg sometimes equated with the human ankle. In simple terms, the Tibia comes down from the thigh and forms a pivotal joint with the tarsal bone. The Achilles tendon attaches to the top of the "heel" bone and to the muscles in the thigh.There are several smaller bones and ligaments that support and connect the joint to the lower portion of the hind leg. A more in depth study in canine anatomy is needed to fully understand the mechanics of the hock. A dog that is said to be "Long in Hock" or "Short in Hock" refers to the distance from the Hock to the ground.

Homozygous

Having 2 exact copies of the same allele of a given gene. (See Allele)

Hookworms

Hookworms are very common parasites that have a mechanism that enable them to attach to the lining of the small intestine of their host where they feed directly on blood. They move around the intestines leaving behind ulcerations from previous attachments that can continue to bleed. Puppies can be infected with hookworms from their mother's milk or through direct penetration through their skin, and are very vulnerable to anemia, bloody diarrhea and dehydration that accompany a hookworm infection. Adult hookworms that live in the intestines pass eggs with the feces to the outside world. When the eggs hatch, the larvae are ready to enter a new host. Dogs either ingest the larvae through drinking dirty water, licking infected surfaces or by licking their paws. If the Dog is lying on contaminated ground, larvae can penetrate directly through the skin. Hookworms can cause major problems if left untreated. Fortunately there are many wormers that will clear the Dog of hookworms and they are usually taken care with proper puppy worming protocols and strict hygiene practice.

Hormone

A chemical secreted in one part of the body that affects other processes and conditions in another part of the body.

Humerus

The upper bone of the front leg from the shoulder to the elbow.

Hyperstosis

Hyperstosis refers to the thickening and bowing of bones.

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia refers to abnormally low blood sugar. Some Toy breeds have a metabolic disorder which predisposes them to low blood sugar. Diabetic Dogs can accidentally receive to high a dose of insulin which can lead to low blood sugar. Pancreatic tumors can cause the pancreas to over produce insulin which leads to hypoglycemia. Some young puppies that under stress, or after missing a meal, or tired from over activity, can experience a drop in blood sugar. They usually outgrow it. Symptoms include, wobbly stance, disorientation, muscle weakness, shaking, listlessness and later collapse and seizures. If you suspect low blood sugar, see a veterinarian immediately. If you know it is low blood sugar you can supplement with a maple syrup or honey and water mixture. For puppies use a dropper.

Hypothyroid

In hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland fails to produce enough T4. The Dog becomes lethargic, overweight with poor coat quality. (See Thyroid Gland.)

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