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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

A Major is a show where larger numbers of Dogs are entered in the conformation classes. There are enough competitors entered to award the winning class Dog either 3, 4, or 5 points. Smaller shows are only worth 1 or 2 points depending on the number of entries. A Dog must win at least 2 major shows under 2 different judges to achieve a Championship.


Lower Jaw

Mast Cells

Mast cells are leukocytes, a type of white blood cell, that is produced in the bone marrow and migrates to most all tissues in the body, particularly to the skin, intestines, lungs and air passage ways. Because these locations are doorways to the environment, mast cells act as early responders to invaders which result in the immediate release of compounds, such as Histamines to prepare and alert the body to counteract a toxin of some kind. (See histamines.)


The upper jaw.


(immiticide)is a drug used to kill adult heartworms and administered by injection directly into the muscle.


Gregor Mendel, (1822-1884) laid the foundation for the modern theories on inheritance with his work with pea plants. He was the first person to calculate and track physical traits over many generations and explain how these traits are inherited. His fundamental discoveries about genetics include: 1.) Each parent delivers half of the genetic information to the offspring. 2.) Some traits are "dominant" over others. 3.) Different offspring of the same parents receive different genetic combinations. Mendel's work led to understanding pedigrees and predicting the probability of passing an inherited disease to the next generation as well as passing desired characteristics.


Tissue in the stifle joint that cushions the impact between the femur and the tibia. There are two; the medial meniscus and the lateral meniscus. Most miniscus surgery in Dogs is to the medial meniscus, while damage to the lateral meniscus is relatively rare.


A study on Alaskan team sled Dogs in the Yukon valley has shown that Dogs fed a local natural diet that includes black bear, pike and salmon, have higher levels of mercury. The study has linked elevated mercury levels to compromised antioxidant capacity in these Dogs. In humans, increased mercury levels has shown to damage the colon and is associated with many health issues. Investigate if seafood formula feeds contain mercury and if your veterinarian offers mercury free vaccines. (See thimerosal)


A muzzle that is medium in length and width.


Metabolism refers to all the bio-chemical interactions in the cells of all living organisms that produce and maintain life. Metabolism is divided between Catabolism which are processes that break down materials through enzymatic activity or other chemical reactions, and Anabolism which uses bio-chemical reactions and energy to build cell components, amino acids, nucleic acids and proteins. Nutrition, digestion, physical activity, excretion, and genetics all affect metabolism. The metabolic rate of an animal determines how much food it will need, and how often it will need to feed in order to survive.


Metronidazole is an antibiotic used to treat protozoa infections such as giardia or coccidia. The brand name is Flagyl. Metronidazole is becoming less complete in treating protozoan infections and many veterinarians now choose fenbendazole. (See Fenbendazole.)


(Interceptor) is a monthly heartworm preventative. It kills microfilariae. (See Heartworm)

Milk Thistle

Milk Thistle is a very common field plant in the Aster family. The active flavanoid in milk thistle is silymarin, and is available in health food stores in capsule, liquid or powder form. It is suggested to be used only on ailing Dogs and not as a daily preventative supplement. Silymarin is administered for certain liver disorders because it concentrates in the bile and improves liver cell function. It is a potent antioxidant and studies have shown that it can retard tumor growth especially in prostate cancer and malignant melanomas although more research is needed. Read about Milk Thistle and talk to your veterinarian if you are thinking about giving it to your Dog.

Mitral Valve

The valve between the Left Atrium and the Left Ventricle that prevents blood from slipping back into the Left Atrium.


A condition where the dog only develops one testicle. This is not to be confused with one-sided cryptorchidism where only 1 testicle drops into the scrotum and the 2nd testicle remains up in the abdomen.

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