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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

Sarcomas are cancers that form from the mutated cells in the mesenchymal group. These are cells that are found in connective tissue, bone, fat and muscle. The cancers are named from the tissue in which they are found. Osteosarcoma (bone cancer,) lymphosarcoma (lymph cancer) or chondrosarcoma (cartilage cancer) are examples of sarcomas. They differ from carcinomas which are cancers that start from altered epithileal cells.

Scissors Bite

When the upper and lower jaws are closed, the upper incisors just overlap and touch the lower incisors. The upper and lower cuspids interlock. This is the correct bite.


The sclera is the white of the eye made up of fibrous collagen tissue and is the protective outer shell of the eye.


A thick muscular wall that divides the heart in the middle between the left and right sides.

Silent Heat

A silent heat occurs when the ovaries ovulate normally but the Bitch does not exhibit any outward signs of estrus, including vaginal swelling or discharge, or generate any interest from intact males.


(See Milk Thistle)

Single coat

Dogs with a singe coat have one thicker outer layer of Hair. This is opposed to dogs with a double coat where there is a harsher outer coat and a softer under layer present.


In longer coated dogs, the skirt refers to the length of hair on the undercarriage.

Slab Sided

No arch to the ribcage or flat ribbed.

Sodium Thiacetarsemide

(Carparsolate)is a drug injected directly into the vein to kill adult heartworms.

Specials Dog

A Dog that has achieved a Championship and competes for Best of Breed, Group placements and Best in Show.

Spindle Cell Tumor

Spindle cells are special temporary cells that are created by the body to help transfer chromosomes during cell division. When the cells are completely divided, the spindle cell dies. Sometimes a spindle cell can mutate causing it not to die, and to reproduce itself in the same way that healthy cells divide. The mutated spindle cells lump together to form a cancerous tumor. These tumors are often associated with mesodermal tissue, such as muscle, cartilage, ligaments or other connective tissue anywhere in the body. They can occur at injury sites where rapid cell division is required to heal the injury. Some veterinarians classify the tumor depending on the tissue where it is found, so different names are assigned to the cancer based on its location. Aspiration of the tumor will confirm spindle cells and diagnose a spindle cell tumor. Tumors are usually found just under the skin and in most cases are isolated incidences that are slow to metastasize. Surgical removal is recommended, cutting into healthy tissue to ensure complete removal of the cancerous tissue. Tumors can return locally if some cells are left behind. Although they are slow to matastasize, some cancer cells can move to other areas, especially to the lungs. (See sarcoma.)

Split Heat

A split heat occurs when a Bitch begins her cycle normally with proestrus, but suddenly stops before ovulation. Progesterone levels will not surge much beyond 5ng/ml because the Bitch fails to ovulate. A short anestrus period follows, anywhere between a few days or weeks, and then the Bitch will again enter into a full heat, cycling completely through ovulation. (See Proestrus, Estrus, Anestrus and Progesterone Testing on our Blog)

Spring of Rib

The curve formed by the ribcage. More spring refers to more arch in the ribcage.


Stenosis refers to a heart valve that does not open completely, causing less blood to flow through the valve to the next chamber.


The stifle in the dog is a joint that can be equated to the human knee. The femur, which is the thigh bone, is joined to the tibia (the lower leg bone) at the stifle and connected together with tendons, ligaments and muscle. The patella, or knee cap, sits in front of the knee. The fibula is the smaller lower leg bone that is next to the tibia.(See Patella, Menisci, Cruciate ligament)


The angle created where the skull between the eyes meets the snout. It can be very abrupt or barely noticeable.

Sub Aortic Stenosis

Sub Aortic Stenosis os SAS is an inherited condition affecting the heart. Blood from the Left Ventricle of the heart is pumped through the Aortic Valve to the Aorta, which is the large vessel that returns blood to the body. Dogs with SAS have extra tissue or thickening below the Aortic Valve that restricts the flow of blood from the heart. This forces the heart to work harder.


Having a concave topline.

Synovial fluid

Synovial fluid is a jelly like substance in a synovial joint that helps to lubricate it and minimize friction of the parts during movement. (The stifle and the elbow are examples of synovial joints.) It also oxygenates and delivers nutrients to the cartilage while cleansing and removing waste and carbon dioxide. There are studies linking immune responses to the health of synovial fluid in the stifle that may lead to joint arthritis and even cruciate ligament rupture.

Systole Phase

One of the 2 phases in the cycle of the heart where the ventricle chambers contract and pump blood to the arteries and to the body. Systolic heart murmurs occur when the ventricles contract and so are associated with ejecting blood.

Systolic Heart Murmur

Systolic heart murmurs occur when the ventricles contract. They can heard with close attention between the first and second beat. (See Blog article Canine Heart.)

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