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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

Tapeworms are parasites that attach themselves to the lining of the small intestine and can grow several inches long. The ends of the tapeworm break off during a growing phase and appear in your dogs feces as little, white, rice like flecks. Dogs get tapeworms by chewing at themselves when trying to get at fleas. When they consume a flea that contains tapeworm eggs, the flea becomes digested, freeing the eggs to hatch and attach to the intestinal lining. Wormers are effective in removing tapeworms, but the flea infestation must be addressed to avoid re-infection.

Tea Tree Oil

An essential oil extracted from the plant, Melaleuca alternifolia, common throughout Australia. The main active chemical in tea tree oil is Terpinen-4-ol, which gives the oil its antiseptic, antifungal and antimicrobial properties. Research has shown that it can be used to fight fungal infections between toes in both humans and Dogs as well as ringworm infections. It is effective fighting yeast infections and is a good antiseptic for minor cuts and abrasions.


Refers to a Dog's general demeanor and response toward life and its situations. Things like prey drive, shyness, fear level, confidence, dominance, aggressive behavior, or ease in socialization are all traits considered in temperament.


Fibrous tissue made from collagen that connects muscle to bone.


(See Vitamin B1)


Thimerosal is a preservative used in vaccines that contains mercury. It was introduced to allow the use of larger containers of vaccine with multiple dosages and so lower the cost of vaccines. There is no doubt that mercury is a poisonous toxin to both Dogs and humans; the question is how much mercury can a living organism tolerate before exhibiting deleterious side effects. Some veterinarians may tell you that the the amount of mercury in vaccines is so low that it will not affect the health of your dog. However, mercury accumulates in the body over time from many sources so why not eliminate mercury ingestion anywhere possible. Ask your veterinarian to administer thimerosal free vaccines.

Thyroid Gland

The thyroid gland is located in the front of the neck, below the voice box, with a portion on either side of the wind pipe. Within each side-lobe there are 2 small glands called parathyroids. Together they regulate the Dog's metabolism and calcium levels by producing hormones; Thyroxine, (T4) and tri-iodothronine (T3). The amount of hormone produced by the thyroid gland is regulated by thyroid-stimulating hormone or TSH which is secreted by the pituitary gland. T4 and T3 hormones control the respiration of cells and stimulate all the tissues in the body to manufacture proteins. There are tests used to gauge the health of the thyroid gland by measuring the levels of T4, T3 and TSH hormones. If there are normal levels of the signal hormone TSH, but abnormal levels of T4 or T3, then there is a problem. A healthy thyroid analysis is a good practice for any Dog involved in a breeding program. (See Hypothyroid and parathyroid gland.)


Male Dogs, unlike human males, enter inside the vagina first, then the penis engorges with blood. The base enlarges and when the bitch's vagina contracts, the penis is locked inside. The two are "tied" together. The male will usually swing a leg over the bitch's back, turn around, and the two will stand rump to rump. Sometimes assistance facilitates the leg passing over the back. A tie can last from 5 to 20 minutes or even longer and during this time the male ejaculates. Afterwards, the blood leaves the penis and the male can separate from the female.If either dog is inexperienced, it is a good idea to stay close and make sure the dogs are calm and steady during the tie.


A blood test that measures the number of antibodies in a Dog's bloodstream specific to an antigen invader. A titer is measured separately for each disease. A distemper titer for example,will measure the antibodies that a Dog has generated in response to a previous distemper vaccination. It can be a guide to determine if another vaccination is necessary. There is increasing awareness that over vaccinating a Dog is unhealthy and may directly lead to certain diseases and cancers. There is also evidence that a low titer value does not necessarily mean that your Dog is not protected. It is always good to question your veterinarian on the validity of automatic vaccinations as part of a standard protocol for your Dog's "health."


Tocopherols are a group of compounds referred to on dog food labels as mixed tocopherols and include alpha, beta, delpha and gamma tocopherols. Although alpha-tocopherol provides the most available and stable vitamin E component, they must all be combined to provide all the essential parts of the Vitamin E group. Vitamin E is an anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and is very effective in treating various skin disorders. Vegetable oils are the main source of naturally occuring tocopherols.


Measures the pressure within the eye. Normal pressure is between 10 and 20 mmhg. (See aqueous humor, IOP, Glaucoma)


The profile line formed from the withers down the back to the tail.


TPLO is short for Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy. The cruciate ligament is designed to prevent slippage of the femur on the tibia. A torn cruciate ligament destablizes the stifle joint causing lameness and osteoarthritis.TPLO is surgery where the top of the tibia is cut in an arch through the bone then rotated along the cut curve and fastened to its new position on the tibia with a patented plate and screws. The new level joint in the stifle stablizes the knee and dogs return to normal function. TPLO is major surgery and extended care and rehab is essential to return the patient to maximum performance.


A pain reliever often suggested after surgery. Requires a prescription from a veterinarian.


Trichiasis occurs when the eyelashes grow in the wrong direction toward the inner lining of the eye or toward the cornea. It is easily identified during a CERF exam. Symptoms can vary from mild to severe and solutions include, eye ointments, wetting drops or surgical repair.

Tricuspid Valve

The tricuspid valve is located between the right atrium and the right ventricle. When the right atrium contracts, blood is pushed through the valve into the right ventricle. It has 3 flaps which prevent the blood from seeping back into the right atrium.


A drug used in the treatment of Cushings Disease. The brand name is Vetoryl. It works by affecting the adrenal glands and stopping the production of cortisol. It should not be administered to a pregnant or nursing Dog or a Dog with a compromised kidney or liver. It is important to note that Trilostane was removed from the market for human use.


(See Femoral Groove)


A dog that is "Typey" or has Type is a one that is closely reflective of the breed standard.

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