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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 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.

Ear Set

The position where the ears are attached to the head. High Ear set or Low Ear Set.


Earmites are tiny insects that live in the ears of Dogs and feed on blood through the skin. They spread easily between animals and are extremely annoying, causing severe itching episodes and inflamed, irritated ears. To confirm the presence of earmites, insert a soft cotton ball and give it a gentle turn trapping some of the waxy build up that accompanies an earmite infestation. Look at the waxy deposit through a magnifying glass for tiny white specks that move. Try using the Blue Powder Ear formula posted on our Blog to eliminate ear mites. It is always good to visit your veterinarian to ensure there are no secondary infections or damage to the ear.


Eclampsia refers to an abnormal drop in blood calcium levels in the female. It usually occurs 1 to 4 weeks after giving birth to pups when milk production is at its highest, although it can happen before parturition. Calcium is regulated in the body by the parathyroid gland which is constantly adding calcium to bone and releasing it into the bloodstream, much like a "calcium thermostat." When a Bitch is supplemented with calcium during pregnancy, it can interfere with the proper functioning of the parathyroid gland. When She needs calcium for milk production, there is not enough parathyroid hormone available to signal release of calcium into the blood. Symptoms of eclampsia include panting, walking with a stiff posture, legs that stiffen and paddle when prone, restlessness and high temperature. If you suspect your Dog has eclampsia, seek immediate medical intervention. Usually, intravenous calcium supplementation will balance and restore the Bitch. (See Parathyroid Gland.)

Ectopic Cilia

Ectopic cilia are hairs that grow from deep in the eye glands instead of from the surface of the eyelid. (See Distichiasis.) They do not grow straight out of the gland, but instead penetrate through the inner side of the eyelid and rub against the cornea. Surgery is required to remove the eyelash and medication may be needed to treat any abrasions to the cornea. Some breeds are genetically predisposed to Ectopic Cilia and should not be bred.


Ectropion occurs when the lower eyelid folds outward in one or both eyes, which leaves the tender inner lining of the eyelid exposed. The Dog appears to have reddened droopy lower eyelids. Some Dogs with minor ectropion live just fine, but more severe cases should be surgically repaired. Because ectropion is considered an inheritable disorder, affected Dogs should not be used in a breeding program.


Edema is swelling caused by excess fluid building up in cavities, tissues or organs in the body.


Entropion occurs when part of the eyelid is folded inward and the eyelash and outer hairs rub against the cornea. It may cause abrasion to the cornea, inflammation, and over time can cause scar tissue to develop. Effects of entropion range from minor to severe, and either the upper or lower eyelid can be affected. If left untreated, entropion can lead to irreversible damage and possible loss of the eye. Various surgical repairs exist and after surgery Dogs live a normal life. Entropion is thought to be inherited and symptoms usually appear early in life. Look for visible inversion of either the upper or lower eyelid, eyes that appear half open, squinting, excessive tearing or inflammation.


Vitamin C which is highly acidic is buffered with Calcium. The buffered C has Threonate added which accelerates the absorption of C into the body. It is said to be easier on the gastrointestinal tract and is excreted more slowly than regular C.


Estradiol is a kind of prescription estrogen that is used to jump start a heat cycle which will discharge any fertilized eggs that there may be from an unwanted breeding. It is not without risk and many veterinarians consider it unsafe for this use. Risk of pyometra in bitches increases dramatically as well as many other documented side effects. It is also prescribed for spayed bitches that suffer from incontinence.


Estrogen is produced mainly by the ovaries and during pregnancy, it also secreted by the placenta. It is essential to promote estrus, initiate receptive behavior in the female, and promote the production of glandular cells that will later secrete milk when nursing begins.


A stage in the female reproductive cycle following Proestrus. Ovulation and the fertile period occur during estrus. The vulva will soften and the vaginal discharge may change from bloody to straw colored or clear, accompanied by receptivity toward the male.


Eugenics is the theory of improving the hereditary traits of a population through selective breeding. When used in reference to humans, it carries many negative and destructive implications as witnessed at different times throughout history. However the ideas of Eugenics for breeding animals help to eliminate genetic disorders to create healthier and stronger future generations.

Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency

The pancreas of a Dog with Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency or EPI does not produce enough amounts of digestive enzymes needed to properly digest food. This is most often caused by an atrophied pancreas which may be the result of a previous illness, an obstructed pancreatic duct or genetics. Insufficient enzymes lead to a poor absorption of nutrients causing weight loss, diarrhea, poor coat quality and dehydration. Sixty percent of the cases seen with EPI are German Shepherds. Breeds that are also predisposed to EPI include Rough Collies,Chow Chows, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and some terriers.


The hair from the front of the skull, left longer in length to veil the eyes and part of the muzzle.

False Pregnancy

A false pregnancy occurs when an intact Bitch, that has not been bred, exhibits all the signs of pregnancy including nesting behavior, mothering stuffed toys, and even lactation. Symptoms usually occur around 8 weeks or so after the active heat cycle. In a normal pregnant Bitch, the corpus luteum is formed at the ovary, following the burst follicle, to maintain elevated levels of progesterone during the pregnancy. In unbred Bitches the corpus luteum usually disintigrates and the Bitch enters diestrus and anestrus normally. Sometimes the corpus luteum lingers, progesterone levels remain elevated, and the Bitch has a false pregnancy. In a wolf pack only the alpha female is bred and has a litter. The next dominant females in the pack often have pseudo pregnancies. This is to ensure that the puppies will be cared for should something happen to the mother. (See Corpus Luteum, Progesterone, and Blog article;Reproductive Cycle.)

Fat Soluble Vitamins

Vitamins that are stored in the fat cells of the body and accumulate over time. These are Vitamins A,D,E and K.


Fawn is a light yellowish tan color in reference to a dog's coat.

Femoral Groove

The cartilage covered concave area at the lower end of the femur, at the stifle, that allows the Patella movement up and down when the stifle bends or straightens. A healthy femoral groove is lined with plenty of cartilage and deep enough to allow the patella to slide efficiently up and down.


The thigh Bone from the hip to the stifle; connected to the hip with the femur head and attached to the lower leg bone at the stifle with the cruciate ligament.


Fenbendazole is used to combat a variety of different intestinal parasites and is marketed under the brand name, Panacur. It is an effective wormer and a viable treatment for protozoan infections such as giardia. It remains in the body for a short period of time making it a safe alternative for puppies.


The characteristic placement of the tail to either side by the Female during estrus which signals receptivity to the male.


Thousands of different flavonoids are found in fruits and vegetables that have wide ranging beneficial antioxidant influence. There is evidence that flavonoids have anti-inflammatory effects and are useful in combating allergies and certain cancer cells.


Fluoride is a toxic element added to public water systems in the United States to protect teeth from decay. Although it is deemed safe to use in the United States at the rate of 1 part per million, it is important to note that in many countries, it is prohibited to use in drinking water. Fluoride accumulates in the bone and is linked to osteosarcoma in young boys. Because it does concentrate in bone, feeds that include bone meal or meat meals have elevated amounts of fluoride.

Folic Acid

Folic Acid is the synthetic supplement form for the naturally occuring vitamin called folate. It is important in the production of red blood cells, the formation of DNA and RNA, and vital for rapid cell division.(See vitamin B9)


A casing of cells around an unfertilized egg in the ovary.

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