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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
Follicle Stimulating Hormone

Abreviated as FSH, this hormone is secreted by the pituitary gland in the brain and stimulates the growth of follicles in the ovary that contain unfertilized eggs. The follicles expand toward the surface of the ovary in preparation for ovulation.

Fovea Capitis

The normal flat part of the femur head.


In longer coated dogs, the furnishings refer to the length of hair on the legs, sternum, muzzle, thighs,undercarriage and tail.


Furosemide is a diuretic marketed under the name Lasix which increases the volume of liquid that is passed through the kidneys. It is most often prescribed by a veterinarian to help minimize the fluid around the heart and in the lungs that is often present with congestive heart failure. It is also used for fluid build up in the lungs not related to heart failure.

Gene Pool

The total sum of all the genes from all the individuals in a population. (See Allele)


The combination of genes that make up an Individual. Also called its genetic make-up. (See Allele)


Giardia is a protozoa that attaches to the lining of the intestines of its host. The most common symptoms are watery diarrhea, without blood, and sometimes vomiting. When giardia is passed from the body in the feces it develops a "shell" which enables it to survive outside the body for months. In this form they are called giardia cysts. The infection spreads when a Dog consumes contaminated water from a pasture or stagnant source, comes in contact with unclean surfaces in a kennel, licks its paws that have touched infected surfaces, or mouths any object that has been in contact with giardia cysts. Once the cysts are ingested, the outer shell breaks down in the digestive tract freeing the protozoa to travel and attach to the intestinal lining. A Dog will start passing cysts in about 1 week after infection and continue the cycle. Prescription medication is available to treat giardia and strict measures to ensure cleanliness are required in kennels and yards.


Glaucoma is a combination of eye diseases that result in increased pressure in the eye, and if left untreated leads to painful swelling and enlargement of the eye and ultimately to blindness. Glaucoma is almost always caused by limited outflow of fluid from the eye. Primary Glaucoma is inherited, whereas secondary Glaucoma is caused by an illness or injury that results in a decrease in the flow of fluid from the eye.


Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfates are 2 of the building blocks that indirectly make up cartilage. When arthritis occurs, cartilage breaks down, and repair of the tissue does not keep up with the disintegration of the cartilage, causing impaired joint function and inflammation. Glucosamine and Chondroitin are given as supplements to Dogs and humans, with the idea being that the body will utilize the available glucosamine and chondroitin to rebuild damaged cartilage or at the very least, stop the breakdown of more tissue. Many believe that it also helps to minimize inflammation in the joint. It needs to be administered for several weeks before results are visible. Studies show mixed results. Talk to your veterinarian if you are considering dosing you Dog with glucosamine.


Goniodysgenesis refers to an abnormal iridiocorneal angle in the eye and congenital dysplasia of the pectinate ligament, both thought to be precursors of glaucoma. (See iridiocorneal angle, pectinate ligament, pectinate ligament dysplasia, glaucoma.)


An eye exam where the Veterinarian presses a special lens onto the eye using a protective lubricant gel to observe the Iridocorneal angle, (drainage angle) of the eye. They look to see how narrow or wide open the angle is, as well as look at the spaces between the thin strands (pectinate ligaments)to make a determination of the outflow capacity of the eye.


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)


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.


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


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.)


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.


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


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.


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


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


Hyperstosis refers to the thickening and bowing of bones.


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.


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


A hormone produced by the corpus luteum which inhibits the pituitary gland from producing Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing Hormone (LH). This terminates the mating and fertile period in the "Heat" cycle.


IOP stands for Intraocular Pressure. Cells within the eye produce fluid that support and feed the tissues of the eye. The fluid drains naturally through the iridocorneal angle. IOP is a reflection of the balance of fluid production and drainage. (See aqueous humor, tonometry, ciliary body)

Iridiocorneal Angle

The Iridiocorneal angle is the angle formed at the base of the iris where the iris attaches to the cornea and serves as the drainage opening for aqueous humor from the anterior chamber of the eye. (See anterior chamber, aqueous humor, IOP, gonioscopy.)


Kelp is one of the fastest growing plants on earth, growing in colder waters especially on the coasts of North America and Iceland, and in the southern hemisphere off the coasts of New Zealand, South Africa and Australia. Kelp, also known as Kombu in Japan, has long been a staple along with other seaweeds in the Japanese diet. Kelp is dependent on the sun to flourish which makes it rich in chlorophyll, a powerful antioxidant, and is the only concentrated source of Vitamin D from a vegetable. It also contains vitamins B1, B2, B5, B6 and B12 as well as minerals calcium, potassium, and iodine and many trace elements. Kelp has sodium alginate which is proven to cleanse radioactive toxins and heavy metals from the body through chelation. There is ongoing research on the cancer fighting properties of Kelp, as well as its ability to promote healthy intestinal bacteria and improve B-cell production. Read more about Kelp if you plan on using it as a supplement and only buy human grade Kelp from a health food store. It is available as a powder that is easily mixed in with most feeds.

Kennel Cough

An inflamation of the upper respiratory tract affecting the trachea and the bronchi. Although viral infections can cause upper respiratory inflamation, the most common cause is from the bacteria; Bordetella Bronchiseptica.It is very contagious and spreads quickly among dogs in close proximity. The typical symptom is a constant characteristic "hacking" which may or may not be accompanied by a drippy nose.

Left Atrium

The Left Atrium is the upper left chamber of the heart that collects blood as it returns from the lungs. When it contracts, blood flows through the mitral valve to the left ventricle.

Left Ventricle

The lower left chamber of the heart that is responsible for pumping the oxygenated blood through the aortic valve to the aorta and subsequently to the rest of the body.

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