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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 bacterial infection of the skin. Most often it is Staphylococcus intermedius which is normally present on healthy skin, but if the skin becomes damaged from incessant scratching or nibbling, the bacteria multiplies.


Pyometra ia a bacterial infection of the uterus that can occur suddenly and is fatal without medical intervention. Usually the disease is seen in middle aged, intact bitches, but can strike at any age. It usually occurs 2 months or so after the completion of the active heat cycle during diestrus. Abnormal progesterone levels or changes in the uterus over time from repeated estrogen and progesterone surges cause the uterus to react differently to hormones and directly lead to a series of changes that cause a secondary bacterial infection. Hormones cause a thickening and inflammation of the uterine wall accompanied by an over secretion of fluids into the uterus. As the uterus enlarges and swells, infection follows which leads to large amounts of "pus" flooding into the uterus. Open pyometra occurs when the cervix is still open and the discharge can exit the bitch which leads to earlier diagnosis and treatment. In closed pyometra, the cervix is closed and the pus builds up in the uterus rapidly and can cause the uterus to rupture. At this point, the bitch requires immediate medical attention to save her life.


(See Vitamin B6)

Quantitative C6 Test

A test for dogs that have tested positive for Lyme infection. The Quantitative C6 measures the level of antibodies the dog has produced in response to the C6 Antigen which is highly specific for Borrelia Burgdorferi infection. (Lyme Disease) It can help guage how hard the body is working to combat the infection by measuring the number of antibodies it is producing. After treatment with antibiotics, the Quantitative C6 can measure the effectiveness of antibiotic therapy on fighting the infection.


A flavonoid found in apple skins, leafy green vegetables, onions and tea. Laboratory research has found that Quecertin has antihistimine and antioxidant properties and has been used to treat inflammation, arthritis and allergies. (see flavonoids, antioxidants)


The fleshy interior part of the toenail with blood vessels.It is very sensitive and very painful if cut when trimming nails.

Recessive Gene

An allele that does not express its characteristic because it is blocked by another allele of the same gene at a location on the chromosome. The trait is only expressed in a homozygous pairing with the same recessive gene producing a recessive trait. (See Allele)


A Hormone secreted by the placenta just prior to whelping and serves to relax the pelvis


(See Vitamin B2)

Right Atrium

The Right Atrium is the upper right chamber of the heart where blood is first returned from the body.

Right Ventricle

The right ventricle is the lower right chamber of the heart.It receives blood from the right atrium and when it contracts pushes the blood through the pulmonary valve, into the pulmonay artery and to the lungs for oxygenation.


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.

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