Animal Reference Pathology

525 East 4500 South Suite F200
Salt Lake City, UT 84107

(180)042-6209 x9

animalreferencepathology.com

Glossary

  • Ablation- Separation or detachment usually by cutting such as surgery.
  • Abrasion- A wound caused by rubbing or scraping the skin or mucous membrane. A ‘skinned knee’ or a ‘rope burn’ are common examples.
  • Abdomen/abdominal- Portion of the body between the bottom of the rib cage and hips. The area where the stomach, liver, spleen, and intestines (among other things) reside.
  • Acinar cells- Cells of the pancreas that producer and secrete enzymes and other juices that are necessary for digestion.
  • Acrometasis- Malignant secondary lesions of the bones that are located on the feet or paws.
  • Adenocarcinoma- Carcinoma derived from glandular tissue or in which the tumor cells form recognizable glandular structures.
  • Adenoma- A benign epithelial tumor in which the cells are glandular in nature and or originate from glandular tissue. Called also pituitary tumor, adrenal gland tumor,   ceruminous gland tumor, eccrine tumor and apocrine tumor.
  • Adipocyte- A fancy name for a fat cell.
  • Adipose tissue- The medical term for fat tissue.
  • Alimentary- Pertaining to or caused by food, or nutritive material. Referring to the organs that are involved in passing and digesting food.
  • Ameloblastoma- A locally invasive, highly destructive tumor of the jaw.
  • Anaphylactoid- Resembling anaphylaxis, but not involving an immunological mechanism.
  • Anemia- The reduction of red blood cells and/or hemoglobin in the blood. Signs of anemia include weakness, lethargy, increased heart rate and exercise intolerance.
  • Antigen- Any substance under the right conditions, which can cause a disease or an immune response to an animal when it enters the body.
  • Ataxia- Failure of muscular coordination, loss of control of bodily movements.
  • Auditory Canal- A fancy word for the ear canal.
  • Vertical and horizontal ear canal- the portion of the ear canal that runs vertically or horizontally.
  • Alopecia- Hair thinning or hair loss.
  • Alveolus- Small hollow cavity of tissue, like a tooth socket. Also found in lung and mammary tissue.
  • Amyloidosis- The deposition of amyloid in various tissues. Amyloid is difficult for the body to get rid of and when amyloid is deposited into a tissue, the tissue becomes non-functioning.
  • Androgen- Any steroid hormone which promotes male characteristics. The two main androgens are androstenedione and testosterone.
  • Anorexia- Loss of appetite or desire to eat.
  • Appendicular- Pertaining to the limbs.
  • Ascites- Abnormal accumulation of fluid in the abdomen.
  • Asymptomatic- Without symptoms or clinical signs of a disease even though the disease   is present.
  • Atrophy-A decrease in size of a normally developed organ, muscle or other tissue.
  • Autogenous vaccine- A vaccine that is made from the microorganisms that are taken from an animal, prepared and then administered back to that same animal to help stop the spread of the disease caused by that microorganism.
  • Basal Cell- Cells associated with the basal or deepest layer of the skin.
  • Benign- Not malignant, not recurrent, favorable for recovery.
  • Biopsy- The removal of tissues from a living animal for microscopic evaluation. Biopsies are usually taken to determine if a tumor is malignant or benign; however, a biopsy may be useful in diagnosing other diseases and infections.
  • Bland embolization- Non-chemotherapeutic embolization involving the injection of small particles through a catheter in the hepatic artery. It is performed to block the blood supply to liver cancer.
  • Buccal-The medical term for cheek or toward the cheek.
  • Cachexia- Profound general ill health and malnutrition similar to emaciation.
  • Carcinoma- A malignant new growth made up of epithelial cells that tend to infiltrate surrounding tissue and produce metastases. There are multiple forms of carcinoma. The classification of these types of tumors is based on the cell type or types that make up the mass. 
  • Carcinogen- Any agent, substance or material that is known to cause cancer.
  • Caseous- When dead tissue takes on a white, soft, ‘cheese like’ appearance.
  • Castration- The removal of the testicles from a male dog. Commonly referred to as ‘neutering.’
  • Caudal-Anatomical direction referring to the direction of the tail of an animal.
  • Caudal vena cava- One of the two major veins of the body that drains directly into the heart (the other is the cranial vena cava).
  • Cell mediated- A reaction that is dependent upon the actions and functions of certain specific cells depending on the system or organ.
  • Chemotherapy- The treatment of an illness by a chemical. A common term used when referring to the drugs (chemicals) used in cancer treatment.
  • Chronic- Persisting for a long time, usually more than a week.
  • Circumscribed- Bounded, limited or confined to a limited space.
  • Cirrhosis- Chronic liver disease characterized by shrinking and fibrosis of the liver.
  • Clinical signs- The observable appearance, signs, and symptoms that an animal is displaying.
  • Clinically/clinical- Pertaining to the actual observation of the animal including clinical signs, symptoms and appearances.
  • Collagen- A fibrous structural protein that is very common and very abundant in the body. It is found in skin, tendons, bone cartilage, eyes, and all other connective tissues.
  • Collagenous- Composed of or pertaining to collagen which is a fibrous structural protein of the body.
  • Commissure- A site of union of corresponding parts, as the angle of the lips or eyelids.
  • Congenital- Present at and existing from the time of birth.
  • Conjunctiva- The delicate membrane lining the eyelids and covering the non-corneal parts of the eye.
  • Contagious- Capable of being transmitted from animal to animal.
  • Contralateral-Pertaining to the opposite side.
  • Core Feline Vaccinations- The core vaccines for cats are: feline herpes virus (FHV1), feline calicivirus (FCV), feline panleukopenia virus (FPV) and rabies.
  • Coronavirus- A virus of the Coronaviridae family that causes enteritis in dogs and FIP in cats.
  • Coronary band- The junction or area where the skin and hoof meet.
  • Cortex- An outer layer as in the outer layer of an organ or structure.
  • Cranial- Pertaining to the cranium or the anatomical direction pertaining toward the head.
  • Criteria of malignancy- The multiple different characteristics that tissues must display in order to be considered malignant (examples include giant cells, multinucleated cells, anisocytosis, anisokaryosis, tubule formation, visible nucleoli etc.).
  • Cryosurgery-The destruction of tissue by the use of extreme cold. Used in the treatments of certain cancers.
  • Cryptorchidism- When one of the testis never ‘drops’ or leaves the abdomen. The state of having a retained testicle.
  • Cutaneous-Pertaining to the skin.
  • Cutaneous lymphoma- Any cancer originating from the lymphoid tissue specifically in the skin. Even though there are many different types of lymphoma, it is assumed that all lymphomas are malignant since a benign type of lymphoma is currently not recognized.
  • Cyst-A thin walled, fluid filled cavity.
  • Cystic endometrial hyperplasia- Caused by the thickening of the lining of the uterus. Pockets can form in the thickened uterus that are prone to infection.
  • Cytology- The study of cells and their structure, shape, origin, function and pathology. Cytology tests are commonly done by smears or needle aspirates with the goal being to collect a sample of cells so examination can be done under the microscope.
  • Cytological- Pertaining to cytology or the study of cells and their structure, shape, origin,  function and pathology.
  • De novo- A Latin term that means anew or from the beginning. To start at the beginning stages.
  • Defecation- To have a bowel movement.
  • Definitive Diagnosis- Extensive, most complete and or most reliable diagnosis.
  • Dermatophyte- Fungal parasite upon the skin.
  • Dermatosis- Any skin disorder, especially one not characterized by inflammation.
  • Dermatitis- Inflammation of the skin. Dermatitis can result from many different things including: animal, vegetable, chemical, environmental (like hot or cold temperatures), mechanical (like getting rubbed or irritated), malnutrition or infection caused.
  • Dermis- The principle layer of the skin that contains nerves, blood vessels, cells and other fibers. Located below the epidermis and above that basal layer.
  • Dermal- Pertaining to the dermis; the principle layer of the skin that contains nerves, blood vessels, cells and other fibers. Located below the epidermis and above that basal layer.
  • Desmoplasia- The growth of fibrous connective tissue, usually occurring secondary to cancer and/or injury. Desmoplasia typically describes the deposition of fibrous tissue in cancers but it technically, though seldom, can be used when describing scar tissue formation from something like surgery.
  • Diabetes mellitus- A term used to describe a broad range of problems that arises when the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin (beta cells) do not work properly.
  • Diagnose- To identify or recognize a disease.
  • Diagnosis- The name given to a disease so that each veterinarian means the same syndrome as every other veterinarian.
  • Diagnostic imaging- Any imaging modality that is used to diagnose a condition e.g. x-rays, ultrasounds, MRI.
  • Differential diagnosis- The distinguishing of a disease or condition from others presenting similar symptoms and clinical signs.
  • Diffuse- Not definitely limited or localized.
  • Digit- Referring to fingers and toes.
  • Distal- Anatomic direction referring to an area closer to the body.
  • Distend/Distention- The state of being distended, or stretched out or enlarged; the act of distending.
  • Duodenum- The portion of the small intestines that starts right after the stomach.
  • Duration- The time which something continues or is present.
  • Dysgerminoma- A solid often, often radiosensitive, malignant ovarian cancer. The counterpart of seminomas of the testis.
  • Dysphagia- Difficulty in swallowing.
  • Dyspnea- Labored or difficulty breathing.
  • Edema- Another word for swelling.
  • Edematous-Displaying signs of edema.
  • Efficacy- The power or capacity to produce a desired result or effect; effectiveness.
  • Effusion- The escape of fluid into a place it shouldn’t be e.g. fluid accumulation in the abdomen or lungs.  
  • Encephalopathy- Any disease affecting the brain.
  • Enteritis- Inflammation of the intestines.
  • Enucleate/enucleation- To remove entirely, most commonly used when referring to removal of the whole eye from the socket.
  • Encapsulated- To be incased in or surrounded by.
  • Eosinophil- A granular leukocyte with a nucleus that usually has two lobes connected by a thread of chromatic. Also, a term used for cells that stain red when prepared for microscopic examination.
  • Epidermis- The outermost layer of the skin.
  • Epithelial- Pertaining to the epithelium or the cellular covering of the internal and external surfaces of the body, including the lining of vessels and other small cavities.
  • Epithelial rests of Malaseez- Discrete clusters of residual cells from the embryonic tooth structure that don’t completely disappear.
  • Epitheliotropic- Having a special affinity for epithelial cells.
  • Epithelium- The cellular covering of the internal and external surfaces of the body, including the lining of vessels and other small cavities.
  • Epulis- A benign tumor of mixed cell origin in the mouth arising from the periodontal membrane.
  • Erosion- A shallow ulceration.
  • Erythema or Erythematous- Redness of the skin.
  • Erythema Multiforme- A skin disease, most often associated with drugs being administered, including penicillins, cephalosporins, sulfonamides, levamisole, and 5-fluorocytosine, but sometimes can be associated with systemic disease. Fever, depression and anorexia can be seen also.
  • Estrus Cycle- The reproductive cycle during which intact females cycle from sexually receptive and active and non-sexually receptive or active.
  • Estrus- The period of the reproductive cycle that an animal is displaying signs of heat.
  • Etiology- Literally the science of dealing with causes of disease; the causes of a disease.
  • Exfoliation- The sluffing or falling of the outermost layer of skin. Usually because the outermost layer is composed of old, dead and/or dried skin cells.
  • Exophthalmos- The abnormal protrusion of the eyeball from the eye socket.
  • Exploratory laparotomy- An incision made through abdomen so that the doctor can visualize what’s inside and ‘explore’ or search for any cause of disease.
  • Extranodal- Refers to the outside of the nodes or not within the nodes e.g. not within the lymph nodes.
  • Extraskeletal- Pertaining to areas outside of or excluding the skeleton or bone e.g. soft tissue.
  • Feminization- Development of female sex characteristics. Can occur in males, e.g. in testicular Sertoli Cell tumor.
  • Fibroblastic- Referring to or composed of fibroblast cells. Fibroblasts are immature fiber producing cells of connective tissue capable of turning into cells that make bone, cartilage, or collagen.
  • Fibrosarcoma- Sarcoma that originates from collagen producing fibroblast cells.
  • Fine Needle Aspirate- The use of a hypodermic needle to extract and then examine, via microscope, cells and or tissue from a mass or tumor.
  • Fissure- Deep crack in the skin or nails. Also used to describe the furrows in the brain.
  • Follicular papules- Small circumscribed, solid, elevated lesion associated with the hair follicles.
  • Fomite- An inanimate object or material on which disease-producing agents may be found and from which can be spread.
  • Gemcitabine- A certain type of anti-cancer chemotherapy drug.
  • Gene therapy- Modification or insertion technique of genes used to help prevent or treat diseases.
  • Geriatric-Old age.
  • Germ cell- The precursor cell of sperm or egg.
  • Gingiva- A fancy word for gums.
  • Glycogen- The storage form of glucose within the body.
  • Glaucoma- A group of ocular diseases characterized by increased pressure in the eye. If left untreated the pressure in the eye will damage structures in the eye and will lead to blindness.
  • Globe- Referring to the eye as a whole; another term for eye.
  • Glucagon- The hormone released from the pancreas that triggers the breakdown of glycogen to glucose within the liver in order to increase blood sugar.  Released in response to low blood sugar.
  • Glucagonoma- A glucagon secreting tumor of the alpha cells in the pancreas.
  • Granules- Small particles contained in certain cells that can cause different physiological reactions when they are released. One example is the release of histamine granules during an allergic reaction.
  • Granuloma- A focus of chronic inflammation made up of many different inflammatory and immune cells. Can be caused by a reaction to a chronic bacterial, fungal, foreign body and parasitic infections.
  • Granulation tissue- The new tissue formed in repair of wounds of soft tissue. It is a common cause of chronic failure of wounds on the lower limbs of horses to heal.
  • Halitosis-Bad or nasty smelling breath.
  • Hemorrhage-The loss of blood, bleeding.
  • Hepatic- Pertaining to the liver.
  • Hepatocytes- The major functional cells of the liver.
  • Hepatopathy- A diseased or abnormal state of the liver.
  • Histiocytic- Pertaining to histiocytes, otherwise known as macrophages.
  • Histologic subtype- Determination of the different type or types of cellular structures, anatomy or cell types at a microscopic level.
  • Histological grade- The determination and severity assigned after microscopic examination.
  • Histologically- Referring to the microscopic anatomy.
  • Histology-The study and field of microscopic anatomy.
  • Histopathologic diagnosis- Diagnosis or determination of a disease through microscopic examination of tissue.
  • Histopathology- The study of diseased tissues under a microscope.
  • Hocks- The ankle joint of four legged creatures.
  • Hypercalcemia- Abnormally high calcium in the blood.
  • Hyperesthesia- A state of abnormally increased sensitivity to stimuli.
  • Hyperglucocorticoidism/hyperadrenocorticoidism/Cushing’s syndrome- A group of signs produced by an excess of free circulating cortisol. Signs of affected animals include increased urination, increased water consumption, increased appetite, muscle weakness and muscle shrinking, hair loss, pendulous abdomen, and increased risk of urinary and skin infection. Causes include tumors or drug induced e.g. being on corticosteroid drugs for a long period of time.
  • Hyperpigmentation- Abnormally increased pigmentation or coloring.
  • Hyperplasia-an abnormal increase in volume of a tissue or organ caused by the formation and growth of new normal cells.
  • Hyperthermia- Greatly increased body temperature.
  • Hypoglycemia- The medical term describing low blood glucose levels.
  • Hypotension- Diminished tension or lowered blood pressure.
  • Icterus- Also known as jaundice, is the yellowing of the skin, eyes, excretions and mucous membranes due to excess bilirubin in the blood. Icterus or jaundice is an indicator of liver damage.
  • Idiopathic- Caused by something unknown or unexplainable. The cause cannot be determined.
  • Immune mediated- Caused or instigated by a function of the immune system. This term is used when describing or discussing the different responses or reactions that the immune system is capable of.
  • Immunity- When the body is capable of fighting off or preventing an infection from establishing itself in the body. Vaccines or previous exposure to a disease can lead to immunity.
  • Immunohistochemistry- The process of detecting the presence of antigens in tissues by applying specific antibodies to the tissue and observing which ones bind with an antigen.
  • Immunosuppressed- When the immune system is not working to it’s full capacity.
  • Incisional Biopsy- The collection of tissue for a biopsy via some type of blade or incision technique.
  • Incidental finding- a mass, tumor or lesion unexpectedly discovered during an exam.
  • Inflammatory response- The body’s natural response to infection, injury or presence of a disease. Often associated with redness, swelling, heat and pain.
  • Infarction- Death of tissue due to the blockage of blood supply (ultimately oxygen is not able to reach the tissue).
  • Inguinal- Pertaining to the groin.
  • Intact status-status of the reproductive organs. A male dog that has not be neutered would be considered ‘intact.’
  • Intestinal- Pertaining to the intestines.
  • Intra-abdominal- Referring to inside the abdomen.
  • Intra-thoracic- Referring to inside the thoracic cavity.
  • Invasive- The ability to infiltrate and actively destroy surrounding tissue, a property of malignant tumors.
  • Iris- The ring shaped, colored part of the eye.
  • Juxtacortical- Next to the cortical of the bone.
  • Keratin- Main structural protein for things like skin, hair, nails, and horns.
  • Keratinocytes- The cells of the skin that makes keratin.
  • Laser therapy- The destruction or treatment of diseased tissues by the use of lasers.
  • Laparotomy- An incision made through the abdominal wall.
  • Lethargy- A condition of drowsiness or indifference. Demonstrating a lethargic state.
  • Lesion- Lesion is a broad term, including wounds, sores, ulcers, tumors, cataracts and any other tissue damage. They also included developmental anomalies.
  • Lingual- Pertaining to the tongue.
  • Lobectomy- The surgical excision or removal of all or part of the lobes of an organ e.g. lung lobes, livers lobes or lobes of the brains.
  • Local recurrence- The returning of the tumor tissue at or near the site where it originated.
  • Lymph nodes- Small organs found all the over the body that store and help produce cells that fight disease and infection.
  • Lymphadenopathy- A term that simply means disease of the lymph nodes.
  • Lymphatic system- The lymphatic vessels and lymphoid tissue (lymph nodes etc.) considered as a whole system.
  • Lymphocytes- A common type of white blood cell that is a key player in immune responses of the body. They have a very dense, blue nucleus when examined under a microscope.
  • Lymphoma- Any cancer originating from the lymphoid tissue. Even though there are many different types of lymphoma, it is assumed that all lymphomas are malignant since a benign type of lymphoma is not currently recognized.
  • Lysis- Destruction or breaking down of a cell or other substance under the influence of a  specific agent.
  • Malignant- Tending to become progressively worse and to result in death; having the properties of invasiveness, virulence and metastasis.
  • Malignancy- Any condition that, if uncorrected, tends to worsen so as to caujse serious illness or death. A malignant cancerous growth is the best known example.
  • Mandible- Another word for the lower jaw.
  • Mandibulectomy- Removal of the entire or part of the lower jaw bone.
  • Mastocytic- Originating from or pertaining to mast cells.
  • Mastocytosis- An accumulation, locally or systemically, of mast cells in the tissues.            Associated with mast cell tumors.
  • Maxilla-Another word for the upper jaw.
  • Maxillectomy- Removal of the entire or part of the upper jaw bone.
  • Maxillofacial- Pertaining to the upper jaw and the face.
  • Medial iliac- Anatomical location near the middle of the hips.
  • Mediastinal - Pertaining to the mediastinum; a mass of tissue that sits between the lungs. The heart, esophagus, trachea, thymus, lymph nodes and major vessels are within the mediastinum.
  • Mediastinum- -A mass of tissue that sits between the lungs. The heart, esophagus, trachea, thymus, lymph nodes and major vessels are within the mediastinum.
  • Meiobomian gland- Modified type of sebaceous gland found in the eyelid.
  • Melanin- Pigment that gives color to the hair and skin.
  • Melanocytes- Cells of the body that produce melanin.
  • Melanoma- A tumor arising from melanocytes.
  • Mesenchymal- Embryonic connective tissue from which are formed the muscular, connective, blood vessel, lymph vessel tissues.
  • Mesenteric/mesentery- A sheet of tissue that sits between and connects multiple organs in the abdomen.
  • Metabolism- The physical and chemical process by which nutrients are either built up or broken down into useful things such as energy. It also includes how the body gets rid of and filters waste through filter organs (like the liver).
  • Metaphyseal- Pertaining to the metaphysis, which is a portion near the ends of long bones.
  • Metastasis- Cells or tissues that are spreading to different parts of the body.
  • Metastasize- The spreading from one part of the body to another (ie the spread of cancer).
  • Metastatic- Having the tendency or disposition to metastasize.
  • Matrical carcinoma- Cancer that originates from the cells that make of the matrix structure in the skin. The term matrical carcinoma is currently controversial and is usually just considered another name for malignant trichoepithelioma.
  • Mitotic activity- The degree or rate at which cells are multiplying. This rate is used to measure how aggressive a tumor is.
  • Morphology- The form and structure of a particular organism, organ, tissue or cell.
  • Mucocutaneous junctions- Where mucous membranes and skin come together.
  • Mucosa- Referring or pertaining to mucous membrane(s).
  • Mucosal epithelium- Cellular covering of the mucous membranes.
  • Multifocal- Arising from or pertaining to many foci or points of observable pathology.
  • Multi-centric- Having multiple centers of origin. Often used when describing cancer that is occurring in multiple sites of the body.
  • Multi-modal- Multiple modes, methods or types.
  • Multi-nodule- Composed of multiple nodes or nodules. Nodules or node are firm, solid and can be detected by touch or just observed visually.
  • Myiasis- Invasion of the body by the larvae of flies.
  • Nasal Planum- End of the nose around the nostrils and tip of the nose that is hairless and usually pigmented.
  • Nasal sinuses- Mucosa-lined air cavities in bones of the skull that connect to the nasal        cavity, ethmoidal, frontal, maxillary and sphenoidal sinuses.
  • Necrosis-Death of tissue or individual cells within a living animal.
  • Neoplasia- Another word for cancer.
  • Nodal- Referring to the node.
  • Nodules- Nodules or node are firm, solid and can be detected by touch.
  • Non-epitheliotropic- Not having a special affinity for epithelial cells.
  • Non-neoplastic- None cancerous.
  • Omentum- A fold of peritoneum extending from the stomach to adjacent organs in the abdomen.
  • Oncologist- A doctor that specializes in the study and treatment of cancer.
  • Oral Cavity- A fancy term for the space or area inside the mouth.
  • Oral Fibrosarcoma- Fibrosarcoma located or originating in the mouth or oral cavity.
  • Ossification- When something is converted or transformed into bone or a bony substance.
  • Osteomyelitis- Inflammation of bone due to infection. Can lead to bone destruction or stiffening of joints among other things.Osteotomy- Surgically removing part of or all of a bone.
  • Ovarian hormones- Hormones created and/or secreted by the ovaries of female animals. The two major types of ovarian hormones are estrogen and progesterone.
  • Ovariohysterectomy- Also abbreviated as OHE is the removal of the ovaries and uterus. Commonly known as ‘spay.’
  • Overiectomy- Removal of just the ovaries.
  • Palliative- Relieving pain or alleviating a problem without dealing with or treating the underlying cause.
  • Palpation-Feeling with the hand to examine.
  • Palpable- Able to be felt e.g. with the hand.
  • Pancreatitis- Inflammation of the pancreas.
  • Papillary- or papilla- A nipple like structure or projection.
  • Papilloma- Another name for the common wart. Caused by species specific papilloma viruses in young animals but may arise spontaneously in older animals.
  • Papillomavirus- A virus of the family papilloma viridae. They are species specific and readily transmissible, especially if there are abrasions (small cuts or openings like from a grooming accidents or really coarse brushes)
  • Papule- Small circumscribed, solid, elevated lesion of the skin.
  • Paraneoplastic- Referring to changes produced in tissues remote from a tumor or it’s metastases.
  • Paronychia- Inflammation involving the folds of tissue surrounding the nail or claw. Causes much pain and often results in loss of the nail or abnormalities in nail growth.
  • Pathologist- A specialist in the field of pathology, which is the study of diseases and how to identify them.
  • Pathology- The study of diseases.
  • Pancreatic- Pertaining to the pancreas.
  • Papules- Small circumscribed, solid, elevated lesions.
  • Peduncle/pedunculated-Having a stemlike or ‘stalk’ connecting part, like a stalk that connects a non-sessile growth.
  • Pemphigus- A group of immune-mediated diseases of the skin and mucous membranes caused by autoantibodies destroying adhesions molecules in the skin causing blisters, erosions, and ulcers among other things. There are three types of pemphigus: p. foliaceus, p. erythematosus, p. vulgaris. Though separated by types, all three variations of pemphigus are similar.
  • Periadnexal- A term that applies to the skin, surrounding or in the vicinity of the hair follicles and sweat glands.
  • Perineal- Pertaining to the perineum.
  • Perineum- The region between the base of the tail/anus and the other genital organs.
  • Periocular- Referring to the area around the eye.
  • Perioral- Referring to the area around the mouth.
  • Periorbital- Referring to the area around the eye socket.
  • Peripheral- An outward structure or surface, the portion of a system outside the central region.
  • Peritoneal- Pertaining to the peritoneum.
  • Peritoneum-The membrane that lines the inside of the abdomen.
  • Pharynx- The throat; the crossroads of the digestive and respiratory systems, found behind the nasal cavities and mouth.
  • Photodynamic Therapy- Treatment that uses compounds that are activated or made more powerful by light.
  • Pigment- Any substance or matter that gives color to an animal’s skin or hair.
  • Pigmented- Has color because of the deposition of pigment; possess color.
  • Pigmentation- The deposition of coloring substance.
  • Pinna- The projecting part of the ear lying outside the head.
  • Plantar fascia- The thick tissue on the bottom of the foot that connects the heel to the toes. It creates the arch of the human foot and when it is swollen and inflamed it is known as plantar fasciitis.
  • Plaque- Any patch or flat area in the skin, a flat topped, elevated lesion.
  • Pleomorphism- Having more than one shape or form.
  • Pleural effusion- The accumulation of fluid in the lungs/thoracic cavity.
  • Polydipsia- Drinking excessive amounts of water, or excessive thirst.
  • Polyp- Any growth or mass protruding from a mucous membrane.
  • Polypoid- Resembling a polyp.
  • Polyserositis- General inflammation of serous membranes.
  • Polyuria- Urinating large volumes.
  • Poorly differentiated- Cells that have no clear function or origin. Cells that are difficult to identify do to the lack of distinct individual characteristics. Seen in embryonic states or neoplasia.
  • Predilection- Preference or predisposition.
  • Primary Tumor- A tumor that is at the original location where it first developed.
  • Primordial germ cell- Early cells of developing reproductive organs responsible for gamete production (sperm and eggs).
  • Proximal- Anatomic direction referring to an area farther away from the heart.
  • Prognosis- The forecast or educated prediction for recovery from a disease.
  • Prognostic significance- Having an impact or influence on the prognosis of a disease.
  • Pruritic- A fancy word for itchy.
  • Pruritus- A fancy word for itchy.
  • Pulmonary- Referring to or pertaining to the lungs.
  • Pustules- Small pus containing lesion.
  • Pyogranuloma/pyogranulomatous- An inflammatory process in which there is infiltration of polymorphonuclear cells into a more chronic area of inflammation characterized by monulcear cells, macrophages, lymphocytes and possibly plasma cells.
  • Pyometra- Accumulation of pus in the uterus, usually caused by an infection of the uterus.
  • Quiescent- Quiet, at rest or not active. Can be used to describe the state of a disease (i.e. cancer) that is currently dormant or not causing symptoms.
  • Radiation therapy- Type of treatment that utilizes high energy waves to destroy or eliminate diseased tissue (like Gamma rays).
  • Radiographs- The medical or proper term for an X-ray image.
  • Rate of Metastasis- The speed or rate at which cells or tissues that are spreading to different parts of the body.
  • Recurrence- The return of a disease and or clinical signs.
  • Refractory- Does not respond well to treatment.
  • Regression- The diminishment or reduction of the clinical signs, symptoms or disease process.
  • Renal- Pertaining to the kidneys.
  • Rostral- Anatomical direction that means closer to the nose.
  • Sarcoma- A malignant cancer that originates from connective tissue such as bone, cartilage, muscle, vascular and lymphoid tissue.  These caners metastasize most often via the blood compared to carcinomas.
  • Scaling- The sluffing of dry, thin, and flaky pieces of skin.
  • Scrotum- The pouch or sack that holds the testicles in males.
  • Scrotal- Referring to the scrotum.
  • Sebaceous gland- The glands around hair follicles that secrete the oily substance (sebum) that lubricates the hair and skin.
  • Sebaceous gland tumor- A tumor that arises from or originates from sebaceous gland tissues.
  • Secondary- Appears because of or is caused by another condition.
  • Secondary infection- An infection that occurs as the result of a pre-existing disease or infection.
  • Self-antigen- Any substance or tissue that is produced by the body which should not cause a problem but, for some reason or another, will cause an immune response in the body.
  • Seminoma-Tumor of the testis that originates from sperm producing cells.
  • Seminiferous- Producing or carrying sperm.
  • Seminiferous tubules- Tubules in the testis that carry and/or produce semen.
  • Sequelae- A negative aftereffect or condition following an event, such as following a disease.
  • Serosa- Any serous membrane.
  • Serosal- Pertaining to the serosa.
  • Serous- Thin and watery, serum like.
  • Sheath- The pocket of skin that encases the penis when the animal is not urinating.
  • Shock- A condition described as failure of blood circulation in the body caused by loss of fluid volume or loss of control of fluid pressure. It is marked by hypotension, coldness of the skin and tachycardia.
  • Signalment- The age, weight, breed, sex, reproductive status and species pertaining to a specific animal.
  • Skin tag- An outgrowth or tag of epidermal and dermal tissue. Also called an acrochordon.
  • Sessile- Attached by a broad base, not pedunculated. Fixed in one place, not moveable.
  • Spay- Also known as ovariohysterectomy (abbreviated as OHE), is the removal of the ovaries and uterus.
  • Species Specific- A characteristic or trait that is unique or special to a particular species. Having an interaction or effect on cells or tissues of a particular species. This term can be used when describing drugs or infective agents like bacteria, viruses etc.
  • Spermatozoa- A fancy word for a mature sperm cell.
  • Splenic- Pertaining to the spleen.
  • Splenectomy- Surgical removal of the spleen.
  • Spontaneous regression- When diseases resolve themselves without outside assistance.
  • Stratum corneum- The outer most layer of the skin.
  • Subclinical- Signs or symptoms of a disease are not yet detectable or observable.
  • Subcutaneous- Refers to beneath the layers of the skin.
  • Sublumbar- Anatomical location located below or under the lumbar vertebral column.
  • Subungual- Beneath a nail or claw.
  • Superficial- Situated on or near the surface.
  • Sustentacular cells- A supporting epithelial cell which lacks a specialist function.
  • Surgical Excision- The removal or extraction of something surgically.
  • Systemic- Affecting or found all over the body, not confined to a specific region or organ.
  • Tachypnea- Increased respiratory rate; fast and shallow breathing.
  • Tarsal- Pertaining to the back feet.
  • Tarsal lymphoma- Any cancer originating from the lymphoid tissue specifically in the tarsal joint, better known as the ankle joint on the hind legs. Even though there are many different types of lymphoma, it is assumed that all lymphomas are malignant since a benign type of lymphoma is currently not recognized.
  • Teratoma- A cancer made up of a number of different types of tissue, none of which is native to the area in which it is found. Usually found in the ovary or testis.
  • Thoracic/thorax- The part of the body between the neck and abdomen; the chest.
  • Thymoma- Cancer or tumors originating from the thymic tissues.
  • Thymus- A primary lymphoid organ located above the heart or the neck/throat. This organ plays a primary role in immune system development, specifically the development of the cells involved in the immune system.
  • Thymic- Pertaining to the thymus.
  • Tonsillar- Pertaining to the tonsils.
  • Tubular- Pertaining to renal tubules or fallopian tubes.
  • Tympanic bulla- The small round boney structure behind the ear.
  • Ulceration- A full-thickness defect of the cutaneous and or mucosal surfaces. Usually associated with inflammation and/or infection.
  • Undifferentiated- No individual characteristics or unique functions are identifiable in the cells.
  • Urination- To empty the bladder.
  • Vasculitis- Inflammation of a vessel. Common causes include allergic reactions or immune-mediated, meaning the immune system for one reason or another causes damage to the vessel.
  • Vasoactive- Compound, material, or granule that causes the diameter of the vessels to change either smaller (vasoconstriction) or to widen (vasodilation).
  • Ventral- An anatomical direction orientated towards the belly or underside of the animal.
  • Verrucose- Rough or warty.
  • Coagulation- The formation of a clot.
  • Vestibular signs- Signs that are seen when there is damage to the vestibular apparatus either caused by ear infections, a brain lesion or something else. These signs include: lack of coordination, staggering, circling, head tilting, and nystagmus (abnormal and/or jerky movements of the eyes).
  • Viscera-Any large interior organ in the major body cavities.
  • Viscous- A fancy word for sticky, gummy or thick.
  • Visceral- Pertaining to the viscera; any large interior organ in the major body cavities.
  • Vulva-External genital organs in the female.
  • Vulvar-Pertaining to the vulva.
  • Well-differentiated- Clear individual characteristics are presents and the function and or   origin of the cells is evident.
  • Wide/Clean surgical margins- When a surgeon is able to cut all of the diseased tissue out without leaving any left in the patient. Success depends on the disease type and location of the diseased tissue.
  • Zoonotic- A disease that can be passed between animals and people or vica versa.