Terms and Definitions


Antibody:  A serum protein produced by B-lymphocytes in response to antigens.

<>Antigen:  substance capable of inducing a specific immune response and reacting with the products of that response.
<> Anti-inflammatory Drugs:  drugs that suppress or reduce inflammation.
<>Antipyretics: drugs used to treat fevers by vasodilating the blood vessels near the surface of the body thus leading to cooling of the body.
<>Autolysis: the destruction of cells or tissues by endogenous enzymes.

B Lymphocytes: a type of white blood cell that participates in the immune response by producing antibodies.

Bioavailability:  the degree to which a administered drug is available to the target tissues.

<>Catheterization:  insertion of a catheter into a body cavity (ie: the urinary bladder) for the withdrawal of fluids (ie: urine).

Cell Mediated Immunity: immune protection that depends on T lymphocytes whereby initial exposure to a substance activates the T lymphocytes and subsequent exposure results in the release of immune compounds from T lymphocytes or direct killing by T lymphocytes.

Chorionic Villi:  The outermost part of the fetal membranes that is covered in villi.

<>Cilia:  hair-like processes extending from a cell surface that beat to move fluid or mucous over a surface.

<>Clinical Signs:  Abnormality in structure or function of the patient which the veterinarian/client can observe.
<>Convalescent:  recovery from a disease or infection.
<>Deciliation:  removal of cilia.
<>DNA Virus: a virus which contains either a single or double strand of DNA containing genetic material.
<>Edema:  excess accumulation of fluids within body cavities and/or intercellular spaces.
<>EDTA tube:  The purple topped blood tube which contains an anticoagulant, EDTA salt, that binds calcium and prevents blood from clotting.

Encephalomyelopathy: a degenerative disease of the brain and spinal cord.

Endothelium:  the layer of epithelial cells lining blood and lymph vessels and the cavities of the heart.

<>Exanthema: eruptive disease of the skin.
<>Head Pressing:  persistent pushing of the head against fixed objects; associated with neurological diseases.
<>Hemorrhage: the escape of blood from the circulation into the surrounding tissues caused by damage to the blood vessels.
<>Hepatic:  pertaining to the liver.
<>Histology:  the microscopic anatomical study of tissues.

Humoral Immunity: the component of the protective immune response that is mediated by antibodies formed by B Lymphocytes.

Hyperemic:  focal reddening of an area due to excessive blood in the area caused by inflammation.

Immune Mediated Vasculitis: vascular inflammation that is immune mediated (caused by ones own immune response) and leads to vascular damage and increased permeability.

Immune Response: the response of the body to substances that are not recognized as self., resulting in a cell mediated and humoral response.

<>Immunity:  non-susceptibility or reduced susceptibility to infection and/or clinical disease by an invading micro-organism, parasite, or toxin.

Inactivated Vaccine: vaccines made of viruses that are inactivated so they are no longer able to grow or damage tissue.

Infarction:  the formation of a localized area of ischemic necrosis formed in response to arterial or venous inclusion.

<>Ischemic Necrosis:  necrosis of tissue due to disruption of its blood supply.

Keratoconjunctivitis: inflammation of the cornea of the eye and of the conjunctiva (tissue around the eye).

Latent Carrier: an animal which carries a disease in its system without manifesting any clinical signs.

Lymphadenopathy: any disease of the lymph nodes.

Macrophage:  mononuclear phagocytic white blood cells that arise from the bone marrow and are activated by the inflammatory response.

Meconium: first stools passed by the newborn, consisting of yellow-orange mucilaginous material.

Modified Live Vaccine: also called attenuated vaccine.  A vaccine prepared from live virus that have been altered to lose their virulence or ability to cause disease.

 Myocardium:  the middle layer of the heart wall that is composed of muscle.

<>Necrosis:  morphological cellular changes caused by cell death due to enzymatic degradation
<>Neurological:  pertaining to the nervous system.

Neurotropic: pertaining to nervous control of maintenance or nutrition of other tissues.

Neutrophils: a type of white blood cell that participates in the immune response, usually early in infection. 

Opisthotonus: a type of spasm whereby the head and tail are bent upwards, associated with a brain lesion located in the brainstem.

Pathogenesis: changes that occur in an animal during the development of disease.

<>Pathology:  the structural and functional manifestations associated with a disease.

Parturition: the process of giving birth.

Perineum:  the region between the tail and the genital organs.

<>Perivascular Cuffing:  accumulation of lymphocytes and /or plasma cells around a vessel, indicative of inflammation or an immune mediated reaction.
<>Petechial Hemorrhage:  pinpoint hemorrhage.<>

<>Pharmacokinetics:  the study of the movement of drugs within the body, including their absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination.

<>Pneumonitis:  inflammation of lung tissue.

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR): the amplification of a sequence of DNA which helps to identify cellular organisms or viruses.

Prophylactic antibiotics:  treatment with antibiotics used to prevent or minimize infection.

<> Pulmonary Disease:  disease that pertains to the lungs.

Quadriplegia: paralysis of all four limbs.

Quarantine:  restricted entry or exit from a premises for a stated period of time where a infectious and contagious disease is suspected or present.

<> Recrudescence:  Reoccurrence of clinical signs after a period of time with no clinical signs.
<> Recumbent:  an animal that is lying down and unable to stand.

Respiratory Disease:  Disease pertaining to the respiratory tract (this includes the nasal cavities, the pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi and the bonchioles and alveoli within the lungs).

Rhinopharyngitis: inflammation of the nose and pharynx.

Rhinopneumonitis: inflammation of the nose and lungs.

Sequelae:  A secondary illness or disease that occurs following or as a consequence of the primary condition or event.

<> Serotype: a taxonomic classification of a microbe based on the body’s ability to neutralize it with a specific serum antibody.
<> Subclinical:  When an infection or disease is present but cannot be observed on a clinical exam by the veterinarian or the client.

T Lymphocytes: type of white blood cell involved in immune protection.  T cells act by releasing compounds that are harmful to invading cells as well as by directly killing invading cells.

Tracheobronchitis: inflammation of the trachea and bronchi.

Tropism: exhibited when a virus shows a particular affinity for a certain host species and/or type of tissue.

<> Ulcerated:  local defect caused by necrosis and sloughing of inflammatory tissue that removes the basement membrane.
<>Vaccine:  a solution containing killed or attenuated micro-organisms that is administered to prevent, improve, or treat infectious diseases.

Viremia: the presence of virus particles in the blood.

Virus:  an infectious organism that is characterized by its small size and inability to replicate outside of the living host.  The genome consists of either DNA or RNA and is surrounded by a protein coat.

Xanthochromic: yellow-coloured.

Zoonotic: any disease that can be transmitted from animals to people, or from people to animals.