Vet Terminology starting with C on – from Cachexia to Cytoplasm


Extreme weight loss.

The hardening of tissue through the influx of calcium, usually as a result of chronic inflammation.

Calculus (Plural calculi)
Abnormal stone-like structure(s) usually composed of mineral salts, e.g., a bladder calculus is the same thing as a bladder stone.

The unit of measurement of energy derived from digested food. Fat contains about twice as many calories per gram as protein or carbohydrate.

A malignant tumor.

A certain genus of yeast which can cause disease in humans and animals; an infection with Candida is called candidiasis.

Pertaining to dogs.

The upper shell of a turtle or tortoise.

Compounds made up of chains of sugar units. Simple carbohydrates include table sugar (sucrose), milk sugar (lactose), and fruit sugar (fructose). Complex carbohydrates are very long chains held together by bonds that may not be digestible in the stomach and intestine of a carnivore. Starch is a digestible complex carbohydrate. Seed hulls such as oat bran are digestible by ruminants and horses, but not carnivores.

A substance which causes cancer.

A malignant cancer that arises from the epithelial tissues of the body such as the skin, intestinal tract, and bladder.

Related to the heart.

Diseases of the heart muscle; does not include diseases of the valves of the heart or congenital defects.

Relating to the heart and lungs.

Related to the heart and blood vessels.

An animal whose natural diet includes meat.

The wrist (front leg) of dogs and cats.

An animal which harbors an infectious organism, such as a virus, bacteria, or parasite. The animal does not appear ill, but can still transmit the organism to other animals by direct contact or releasing the organisms (bacteria, protozoa, viruses) into the environment in the stool, urine, respiratory secretions, or vaginal discharges.

The removal of the sex organs making the animal incapable of reproduction; the correct use of the word can be used to describe both male and female animals, but it is commonly used to describe only males.

A cloudiness of the lens of the eye, reducing vision and giving the eye a pearly appearance.

A directional term used to refer to an area more toward the cauda, or tail region; opposite of cranial.

Caval syndrome
Disease caused by large numbers of worms in the right side of the heart and vena cava, which results in blood circulation problems in the liver leading to the breakdown of red blood cells, anemia, weakness, and collapse.

A blind sac that opens into the colon; found in many animals.

Cell-mediated immunity
The immunity that is the result of either special lymphocytes directly killing the foreign invader, or lymphocytes (T cells) releasing special chemicals which activate macrophages to kill the invader. Compare with ‘humoral immunity.’

A machine that rapidly spins liquid samples and separates out the particles by their density.

a condition where an animal will continuously move around in a circle. This looks like VERY slow motion tail chasing. Usually in the same direction each time it happens. As a rule, circling is usually a sign of brain or inner ear disease.

A portion of the brain, located on the brainstem, that controls coordination.

Relating to the part of the brain known as the cerebrum.

The largest portion of the brain that performs all higher cognitive functions and is situated in the front part of the cranial cavity.

Binding of a substance to a metal, thus helping the body to remove it.

Treatment of a disease with chemical agents (drugs); the term is most commonly used to describe the treatment of cancer with medication.

Choana (Plural choanae)
An opening between the nasal cavity and oropharynx (mouth) in birds and reptiles.

Inflammation of the gall bladder, bile ducts, and liver

Inflammation of a bile duct; see cholecystitis.

Inflammation of the gallbladder; see cholangitis.

Decreases the activity of enzymes which break down cartilage in a joint.

Chondroprotective agent
A nutritional supplement that protects cartilage.

Of a long duration: a chronic illness persists for weeks, months, or even for the life of animal. See also acute.

Chronic superficial keratitis
A chronic condition of the eye in which blood vessels grow across the cornea (the clear surface of the eye). The cornea looks hazy and sometimes reddened; it may eventually take on a dark pigment. This condition is also called pannus.

A liver disease caused by the replacement of damaged cells with connective tissue; severe scarring can eventually cause liver failure.

Class I, II, III, IV medications
Drugs are classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration of the Department of Justice depending upon such criteria as the potential for human abuse.

Clinical study
A planned examination of the effectiveness of a new drug or treatment for a disease as compared to a control group not receiving the treatment; also called a clinical trial.

A common tube-like structure through which feces, urine, and reproductive fluids/eggs pass in birds, turtles, and other lower vertebrates.

Clotting factors
Protein components in the blood which help it to clot. Clotting is a complex mechanism. In addition to platelets, clot formation is the result of a long chain of chemical reactions carried out by individual molecules called ‘clotting factors.’ Each factor is numbered such that factor I leads to a reaction with factor II forming a new substance. This then reacts with factor III and so on to factor XII.

The uninterrupted series of eggs laid by a hen, usually 2-6 depending on the bird species.

Central nervous system. Includes the brain, spinal cord, and the nerves leading from them.

The process of clotting.

A condition affecting the blood’s ability to form a clot.

A one-celled parasite in the category of protozoa. In dogs and cats, coccidia are generally parasites of the intestinal tract. See article: Coccidia in Dogs and Cats.

Cognitive dysfunction
A common medical condition in older dogs that results from abnormal brain function, causing certain behavior changes such as disorientation, housebreaking problems, and changes in sleeping patterns and interactions with others.

Having a body temperature that is not regulated internally, but varies with the environmental temperature. Turtles, lizards, and snakes are cold-blooded.

An infection or inflammation of the colon.

Collagenous nevi
benign, focal, developmental defects associated with increased deposition of dermal collagen. They are common in dogs, uncommon in cats, and rare in large animals. They generally are found in middle-aged or older animals, most frequently found on the head, neck, and areas prone to trauma. Excision (removing by cutting) is generally curative although, infrequently, expansive forms have been identified that may grow too large to be surgically removed.

A part of the digestive tract, specifically the part of large intestine that extends from the cecum to the rectum.

The antibody-rich first milk produced immediately before and after giving birth.

Being in a state of unconsciousness.

A blackhead, usually the result of a plugged gland within the skin.

Complete blood count
A count of the total number of cells in a given amount of blood, including the red and white blood cells; often referred to as a ‘CBC,’ it is one of the most common tests done to check for abnormalities of the blood.

Computerized tomography scan (CT scan)
A radiological imaging procedure that uses x-ray pictures to produce “slices” through a patient’s body; also called a computerized axial tomography (CAT).

The onset of pregnancy, when the fertilized egg attaches to the uterus.

A characteristic of an animal that is present at birth. It may be inherited or induced by events that occur during pregnancy.

A thin membrane which lines the inside of the eyelids and covers part of the eyeball.

An inflammation of the lining of the eyelids; may cause pain, redness, itching, and a discharge.

A condition in which the movement of food through the digestive system is longer than normal; often results in hard, dry stool.

Contrast agents
A substance given orally or injected into a patient that makes the affected tissue easier to identify on an x-ray.

An injury to underlying tissues without breaking the skin; a bruise.

Eating dung or fecal matter; normal behavior in some animals, such as rabbits.

Core vaccine
Vaccine which should be given to all animals of certain species, example, parvovirus vaccine in dogs or panleukopenia in cats (see noncore vaccine).

The clear part of the front of the eye which allows light in.

Hormones produced by the adrenal gland which are important to almost every function of cells and organs. They are divided into two groups: glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids. Glucocorticoids regulate protein, carbohydrate, and fat metabolism. Mineralocorticoids regulate electrolyte balances.

The main glucocorticoid; a hormone naturally produced by the adrenal gland; it is synthesized commercially as hydrocortisone and is used to reduce inflammation.

Estrogen-like substance produced by certain plants such as alfalfa; types of phytoestrogen.

Estrogen-like substances produced by certain plants such as alfalfa; types of phytoestrogen.

A directional term used to refer to the area near the cranium, or head region; opposite of caudal.

An organ between the esophagus and stomach of many domestic birds, which serves as a temporary food storage organ.

Area of dried fluid or cells on the skin. The fluid may have been blood, serum, pus, or medication.

The process in which a sample of fluid or tissue is taken from an animal and placed in special media which allows the bacteria, virus, etc., to grow (reproduce) in the laboratory.

Cushings disease
Cushing’s disease is also known as hyperadrenocorticism. It is a disease that results from an increase in corticosteroid secretion from the adrenal gland.

Relating to the skin.

Bluish or grayish color to the skin and gums which occurs when the animal has insufficient oxygen.

An abnormal sac-like structure that is lined with cells which produce a liquid or thick material.

Inflammation of the urinary bladder.

Compounds produced by certain cells, which act as messengers to control the action of lymphocytes and other cells in an immune response.

The study of cells; often refers to the microscopic examination of a sample taken from the skin or lesion to look for the cause of a condition.

Substances which make up the inside of a cell and surround the nucleus of the cell which contains the genetic material.