Vet Terminology starting with R on – from Rabies to Ringworm


A fatal virus disease of warm blooded animals including man, that affects the brain and is spread in the saliva of infected animals. Rabid animals have a temperament change. Wild creatures become bold enough to attack human beings, and docile domestic animals may turn on their owners.


Reagent grade
A compound with the purity and quality that allows it to be used in a laboratory.

Recombinant vaccine
There are certain antigens on viruses and bacteria which are better at stimulating an antibody response by the animal than others. The genes for these antigens can be isolated, and made to produce large quantities of the antigens they code for. A recombinant vaccine contains these antigens, not the whole organism. Compare with ‘modified live vaccine’ and ‘killed vaccine.’

Lying down.

Reflex ovulator
Only ovulating after being bred. Cats are reflex ovulators, dogs are not.

Using insulin to maintain the blood glucose level of an animal within the acceptable range.

Expelling food from the esophagus.

Pertaining to the kidneys.

Renal insufficiency
The decreased ability of the kidneys to rid the body of wastes.

A term used to describe bacteria which have mutated or changed so they are not affected by an antibiotic that previously killed them or slowed their growth. As more bacteria become resistant to various antibiotics, there are fewer antibiotics which will have an effect on them, thus newer and stronger antibiotics will need to be developed. Inappropriate use of antibiotics (using them too often, for too short a duration or in insufficient dose) may promote the development of resistance.

In pregnancy, a condition in which the fetus dies, and instead of being aborted, the fetal tissue dissolves within the uterus and is absorbed by the mother. The mother will show no outward signs of a fetal resorption.

Relating to breathing or the lungs.

Respiratory depression
Decrease in the rate or depth of respiration.

The rear interior surface of the eyeball is called the retina. The retina contains nerve cells referred to as rods and cones. The rods are sensitive to light and the cones to color. The retina receives the light and color and converts them into nerve impulses which go to the brain.

A type of fungal infection of the skin. See article: Ringworm in Dogs and Cats.