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Vet-Med Dictionary

This page was initially compiled by Karen Lee Allen (The Parrot Lady) and Dr. Walter Rosskopf in layman's terms in order to help you understand "vet-talk." Please feel free to submit terms you don't understand or would like to see listed. We'll do our best to assist. This page may be/or has been revised since the initial edition.

Acinetobacter One of the gram-negative pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria. One of the mildest pathogens.
Aeromonas Very nasty gram-negative, usually serious. Grows in air.
Anaerobe An organism that grows without air. Some are very nasty. Example: the clostridium that causes gangrene is an anaerobe, many are harmless, however.
Aspergillosis A fungal disease caused by Aspergillus.
B.U.N. Measure of kidney function in dogs. Measure of muscle breakdown in tortoises. No value in birds.
Band Cells Immature herterophils-only. Seen in severest inflammatory disease. Also refers to toneutrophils in mammals.
Basophil A white cell associated with debris cleanup.
Belisa A Psittacosis serum test that shows exposure to Psittacosis in the last year. May or may not mean infection. Bird may be immune. This test has been discontinued as it showed most birds to be positive.
Bile Acids The only specific test for liver disease in birds.
Catobolizin Breaking down of own muscle or other tissue. Usually associated with malnutrition or semi-starvation.
Chlamydia The organism responsible for Psittacosis.
Clinical Refers to medical matters, example: clinical history, clinical signs, etc.
Coccidia A one celled protozoa that can cause diarrhea in dogs, cats and birds.
E-Coli A common gram negative pathogen in birds. (Normal in mammals but many strains can cause disease)
Elisa-A Fluorescent antibody test that detects Psittacosis shedding. Psittacosis positive birds shed the organism only about 12% of the time, so negative does not rule out Psittacosis.
Enterobacter A gram negative pathogen. One of the milder.
Eosinophil A white cell elevated with parasites and allergies and tissue inflammation in cockatiels.
F.E.L.V. Feline Leukemia Virus (or vaccine), responsible for an AIDS-like condition in cats and other cancers.
F.V.R.C.P. 3 in 1 vaccine against 3 diseases in cats. Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis Calicivirus Panleukopenia vaccine.
Fecal Float Fecal test that floats worm eggs so they can be seen under a microscope.
Giardia A nasty protozoan parasite, causing diarrhea, weight loss, maladsopition deficiency disease and feather picking in cockatiels.
Heterophils The main white cell of a bird or reptile. Fights disease and eats bacteria.
Hyperthyroid Overactive thyroid. Very rare in animals except cats.
Hypothyroid Underactive thyroid. Common in animals.
I.P. Into the abdomen.
Klebsiella This is one of the nastiest of the gram negatives. Claforan is usually the best antibiotic.
L.D.H. An enzyme found in the liver, muscle, heart, etc. Released with damage, used to measure degree of pathologic condition. Lactic dehydrogenase.
Leukocyte Morphology Refers to the structure, good or bad, of the white cells. Gives an idea of how sick the bird is.
Lymphocytes The second most important white cell. Responsible for antibody function. The main white cell in Amazons, Canaries, & Finches.
Malaria Any of the blood protozoan such as hemoproteus, plasmodum, leukocytozoan, trypanosoma, etc. Does not refer to blood worms, conciofiliarie.
Monocytes White cells associated with chronic disease, especially Psittacosis, Aspergillosos, and Tuberculosis.
Myocardial Fibrosis Heart muscle scarring from chronic disease.
Necrosis Death of cells
P.C.V. Packed cell volume in birds.
Pasteurellosis Disease caused by gram negative Pasteurella. Often from a cat bite. Very serious.
Pathogen An organism that causes disease. (Bacteria, protozoa, virus, fungus, etc).
Protozoa One-celled (smallest) animals that often cause disease-Coccidia. Any of the malarial Coccida, Giardia, Trichimonas & Hexamitia, etc.
Red Count Usually refers to P.C.V. measures of red cells to serum after spinning down. Measure anemia vs. normal red count.
a.k.a. S.A.S.T.
An enzyme found in multiple tissue as liver, heart, muscle, etc. Serum glutamic oxgloacetic transaminase mainly in the liver. Used as a liver test in birds and reptiles.
S.G.P.T. Enzyme unique to liver in dogs and cats. Elevation=liver disease. Serum Glutamic pyruvic transminase.
Septicemia Bacterial invasion of blood. Blood poisoning. Very serious. Can occur from overwhelming infection of any kind.
Shigella A particularly nasty gram negative that can make animals and man sick. In man, rip-roaring diarrhea. Can kill.
Subclinical Disease below clinical level. Bird is ill but not showing signs.
Systemic Refers to total body involvement; i.e. 1:200 good immunity or antibody response. A poor titer is lower than 1:10.
Titer A measure of antibody formation. See systemic above.
Toxic Toxicity of cells. As toxic heterophil is "sick" from fighting disease, toxic refers to being poisoned. Detoxification refers to removing toxin.
Toxic Heterophils Heterophils that are sick from fighting diseases, usually means a serious problem. This would be a bad sign and an example of abnormal leukocyte morphology.
Toxin Poison that bacteria, etc. make other poison. Also sickness.
Tri Chrome A special test for Giardia and other protozoa. Suspends the parasites making them easy to find.
White Count Total number of white cells per low power field. Measure of normal vs disease state.
Xanthomas A strange benign tumor made up of fatty cells. A substance we can often associate with hypothyroidism, subclinical and clinical illness.


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