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.

One of the gram-negative pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria. One of the mildest pathogens.

Very nasty gram-negative, usually serious. Grows in air.

An organism that grows without air. Some are very nasty. Example: the clostridium that causes gangrene is an anaerobe, many are harmless, however.

A fungal disease caused by Aspergillus.

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.

A white cell associated with debris cleanup.

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.

Breaking down of own muscle or other tissue. Usually associated with malnutrition or semi-starvation.

The organism responsible for Psittacosis.

Refers to medical matters, example: clinical history, clinical signs, etc.

A one celled protozoa that can cause diarrhea in dogs, cats and birds.

A common gram negative pathogen in birds. (Normal in mammals but many strains can cause disease)

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.

A gram negative pathogen. One of the milder.

A white cell elevated with parasites and allergies and tissue inflammation in cockatiels.

Feline Leukemia Virus (or vaccine), responsible for an AIDS-like condition in cats and other cancers.

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.

A nasty protozoan parasite, causing diarrhea, weight loss, maladsopition deficiency disease and feather picking in cockatiels.

The main white cell of a bird or reptile. Fights disease and eats bacteria.

Overactive thyroid. Very rare in animals except cats.

Underactive thyroid. Common in animals.

Into the abdomen.

This is one of the nastiest of the gram negatives. Claforan is usually the best antibiotic.

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.

The second most important white cell. Responsible for antibody function. The main white cell in Amazons, Canaries, & Finches.

Any of the blood protozoan such as hemoproteus, plasmodum, leukocytozoan, trypanosoma, etc. Does not refer to blood worms, conciofiliarie.

White cells associated with chronic disease, especially Psittacosis, Aspergillosos, and Tuberculosis.

Myocardial Fibrosis
Heart muscle scarring from chronic disease.

Death of cells

Packed cell volume in birds.

Disease caused by gram negative Pasteurella. Often from a cat bite. Very serious.

An organism that causes disease. (Bacteria, protozoa, virus, fungus, etc).

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.

S.G.O.T. 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.

Enzyme unique to liver in dogs and cats. Elevation=liver disease. Serum Glutamic pyruvic transminase.

Bacterial invasion of blood. Blood poisoning. Very serious. Can occur from overwhelming infection of any kind.

A particularly nasty gram negative that can make animals and man sick. In man, rip-roaring diarrhea. Can kill.

Disease below clinical level. Bird is ill but not showing signs.

Refers to total body involvement; i.e. 1:200 good immunity or antibody response. A poor titer is lower than 1:10.

A measure of antibody formation. See systemic above.

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.

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.

A strange benign tumor made up of fatty cells. A substance we can often associate with hypothyroidism, subclinical and clinical illness.