Glossary of Terms for Dogs and Dog Beds

A

Achondroplasia: Improper development of cartilage at the ends of the long bones, resulting in a form of congenital dwarfism. A defect in most breeds and a requisite in others like Dachshunds and Basset Hounds.

Acquired Immunity: Immunity obtained either from the development of antibodies in response to exposure to an antigen, as from vaccination or an attack of an infectious disease, or from the transmission of antibodies, as from mother to fetus through the placenta or the injection of antiserum. Results in resistance to further infection.

Acute Disease: An illness that manifests rapidly.

Albino: A relatively rare, genetically recessive condition resulting in white hair and pink eyes.

Allele: One member of a pair or series of genes that occupy a specific position on a specific chromosome.

Allergen: A substance, such as pollen or pet dander, that causes an allergy.

Allergy: An abnormally high sensitivity to certain substances, such as pollens, foods, or microorganisms. Common indications of allergy may include sneezing, itching, and skin rashes.

Alpha: Term used to describe the highest ranked or most dominant individual of one's sex. Used of social animals: the alpha female of the wolf pack..

Alter: To castrate or spay (an animal, such as a cat or a dog).

Anal glands: Glands which secrete a substance that is used by a dog to mark its territory. Located near the anus.

Angulation: Angles created by bones meeting at their given joints.

Ankylosis: Abnormal immobility and fusion of a joint. Noted as cause of faulty tails in the German Shepherd Dog standard.

Anterior: The front assembly of the body.

Apron: Longer hair below the neck on the chest; also called the frill.

Arthritis in Dogs: Canine arthritis, also known as osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease, is characterized by pain and inflammation in a dog's joints. Arthritis is caused by the breaking down of smooth cartilage that covers and protects the bones that form a joint. Once the bones are exposed, painful wear and tear can occur. Orthopedic dog beds are recommended for dog's with canine arthritis.

Articulation: Where two or more bones meet.

Asthma: A chronic respiratory disease, often arising from allergies, that is characterized by sudden recurring attacks of labored breathing, chest constriction, and coughing.

Asymptomatic: Neither causing nor exhibiting symptoms of disease.

Auto-immune disease: A disease resulting from an immune reaction produced by an individual's white blood cells or antibodies acting on the body's own tissues or extracellular proteins.


B



Behavior Modification: The use of basic learning techniques, such as conditioning, biofeedback, reinforcement, or aversion therapy, to teach simple skills or alter undesirable behavior.

Bitch: A female canine.

Blanket: The color of the coat on the back and upper part of the sides, between the neck and the tail.

Blaze: A white stripe running up the center of the face usually between the eyes.

Bloat: Also known as gastric dilation, a flatulent digestive disturbance of domestic animals and especially cattle marked by abdominal bloating. Most common in deep-chested dogs and can rapidly lead to death if untreated.

Booster Vaccination: Periodic injections given after a primary injection to continue immunity to a specific disease.

Bordetellosis: A bacterial infection affecting the respiratory system.

Borreliosis: An infectious arthritis caused by a spirochete bacterium, more commonly known as Lyme disease.

Brucellosis: A chronic disease caused by the bacterium Brucella canis and characterized by prolonged disorders of the genital tract, including infertility.


C



Canid: A family (Canidae) of carnivorous animals including dogs, wolves, coyotes, foxes, and jackals.

Canine: An animal of the family Canidae, especially a dog.

Canine Arthitis:Canine arthritis, also known as osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease, is characterized by pain and inflammation in a dog's joints. Arthritis is caused by the breaking down of smooth cartilage that covers and protects the bones that form a joint. Once the bones are exposed, painful wear and tear can occur. Orthopedic dog beds are recommended for dog's with canine arthritis.

Canine Distemper: The most important viral infectious disease in dogs, caused by canine distemper virus and characterized by acute upper respiratory disease symptoms and fever and later by more serious respiratory symptoms as well as fever, vomiting, diarrhea and neurological signs.

Cardiomyopathy: A disease or disorder of the heart muscle, especially of unknown or obscure cause.

Choke Collar: A chain collar that tightens like a noose when the leash is pulled, used to train or control dogs or other animals. Also called choke chain.

Chorea: A nervous jerking caused by involuntary contractions of the muscles (may be caused by distemper or hepatitis).

Chronic Disease: A disease lasting indefinitely.

Colitis: Inflammation of the colon.

Congenital: Present at birth; may have genetic or environmental causes.

Coronavirus: Disease characterized by vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration.

Crossbred: A dog whose sire and dam are representatives of two different breeds. A crossbred dog cannot be registered by the AKC.

Cruelty: Conscious action or inaction that may endanger life or cause serious health consequences to animals.

Cynology: The study of canines.

Cyst: An abnormal membranous sac containing a gaseous, liquid, or semisolid substance.

Cystitis: Inflammation of the urinary bladder.