So every now and again, I know that I use terms while explaining veterinary related things, that don’t necessarily make sense to my audience. However, hardly anyone stops and asks me what the words I am saying mean. However, I feel it is crucial that you understand what your veterinarian is saying at all times. Therefore, I picked out a few words I have heard veterinarians use that I believe trip up a few owners.
Definitions provided my the Merck/Merial Manual for Pet Health Home Edition
1) Predisposing Factor: A condition that increases the susceptibility to an injury or disease. For example, many larger breed animals are predisposed to developing hip dysplasia.
2) NSAID (Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug): medications classified as NSAIDs can relieve pain and inflammation, but are not corticosteroids. Many animals end up on these types of medications later in their life, because they can relieve some symptoms of arthritis.
3) Luxation: Luxation simply means the dislocation of a joint or other bodily part. It is most often used in terms of the knee cap that slips out of place, a luxating patella.
4) Immunosuppressed: The state in which the immune system is inhibited by stress, infection, or other disorders or medications. We often here this term used during outbreaks of diseases, and they say those who are immunosuppressed are the most susceptible. Animals can reach a level of immunosuppression as well, and will become more likely to contract diseases or infections.
5) Intussusception: Sections of the intestine become doubled up on themselves causing obstruction of the digestive system. I first experienced this situation when I was working at Acorn Veterinary Clinic in Davis, California. Someone had found a litter of very small kittens that we were fostering until we could find them a new home, suddenly one of the kittens stopped eating and began to lose weight. Upon X-ray, the doctors discovered he had intussusception and they decided to do surgery on him on their day off. The kitten miraculously lived through surgery and ended up at the home of Dr. Jackman.
6) Hemangiosarcoma: A rapidly growing invasive cancer that originates from the cells along the blood vessels.
7) Flourescein Stain: This is a test that drops a fluorescent dye in the eyeball in order to detect scratches on the eye. Veterinarians use a black light to see if there is any uptake of the dye. Any location along the eyeball that that shows an uptake of dye represents a scratch on the eye. The reason veterinarians do this test, is because there are eye medications with steroids, and medications without steroids. If there are scratches on the eye, a medication with steroids will make it worse and cause damage to the eye.