Click here to learn more.
Have you ever wondered what exactly your veterinarian is talking about when she gives you directions for medication or explains your pet’s condition? Veterinary jargon can be confusing to pet owners, especially when you’re already worried about your dog or cat.
Sometimes we veterinarians forget that not everyone knows “vetspeak,” the abbreviations and terms that we use for short in lab tests, prescriptions and normal, everyday conversations — or as normal as you can get when talking about kidney disease or trauma. Here’s a brief lexicon of some of the most common terms you might hear or see in the clinic, on lab reports or on medication containers.
ADR: This abbreviation stands for “ain’t doin’ right,” a not-so-technical phrase we like to use to describe a pet who has vague symptoms that haven’t yet solidified into a diagnosis. Maybe his appetite is a little off or he just doesn’t seem like his usual self. When owners come in with this type of problem, we know it’s a good idea to dig a little deeper because even minor changes can indicate the beginning of a more serious problem.
BID: These Latin words — bis in die — are used with prescriptions and mean that the medication should be given twice daily. You might also see TID (three times daily) or QID (four times daily).
BUN: The blood urea nitrogen test measures the amount of urea nitrogen in your pet’s blood, which helps us know how well the kidneys and liver are performing. Levels that are higher than normal can indicate a problem.
CBC: A complete blood count is a test that tells us a lot about what’s going on in your pet’s body, including the following:
The information we get from a CBC can help us determine whether your pet may be suffering from an infection, anemia or some types of cancer.
Dx: Most of us are familiar with the abbreviation Rx, for prescriptions, which is thought to come from the Latin “recipere,” or recipe. Dx has come to be an abbreviation for diagnosis. You might also encounter Tx (treatment or therapy) and Sx (surgery or symptom).
HBC: Short for "hit by car."
IgA: Immunoglobulin A is a type of antibody that protects the skin, respiratory tract, digestive tract, and some parts of the reproductive and urinary systems from bacterial, fungal and viral invaders. Low levels of IgA can predispose pets to allergies or infections.
O.S.: Here's another Latin lesson — this abbreviation stands for oculus sinister, or left eye. The term O.D. stands for oculus dexter, or right eye.
SSRI: This abbreviation stands for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. This class of drugs may be prescribed for pets with general anxiety problems.
Isn't language fascinating? I hope you've learned some new terms today that will be helpful at your next veterinary visit.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank you for subscribing to Petwire. Look for the latest newsletter each Wednesday.
Actress Katie Holmes is offering a $1,000
reward for the safe return of her daughter
Suri Cruise’s newly adopted dog,…
Giant panda Ai Hin's keepers suspect
she pretended to be pregnant to get
better food and accommodations.
The 274 experts we surveyed wouldn’t call these dogs lazy, but these pups may have better things to do than learn a…
When our dog trainer saw a Boxer running on a busy highway, she did what came naturally to her and rescued him.
Conservationists draw sobering lessons from the species that went from almost unimaginable abundance to nothing.
Diesel the yellow Labrador Retriever shows off how he can blow bubbles under water, just like a person.
We asked our Facebook fans to share
their pets' selfies, and here are the best
ones from cats, dogs and a horse.
The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.