Do You Know These 7 Odd-Sounding Vet Terms? Take Our Quiz

Does it ever feel like your vet is speaking a foreign language when she talks to you? While you should never hesitate to speak up and ask questions if you're not exactly picking up what the good doctor is laying down, the fact of the matter is that some veterinary terms sound pretty strange. Like, made-up-word strange.

Think you speak pretty fluent veterinar-ese? Let's find out! Take our fun quiz below and see which of these five wacky-sounding veterinary terms you can match with the correct meaning!

Wacky Vet Terms Quiz


What does "brachycephalic" mean?

A. Short-headed
B. Flat-footed
C. Curly-tailed



"Brachycephalic" means...

A. Having a shortened head and flat face, like Bulldogs, Pugs and Boston Terriers. That smooshy face is awfully cute, but it also means the dog is more likely to suffer from brachycephalic syndrome, which, among other things, can make him snore a lot.

Queckenstedt's Maneuver

What is Queckenstedt’s maneuver?

A. A technique used by vets to calm a frightened kitty.
B. A way to make collecting cerebrospinal fluid easier and faster during a spinal tap.
C. The proper way to fall when one slips in a puddle of pet mess in the back hallway.

Vet Terms Queckenstedt's maneuver


Queckenstedt’s maneuver is...

B. A method that makes collecting cerebrospinal fluid easier and faster during a spinal tap. Basically, the veterinarian or veterinary assistant applies brief pressure to the pet’s jugular veins, increasing spinal fluid pressure. Listening to Spinal Tap during this maneuver, however, is not necessarily helpful.


What is pica?

A. A fear of walking on grass.
B. The drinking of toilet water. 
C. The eating of non-food substances.

Cat With Pica


Pica is...

C. Eating objects that aren't considered food. Dogs with pica will often opt for rocks or toys, while cats are more likely to eat clothing, strings or kitty litter. Mmm, mmm, good. If you think that's weird, you might be surprised at some of the other eating disorders vets see in animals.


What does "borborygmi" mean?

A. Particularly noxious gas.
B. A cat who has an unusually large litter of kittens.
C. The noises your pet's intestines make.

Vet Terms Borborygmi


Borborygmi are...

C. The typical digestive sounds a veterinarian may hear while listening to your pet’s digestive tract (a tiny bit of gurgling in the intestines is entirely normal).

Uberschwinger artifact

What is the Uberschwinger artifact?

A. The archaeological find that inspired the Aesculapian staff in the American Veterinary Medical Association's logo.
B. What one calls an unidentifiable item retrieved from a pet's stomach during surgery.
C. A rebound effect in a digital X-ray that can create the appearance of something that's not actually there.

Vet Terms Uberschwinger artefact


The Uberschwinger artifact is...

C. A rebound effect in a digital X-ray that appears to be something but is actually nothing at all. Specifically, an Uberschwinger artifact is a halo that appears around an object in digital radiography. (And, yes, we think it sounds like something out of Wayne's World, too.)


What does "sinister" mean (in medical notation)?

A. Located on the animal's left side.
B. Code for a pet known to bite.
C. A lab result that's unexpectedly bad news.

Vet Terms Sinister eye


"Sinister" means...

A. Located on the pet's left side. It's usually used in medical notes pertaining to the eyes; for example, the left eye. It does not, however, relate at all to Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes of TLC; she was not sinister in the least.

Vomeronasal organ

What is a vomeronasal organ?

A. A way to describe a warm, dry nose.
B. An organ that's unusually odorous.
C. A specialized organ for smelling.

Vet Terms vomeronasal organ


A vomeronasal organ is...

C. A specialized organ for smelling found in many animals. It is also known as Jacobson’s organ. Some people attribute the "sixth sense" many animals seem to have to this organ, which allows them to sense chemicals to which most humans tend to be nose blind.

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