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What Do Those Words Mean: Specialties and Related Terms

By: PetPlace Veterinarians

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Veterinary science has entered an exciting time. New breakthroughs are allowing our pets to live longer and healthier lives. Unfortunately, the average pet owner is often unaware of all the specialties, diagnostic tests and procedures available to their four-legged family member. Below is a list of ever-evolving veterinary specialties that are finding new ways to keep our pets happy and healthy.

  • Cardiology pertains to diseases of the heart and blood vessels. Related terms: Cardiac, Cardiologist.

  • Dentistry includes care and treatment for teeth, gums and the oral cavity.

  • Dermatology pertains to skin disorders and wounds.

  • Diagnostic tests are medical exams designed to uncover or rule out conditions and diseases.

  • Disease is any disorder or abnormality in the body's structure or function. It can be temporary or long-term, life threatening or minor, infectious or non-infectious.

  • Endocrinology pertains to disorders of the hormones and body chemistry. Related terms: Metabolic, hormones, body chemistry.

  • Environmental refers to diseases that are related to the environment.

  • Hematology is a specialty pertaining to blood-related diseases. Related term: Hemic-lymphatic diseases.

  • Gastroenterology pertains to disorders of the stomach, intestine, liver or pancreas. Related term: Digestive diseases.

  • Immunology is a specialty pertaining to immune system disorders.
  • Infectious disease can spread from animal to animal. Related term: Contagious disease.

  • Integument is a covering, such as the skin. This term is related to dermatology.

  • Neonatal diseases are diseases affecting newborn animals. The duration when an animal is considered a neonate varies between 48 hours for a chicken and 4 weeks for mammals. Related term: Pediatrics.
  • Neurology pertains to disorders of the brain, spinal cord and nerves.
  • Nutritional disorders are caused by abnormalities in nutrition. Related terms: Malnutrition, vitamin deficiencies.

  • Oncology is a specialty pertaining to cancer and tumors. Related terms: Neoplastic diseases, cancer, tumors.

  • Ophthalmology pertains to disorders of the eyes. Related term: Ocular.

  • Orthopedic pertains to disorders of the bones, joints and muscles, also called the musculoskeletal system.

  • Otic pertains to disorders of the ears.

  • Parasitology is a specialty that pertains to worms and parasites.

  • Reproductive diseases affect the ability of animals to reproduce. Related term: Theriogenology.

  • Respiratory diseases affect the lungs, chest and airways. Related term: Pulmonology.        

  • Symptoms are non-specific signs of illness and disease.

  • Toxicologic disorders include poisonings and toxicities.

  • Urinary diseases are disorders of the kidneys, bladder and urethra. Related terms: Kidney, renal, nephrology, urology.

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