Horse Health Glossary

Not sure what that veterinary word means? Look it up below!

Reprinted with permission from the University of California, Davis, The Book of Horses edited by Mordecai Siegal.

VACUOLE:
Small, round to oval space or cavity within a cell.
VAGINA:
The genital canal of the mare, extending from the cervix of the uterus outward to the vulva.
VAGINITIS:
Inflammation of the vagina.
VAGINOSCOPIC:
By means of visual inspection of the vagina, using a speculum.
VALLEY FEVER:
Coccidioidomycosis.
VALVULAR DEGENERATION:
Heart disease wherein the leaflets or cusps comprising a heart valve curl back on themselves, allowing the valve to leak.
VAS DEFERENS:
Ducts that serve as the transport conduit for sperm from the testes to the urethra; also called ductus deferens.
VASCULAR:
Pertaining to blood vessels.
VASCULAR ENDOTHELIUM:
Cells lining the inner surface of blood vessels.
VASCULAR RING DEFECT:
Abnormal retention of embryonic blood vessels in the region of the aorta.
VASCULARIZATION:
The formation of blood vessels at a tissue site.
VASCULARIZED:
Supplied with blood vessels.
VASCULATURE:
The blood vessels,arteries, arterioles, capillaries, venules, and veins,that traverse the body.
VASCULITIS:
Inflammation of a blood vessel or vessels; also called angiitis.
VASECTOMY:
Sterilization of the male by severing the testicular tubules (vas deferens) without removing the testes.
VASODILATION:
Dilation (expansion in diameter) of a blood vessel.
VASOPRESSIN:
Alternative name for antidiuretic hormone (ADH).
VECTOR:
A term usually applied to insects, ticks, and mites that carry disease-causing microorganisms from an infected animal to a noninfected animal.
VEINS:
Large, thin-walled vessels that direct dexygenated blood from the tissues back to the heart.
VENIPUNCTURE:
Taking a blood sample from a vein.
VENOUS:
Pertaining to veins or venules.
VENTRAL:
In a direction toward the belly surface.
VENTRAL EDEMA:
Tissue swelling affecting the underside of the body.
VENTRICLES:
The two muscular, lower chambers of the heart, that are primarily responsible for pumping blood out of the heart; also, cavities in the brain within which is produced the cerebrospinal fluid.
VENTRICULAR AFTERLOAD:
The resistance to blood flow faced by the ventricles of the heart as they contract.
VENTRICULAR FIBRILLATION:
Rapid, repeated firing of ventricular muscle fibers without coordinated contraction of the muscle itself; can result in cardiac arrest and death.
VENTRICULAR PRELOAD:
The ability of the ventricles of the heart to fill adequately during the relaxation phase (diastole) of the heartbeat.
VENTRICULAR SEPTAL DEFECT (VSD):
Congenital abnormality in which a hole exists in the wall (septum) separating the left and right ventricles of the heart; the most commonly recognized congenital heart defect of horses.
VENTRICULAR TACHYCARDIA:
Abnormal condition wherein damaged or diseased heart muscle within a ventricle begins contracting on its own, which it normally does not do.
VENULES:
Small veins.
VERMINOUS PNEUMONIA:
Pneumonia caused by parasitic worms.
VERTEBRAE:
Blocklike bones that make up the spinal column and through which the spinal cord runs.
VESICLE:
A circumscribed elevation of the epidermis, filled with serum; blister.
VESICOVAGINAL REFLUX:
The retention of incompletely voided urine in the forward portion of the vagina, next to the cervix; also called urovagina.
VESICULAR:
Fluid-filled; causing blisters.
VESICULAR STOMATITIS:
Disease characterized by fever and the development of vesicles (blisters) and ulcerations of the mouth, tongue, coronary band, and teats; caused by a rhabdovirus.
VESTIBULAR:
Pertaining to the balance mechanism in the inner ear and brain.
VESTIBULE:
Outer portion of the vagina into which the urethra (the connecting tube from the urinary bladder) empties.
VILLI (SINGULAR: VILLUS):
Tiny hairlike projections lining the interior of the small intestine, that serve to increase greatly the surface area available for the absorption of nutrients.
VIREMIA:
Presence of virus in the bloodstream.
VIRILIZING:
Producing male characteristics.
VIROLOGY:
The study of viruses.
VIRULENCE:
Measure of the disease-causing capacity of an infectious disease agent.
VIRULENCE FACTOR:
Any factor that enhances the ability of an infectious disease agent to infect the host and damage tissue.
VIRUS ISOLATION:
Procedure of propagating a virus artificially in the laboratory; more specifically, the process of recovering a virus from a tissue or fluid sample of an infected animal or human being.
VIRUSES:
Minute, nonliving infectious disease agents composed primarily of protein and nucleic acid (either RNA or DNA), and characterized by the absence of independent metabolism and an inability to replicate outside susceptible host cells.
VISCERA (SINGULAR: VISCUS):
Any of the large interior organs of the body.
VISCERAL PLEURA:
Membrane covering the surface of the organs in the chest cavity.
VITAMIN:
General term for a number of substances required in very small quantities for the normal functioning of the body's metabolic processes.
VITILIGO:
Uncommon, acquired disorder of pigmentation characterized by progressive, usually well-circumscribed, areas of pigment loss in the skin.
VITREOUS BODY:
Viscous fluid filling the posterior portion of the eyeball (behind the lens); also called simply vitreous.
VITREOUS CHAMBER:
The deepest chamber of the eye, behind the lens.
VOMITING:
The forceful ejection of contents of the stomach and upper small intestine through the mouth.
VOMITING CENTER:
Portion of the brain that initiates vomiting.
VOMITUS:
Vomited material.
VULVA:
The external genitalia of the female, representing the entrance to the vagina; composed of the external lips or folds (labia) and the clitoris.

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