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.

FABELLA (PLURAL: FABELLAE):
Small sesamoid bone occasionally found in the area of the knee.
FACULTATIVE PARASITE:
A parasite whose life cycle can be completed without a parasitic phase, but which may optionally include a parasitic phase under certain circumstances.
FALLOPIAN TUBES:
Uterine tubes or oviducts.
FAMILIAL:
Running in a family line; occurring in a family line with greater frequency than by chance alone.
FARCY:
A form of glanders that affects the skin; characterized by nodules, ulcers, and swollen lymph nodes and lymphatic channels, most often involving the legs or abdomen.
FASCIAE (SINGULAR: FASCIA):
Sheets of fibrous tissue that ensheath the muscles and define their shape.
FASCICULATIONS:
Frequent small, localized muscle contractions.
FAT-SOLUBLE VITAMINS:
Vitamins A, D, E, and K.
FEBRILE:
Having a fever.
FECAL FLOTATION:
Laboratory procedure for identification of parasite eggs in a fecal specimen.
FEMINIZATION:
Development of certain female sex characteristics in a male.
FEMUR:
Thigh bone.
FERAL:
Wild; untamed.
FERMENTABLE:
Able to be digested by intestinal microorganisms.
FETAL RESORPTION:
Disintegration of the fetus while in the uterus.
FETLOCK JOINT:
The joint between the long pastern bone and the cannon bone.
FEVER:
A rise in body temperature caused by a change in the thermoregulatory set-point in the brain; usually caused by disease.
FIBRIN:
An insoluble protein that forms the nucleus of a blood clot.
FIBRINOGEN:
Clotting factor in the blood, is converted into its active form (fibrin) by the enzyme thrombin.
FIBROBLAST:
Immature fibrocyte.
FIBROSARCOMA:
A malignant tumor of connective tissue cells.
FIBROSIS:
Formation of fibrous tissue; scarring.
FIBROUS TISSUE:
Tough connective tissue.
FIBROUS TUNIC:
The outer layer of the eyeball.
FILAMENTOUS:
Threadlike.
FLAGGING:
Rhythmic up-and-down movements of the stallion's tail during ejaculation.
FLATULENCE:
Presence of excessive air or gas within the intestinal tract.
FLEHMEN REACTION:
A unique behavior wherein the horse extends its head and curls back the upper lip while drawing air into the nasal cavity; usually expressed by a stallion attempting to detect estrus ("heat") in a mare.
FLORA:
The population of microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa) normally resident within an individual host, or within a certain portion of the host (e.g., the intestinal tract).
FLUORESCEIN:
A fluorane dye used for, among other things, identifying ulcers on the cornea.
FOAL HEAT:
A mare's first heat period after the birth of a foal.
FOAL HEAT SCOURS:
A normal physiological diarrhea occurring during the first heat cycle of a mare after foaling.
FOCAL VENTRAL MIDLINE DERMATITIS:
A frequently encountered skin disease of horses kept in close proximity to cattle; probably caused by the bites of horn flies.
FOLLICLE-STIMULATING HORMONE (FSH):
Hormone produced by the pituitary gland, that stimulates the development of ovarian follicles in the female and sperm production in the male.
FOLLICULAR CYST:
Cyst originating within a hair follicle; also called epidermoid cyst.
FOLLICULAR PHARYNGITIS:
Alternative name for chronic pharyngeal lymphoid hyperplasia.
FOLLICULAR SHEATH:
Long tubelike structure through which a hair passes through the dermis (middle layer of the skin) and exits to the skin surface.
FOLLICULITIS:
Inflammation of one or more hair follicles.
FORAGE DISEASE:
Common name for leukoencephalomalacia.
FORAGE POISONING:
Form of botulism in horses caused by ingestion of botulinal toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum in decaying plant material.
FOUNDER:
Common name for laminitis.
FROG:
Thickened, horny area located in the middle of the sole of the foot.
FROZEN-SECTION BIOPSY:
Biopsy sample frozen and cut for immediate examination and diagnosis, as during exploratory surgery.
FULMINANT:
Sudden and intense.
FUNDUS:
General term for the back of the eye.
FUNGAL TUMOR:
Eumycotic mycetoma.
FUNGI (SINGULAR: FUNGUS):
A large group of organisms characterized by the presence of a rigid cell wall and the absence of chlorophyll, and whose primary purpose is the decomposition of organic material; examples include the yeasts and molds, mushrooms, smuts, and rusts.

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