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.

NANOGRAM:
One billionth of a gram.
NARES (SINGULAR: NARIS):
The two halves of the nasal passages; also, the external and internal openings of the nasal passages.
NASAL SEPTUM:
Vertical dividing wall that separates the two nasal passages or nares.
NASAL TURBINATES:
Delicate, scroll-like, rolled bony structures within the nasal cavity that filter, warm, and humidify inhaled air; also referred to simply as turbinates.
NASOPHARYNX:
The rear portion of the pharynx, above the soft palate.
NATURAL KILLER (NK) CELLS:
Specialized lymphocytes that are important in detecting and eliminating tumor cells and virus-infected cells.
NAVICULAR DISEASE:
Lameness caused by damage to the navicular bone; one of the most common causes of intermittent forelimb lameness in the horse.
NECROLYSIS:
Separation or peeling of tissue caused by cell death.
NECROPSY:
Examination of an animal after death; postmortem; autopsy on an animal.
NECROSIS:
Cell death.
NECROTIC:
Composed of dead cells.
NECROTIZING:
Causing cell death.
NEGATIVE REINFORCEMENT:
In training, the use of an unpleasant stimulus, such as a whip or bit, if a task is not performed.
NEGRI BODIES:
Intracellular inclusion bodies sometimes found in brain cells of animals or humans with rabies.
NEMATODE:
General term for a roundworm.
NEONATAL:
Newborn.
NEONATAL ISOERYTHROLYSIS:
Acute hemolytic anemia of the newborn caused by ingestion of antibodies in the mare's colostrum and milk that are directed against the neonate's red blood cells; also called hemolytic disease of the newborn.
NEONATAL MALADJUSTMENT SYNDROME:
Disease or group of diseases of foals characterized by progressive neurologic dysfunction.
NEOPLASIA:
Uncontrolled, progressive proliferation of cells under conditions that normally should be restrictive of cell growth; formation of a tumor.
NEOPLASM:
Tumor.
NEOVASCULARIZATION:
Growth of new blood vessels into an abnormal site, such as a tumor.
NEPHRITIS:
Kidney inflammation.
NEPHROLITH:
Kidney stone.
NEPHRONS:
The microscopic, functional units of the kidney.
NEPHROSCLEROSIS:
Scarring of kidney tissue; a principal cause of the normal, progressive deterioration of kidney function that accompanies aging.
NEPHROTIC SYNDROME:
Abnormal fluid retention as edema or ascites, resulting from glomerular disease of the kidneys.
NERVOUS TUNIC:
Retina; innermost layer of the eye.
NEURECTOMY:
Surgical cutting of a nerve to relieve pain.
NEURITIS:
Inflammation of a nerve.
NEUROFIBROMA:
Benign tumor of the nervous system arising from Schwann cells.
NEUROMA:
Tumor arising from a nerve.
NEUROMUSCULAR JUNCTIONS:
The intimate connections between muscle cells and adjacent nerve cells, representing a specialized extension of the sarcolemma.
NEUROMYOPATHY:
General term for any disorder affecting both neurons and muscle fibers.
NEURON:
An individual nerve cell.
NEUROPATHY:
Any disorder of the peripheral nervous system.
NEUROTOXIN:
Any toxin targeting the nervous system.
NEUTROPENIA:
An abnormal decrease in the number of circulating neutrophils.
NEUTROPHIL:
A type of white blood cell capable of engulfing and destroying bacteria and other disease agents, immune complexes, and cell debris.
NEUTROPHILIA:
An abnormal increase in the number of circulating neutrophils.
NIT:
Louse egg.
NOCARDIOSIS:
Bacterial infection caused by members of the genus Nocardia; in horses Nocardia is most often a cause of local wound infections.
NODULAR:
Characterized by nodules.
NODULAR NECROBIOSIS:
Equine collagenolytic granuloma.
NODULE:
A large papule; small lump.
NOSOCOMIAL INFECTION:
An infection acquired in the hospital environment.
NUCHAL LIGAMENT:
A large, strong band of connective tissue that provides support for the neck.
NUCLEIC ACIDS:
General term for deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA), DNA serving as the genetic material of all living organisms and some viruses.
NUCLEOTIDE:
An individual unit of DNA.
NULLIPAROUS:
Having never given birth.
NUTRITIONAL SECONDARY HYPERPARATHYROIDISM:
Disease caused by an imbalance in the quantities of calcium and phosphorus in the diet, resulting in a net withdrawal of calcium from the bones; also called "big head" or "millers' disease."
NYSTAGMUS:
Rapid, involuntary, rhythmic eye movements, often indicative of central nervous system dysfunction.

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