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.

ECCRINE SWEAT GLANDS:
Sweat glands that empty their contents directly onto the skin surface
ECHINOCOCCOSIS:
Hydatid disease
ECHOCARDIOGRAPHY:
Examination of the heart by means of ultrasonic sound waves, for the purpose of disease diagnosis; also known as cardiac ultrasound
ECLAMPSIA:
Calcium deficiency in a lactating mare
ECTOPARASITE:
External parasite; examples include ticks, fleas, and mites
ECTOPIC:
In or at an abnormal site; not in the normal position
EDEMA:
The accumulation of abnormally large quantities of fluid in the intercellular tissue spaces (spaces between cells); pulmonary edema refers specifically to fluid buildup in the lungs
EDEMATOUS:
Swollen with fluid
EFFUSION:
Fluid escaping into a body cavity or tissue
ELASTIN:
Protein found in elastic connective tissue fibers that imparts flexibility to the tissue
ELECTIVE SURGERY:
Surgery that is medically necessary but need not be performed immediately
ELECTROCARDIOGRAM (ECG):
Examination of the electrical activity of the heart, for the purpose of disease diagnosis. The ECG records the size and direction of the waves of depolarization that spread across the heart during muscle contraction and relaxation
ELECTROENCEPHALOGRAPHY (EEG):
Examination of the electrical activity of the brain, for the purpose of disease diagnosis
ELECTROLYTES:
Simple, inorganic salts that act as charged particles in water solutions, i.e., they are able to conduct electricity; examples include sodium, potassium, and chloride
ELECTROMYOGRAPHY (EMG):
Examination of the electrical activity within a muscle at rest or during voluntary or evoked muscular contractions, for the purpose of disease diagnosis
ELECTROPHORESIS:
Separation of components of a mixture by their differing migration in an applied electric field
ELECTRORETINOGRAM (ERG):
Examination of the electrical activity of the retina (light-sensitive layer of cells at the back of the eye), for the purpose of disease diagnosis
ELECTROSURGERY:
Surgical techniques (such as electrocautery) wherein electrical methods are used to remove tissue and/or seal broken blood vessels to alleviate hemorrhage
ELISA:
Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; any of the many highly sensitive color-based test methods for detecting either antibody or antigen in blood, serum, or plasma
EMBOLISM:
Sudden blockage of an artery by a blood clot
EMBRYONIC VESICLE:
The fertilized egg (embryo) with its surrounding fluid and membranes
EMETICS:
Drugs used to induce vomiting
ENAMEL:
The thin, calcium-rich outer surface of the teeth, overlying the harder dentin layer; it functions to resist wear
ENAMEL HYPOPLASIA:
Underdevelopment or incomplete development of the enamel layer of a tooth
ENAMEL POINTS:
Sharp points that develop in the enamel of the teeth, owing to the normal positioning and growth of the teeth in the mouth; the sharp points can be ground down with a special instrument called a dental float
ENDOCARDITIS:
Inflammation of the innermost lining of the heart (endocardium), usually caused by bacterial infection of one or more heart valves
ENDOCARDIUM:
A thin serous membrane, the innermost lining of the chambers of the heart
ENDOCRINE GLANDS:
Glands that secrete their contents directly into the blood or interstitial fluid (the fluid surrounding cells)
ENDOCRINOLOGY:
The study of hormones and hormone-producing glands
ENDOCRINOPATHY:
Hormonal imbalance leading to disease
ENDOGENOUS:
Originating within the body
ENDOMETRITIS:
Inflammation of the innermost lining of the uterus; the leading cause of infertility in broodmares
ENDOPARASITE:
Any parasite found inside the host, chiefly in the gastrointestinal tract
ENDOSCOPY:
Procedure wherein tubelike viewing apparatus (an endoscope) is inserted into an orifice or body cavity, for the purpose of examining the internal portions of that cavity or a hollow organ
ENDOSPORE:
The type of spore produced during the spherule stage of the life cycle of the fungus Coccidioides immitis, the cause of coccidioidomycosis ("valley fever")
ENDOTRACHEAL TUBE:
A plastic tube for breathing, commonly inserted into the trachea during general anesthesia
ENERGY DENSITY:
The amount of energy contained in a given quantity of food
ENOPHTHALMOS:
Recession of the eye deep within the orbit
ENTERIC:
Referring to the small intestine
ENTERITIS:
Inflammation of the small intestine; contrasts with colitis (inflammation of the large intestine)
ENTEROLITH:
Stony concretion that develops in the large intestine
ENTROPION:
Turning in of an eyelid
ENUCLEATION:
Surgical removal of the eyeball
ENZOOTIC:
Widespread in a population and always present, but producing disease in only relatively few animals; said of infectious disease agents
ENZYME:
Any of a myriad number of different proteins produced by cells, capable of accelerating biochemical reactions occurring within the cells
EOSINOPHIL:
A white blood cell that contains granules readily stained with eosin; functions in the allergic reaction to parasitic infections
EPICARDIUM:
The outermost membrane of the surface of the heart
EPIDERMAL APPENDAGES:
Collectively the hair follicles, sweat glands, and sebaceous glands
EPIDERMIS:
The outermost layer of the skin
EPIDERMOID CYST:
Follicular cyst
EPIDIDYMIS:
In the male, the duct connecting the testis to the vas deferens; used for the storage, maturation, and movement of sperm
EPILATION:
Plucking of hair by the roots
EPILEPSY:
Brain disorder resulting in seizures
EPINEPHRINE (ADRENALINE):
A hormone secreted by the adrenal glands; it acts to increase blood sugar levels and blood pressure and to accelerate the heart rate
EPIPHYSIS:
Either end of a long bone
EPISIOTOMY:
Surgical enlargement of the vulvar opening
EPISTAXIS:
Bleeding from the nostril; nosebleed
EPITHELIOGENESIS IMPERFECTA:
A rare, lethal skin defect of draft-horse foals; inherited as an autosomal recessive disorder
EPITHELIUM:
Cellular covering of the internal and external surfaces of the body
EPIZOOTIC:
Attacking many animals over a short period of time, with resulting high morbidity (high percentage of animals becoming ill); said of infectious disease agents. Also, an acute disease outbreak
EQUIDS:
Members of the horse family
EQUINE COITAL EXANTHEMA:
Disease characterized by painful wartlike lesions on the skin of the vulva and perineum or on the shaft of the penis; caused by equine herpesvirus type 3
EQUINE COLLAGENOLYTIC GRANULOMA:
The most common nodular skin disease of horses, possibly caused by a hypersensitivity to insect bites; also called nodular necrobiosis
EQUINE DEGENERATIVE MYELOENCEPHALOPATHY:
Chronic, progressive disease of young horses, characterized by abnormalities of gait; the cause is thought to be related to a vitamin E deficiency and is associated with lack of green forage or the feeding of heat-processed pelleted rations
EQUINE GRANULOCYTIC EHRLICHIOSIS:
Tick-transmitted disease characterized by fever, depression, reluctance to move, depressed white blood cell and platelet counts, and lower-limb swelling; caused by a rickettsia, Ehrlichia equi
EQUINE HERPESVIRUS MYELOENCEPHALITIS:
Inflammatory disorder of the brain and spinal cord, caused by
EQUINE HERPESVIRUS TYPE 1, THE ABORTION-INDUCING S:
EQUINE INFECTIOUS ANEMIA (EIA):
One of the most important viral diseases of horses, caused by a retrovirus; it is a chronic infection resulting in a persistent (lifelong) carrier state with periodic exacerbations of anemic illness; also called swamp fever
EQUINE INFLUENZA:
Very important viral respiratory disease of horses caused by subtypes (A1 and A2) of equine influenza virus, an orthomyxovirus
EQUINE MONOCYTIC EHRLICHIOSIS:
Potomac horse fever
EQUINE PROTOZOAL MYELOENCEPHALITIS:
Inflammatory disorder of the brain and spinal cord, caused by a poorly characterized protozoan parasite tentatively designated Sarcocystis neurona
EQUINE VIRAL ARTERITIS (EVA):
Contagious viral disease of horses causing fever, ocular and respiratory signs, fluid distension or swelling of the limbs, and abortion
EQUINE VIRAL ENCEPHALOMYELITIS:
Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, caused by eastern equine encephalo-myelitis (EEE) virus, western equine encephalomyelitis (WEE) virus, or venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis (vee) virus
EQUINE VIRAL PAPILLOMATOSIS:
Disease characterized by the development of papillomas (warts) on the muzzle, around the lips, or on the extremities; caused by equine papillomavirus, a member of the Papovaviridae family of DNA viruses
ERECTILE TISSUE:
Tissue capable of erection, i.e., stiffening following engorgement of blood; found in the penis of the male and the clitoris of the female
EROSION:
A superficial denudation of the skin involving only the epidermis
ERUCTATION:
Forceful, retrograde expulsion of air from the stomach; "burping" or "belching."
ERYTHEMA:
Reddening of the skin, due to congestion of the underlying capillaries
ERYTHEMA CHRONICUM MIGRANS:
A skin reaction seen in human beings with Lyme borreliosis
ERYTHEMA MULTIFORME, EPIDERMAL TYPE:
An uncommon but highly characteristic skin disease with a proposed immunologic basis
ERYTHROCYTE:
Red blood cell, the carrier of oxygen in the blood
ERYTHROPOIETIN:
A hormone produced by the kidneys that stimulates red blood cell production in the bone marrow
ESOPHAGITIS:
Inflammation of the esophagus
ESOPHAGUS:
The muscular tube extending from the pharynx (back of the mouth) to the stomach
ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS:
Amino acids that cannot be synthesized in sufficient quantities by the body and therefore must be provided in the diet
ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS:
Fatty acids that have structural functions in cell membranes and serve as precursors for prostaglandins
ESTROGENS:
General term for female sex hormones
ESTRUS:
"Heat"; a recurrent period of varying length, during which the mare produces a watery secretion from the genital tract, becomes sexually receptive to the stallion, and ovulates
ETIOLOGY:
The cause of a disease
EUMYCOTIC MYCETOMA:
A swollen, progressing, tumorlike lesion caused by certain species of fungi
EUSTACHIAN TUBE:
Short canal that connects the middle ear with the back of the throat
EUTHANASIA:
Humane killing; putting to sleep
EXCISE:
To cut out; remove surgically
EXCISIONAL BIOPSY:
Biopsy sample representing an entire (small) lesion, removed surgically both as diagnosis and treatment
EXERTIONAL MYOPATHIES:
Muscle diseases caused by exertion; these include azoturia, tying-up, and endurance-related myopathy
EXHAUSTIVE DISEASE SYNDROME:
Condition seen in endurance horses, three-day event horses, and horses on long trail rides; characterized by a significant level of dehydration, owing both to massive losses of fluid and electrolytes in sweat and to decreased fluid intake
EXOCRINE GLANDS:
Glands that secrete their contents through ducts (tiny tubes)
EXOGENOUS:
Originating outside the body
EXOSTOSIS:
A benign growth protruding from the surface of a bone
EXPIRATION:
The act of breathing air out; exhalation
EXTENDER:
Fluid added to collected semen to increase or "extend" the volume
EXTERNAL URETHRAL SPHINCTER:
Sphincter located at the junction of the bladder and urethra
EXTRAGONADAL:
External to the testes
EXTRAOCULAR:
External to the eyeball
EXUDATE:
A high-protein fluid derived from blood and deposited in tissues or on tissue surfaces, usually as a result of inflammation.</p>

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