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Canine Terminology Medical

By November 12, 2018 No Comments

Terminology and Glossary

Action – Movement

Anal Glands – Sacs located on each side of the rectum

Apron – Longer hair on the chest below the neck

Back – Arched over the loins – a level back which then arches over the loins

Level back – height at the withers is the same as height at the loins

Long back – Distance from withers to rump is much longer than height of dog to the withers (e.g. Dachshund)

Roach back – slight arch over the loin

Sloping back – height at withers is greater than height at the loins (e.g. German Shepherd Dog)

Straight back – no dip between withers and loins (e.g. English Toy Terrier)

Wheel back – continuous arch from withers to tail (e.g. Bedlington)

Bay – Cry of a hunting dog, in particular the hound.

Beard – Long hair under jaw and on muzzle

Belton – Coloured hair mingled with white

Bitch – female dog

Blenheim – Particular chestnut and white colour of King Charles and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

Bi-coloured – Two colours in coat

Blaze – White strip running down the centre of the face

Bowed front – forelegs curving out from elbows then in to wrist (e.g. Pekingese)

Brindle – Fine strips of black hair evenly dispersed on lighter colour on coat

Canines – long, stabbing teeth placed either side of the incisors

Castration – neutering of male dog (removal of testicles)

Cat feet – round, compact feet with well arched and tightly bunched toes. Deeply cushioned, thick skinned pads.

Cobby – a dog which is strong but compact (e.g. Pug)

Couple – two hounds

Crooked front – forelegs inclining inwards and slightly curved (e.g. Basset hound)

Cross breeding – Breeding bitch of one breed with male dog of another breed

Dam – mother dog

Dew Claws – Fifth digits, found on the inside of the leg – often removed from puppies

Dewlap – Loose skin under throat

Dock – amputation of whole or part of the tail

Domino – a reverse facial mask.

Double coat – Weather-resistant outer coat with softer, insulating undercoat.

Ears Bat ears – fully erect, wide, forward facing and broad at base (e.g. Cardigan Corgi)

Blunt tipped ears – Round tipped as opposed to pointed ears (e.g. Chow Chow)

Button ears – Semi erect, folded ears

Candle flame ears – large, wide, erect and pointed ears specific to the English Toy Terrier

Cocked ears – Semi erect, similar to button ears but with just the tip folded

Cropped ears – surgical removal of part of the ear, practiced in the USA but, thankfully, forbidden in the UK

Drop ears – ears which hand down from the junction with the head

Filbert shaped ears – particularly used to describe the unusual shape of the Bedlington Terrier’s ears

Flying ears – ears which stick out from the side of the head

Folded ears – pendant ears which hang in downward folds rather than lying flat (i.e Bloodhound)

Heart shaped ears – (e.g. Pekingese)

High set ears – ears set high to the top of the skull

Hooded ears – small ears with both edges curving forward (e.g. basenji)

Lobe shaped ears – (e.g. cocker spaniel)

Low set ears – ears set low on the skull (e.g. bloodhound)

Prick ears – Stiff, erect ears either with rounded or pointed tips

Rolled ears – long, pendant and folding ears with lower tip and edge curling in

Rose ears – Small, drop ears which fold over and back exposing inside of ear canal

Triangular ears – ears which form an equilateral triangle, pricked or dropped (e.g. Siberian Husky)

Tulip ears – Rose or semi-drop ears which are erect.

V shaped ears – long, triangular ears, usually dropped (e.g. Hungarian Vizla)

Eyes Almond eyes – oval and bluntly pointed at both corners (e.g. Borzoi)

Deep set eyes – (e.g. Chow Chow)

Globular eyes – round and prominant but not bulging in profile

Haw eyes – eyes where the inner of the lower eyelid is visible (e.g. bloodhound)

Obliquely placed eyes – where the outer corners are situated higher than the inner corners (e.g. Bull Terrier)

Oval eyes – (e.g. Dachshund)

Round eyes – circular in shape (e.g. French Bulldog)

Triangular eyes – more angular than oval (e.g. Afghan Hound)

Wall eye – incomplete flecked or spotted melanin markings on a blue iris (often found in merle coated dogs)

Feathering – Long hair on ears and/or body, legs and tail.

Femur – Thigh bone

Flecking – coat ticked with another colour

Floating ribs – unattached thirteenth and last rib

Gait – movement at various speed

Game – Wild animals and birds hunted by dogs

Gestation – period between conception and birth – average 63 days.

Giving tongue – baying of a hound pack

Guard hairs – Longer, thicker hairs which grow through the undercoat.

Gun barrel front – forelegs and pasterns straight, parallel and vertical to the ground

Hare foot – elongated foot

Harlequin – Black on white or blue on white patched or pied coat.

Head – Apple head – skull is rounded and domed (e.g. Chihuahua)

Arched skull – a skull which arches from side to side or sometimes lengthways

Balanced head – the skull and foreface are equal in length (e.g. Gordon Setter)

Brick shaped head – the skull and muzzle are equal in width (e.g. Wire Haired Fox Terrier)

Broad skull – wide between the ears in relation to the length (e.g. Golden Retriever)

Clean head – free from wrinkles and bony or muscled lumps

Cone shaped head – triangular in outline (e.g. dachshund)

Egg shaped head – the head tapers towards the nose (e.g. Bull Terrier)

Flat skull – flat from ear to ear and stop to occiput (e.g. Pointer)

Fox like head – Triangular and elongated head with fine foreface (e.g. Spitz)

Otter head – (e.g. Border Terrier)

Oval skull – gentle, curved contours from ear to ear

Pear shaped head – (e.g. Bedlington Terrier)

Long Head – a long, narrow head which tapers (e.g. Borzoi)

Ram’s head – convex profile (e.g. Bull Terrier and Bedlington Terrier)

Round Head – broad, square or round, short skull

Squared off head – a square muzzle or lip shape (e.g. Pointer)

Wedge shaped head – triangular profile

Heat – Seasonal fertility of bitch

Horseshoe front – straight forelegs wider apart at the chest (e.g. Bedlington Terrier)

Humerus – largest bone in front legs

Incisors – Usually six, top and bottom, front teeth

Lachrymal glands – tear producing glands in inner corner of eye

Landseer – Black & white colouring relating to Newfoundlands

Lion clip – Traditional show clip of poodle and some other breeds.

Mask – Dark shading on face

Merle – Blue-grey colouring often flecked with black.

Molars – Back teeth (two each side in the top jaw and three each side in the bottom jaw)

Mottled – Bi-coloured coat consisting of dark patches on lighter background

Moult – shedding of coat

Muzzle – foreface in front of eyes

Nose – Butterfly nose – broken pigmentation to nose colour

Flared nostrils – wide, open nostrils (Bouvier des Flandres)

Flesh coloured nose – an even but light coloured nose (e.g. Pharaoh Hound)

Liver nose – brown pigment to nose

Pinched nostrils – narrow, closed nostrils (a fault in any breed)

Ram’s Nose – straight and aquiline in profile (e.g. Deerhound)

Roman nose – convex in profile (e.g. Bull Terrier)

Self coloured nose – pigment colour the same as the coat

Winter nose – a normally black nose which in winter takes on a pinkish hue

Occiput – top point or peak of skull

Oval feet – similar to cat feet but with the two centre toes slightly longer.

Pack – number of hounds which run together

Pads – Thick skin on underside of feet

Pedigree – Proven history of dog’s breeding

Pigment – colour of skin

Pips – Spots above the eyes (often referred to as eyebrows) usually found in black & tan breeds.

Plume – long hair hanging from underside of tail

Premolars – teeth between molars and canines

Pure breed – a dog with parentage of same breeds

Ridge – Strip of hair which grows in the opposite direction to the main coat

Roan – Fine mix of white hairs alternating with coloured ones

Runt – Weakest, smallest puppy of litter (often the last born)

Sable – Black-tipped hairs over different colour main coat

Saddle – Coat of different texture or colour over the back

Self coloured – coat of one basic colour

Smooth haired – short, close-lying coat

Socks/stockings – white hair covering feet (socks) or leg (stockings)

Soft mouth – a gentle grip without “teething”

Spayed – neutering of a bitch (uterus & ovaries removed)

Spectacles – lighter, circular colouring around eyes of some breeds

Sternum – Central chest bone

Stop – depression between the eyes

Racy – a dog which is streamlined and elegant in appearance (e.g. Greyhound)

Tail – Bee sting tail – a strong, straight tail which tapers to a point

Bob tail – a dog born without a tail or one which has been docked close to the connection to the body.

Brush tail – long, thick erect hair on tail (e.g. Siberian Husky)

Carrot shaped tail – (e.g. Scottish terrier)

Cocked up tail – raised at right angles (e.g. Cocker spaniel)

Crank tail – the tail is arched out from the root then hangs down and angles out at the end

Curled tail – can be a single or double curl

Docked tail – surgical removal of end of tail (now illegal if not done by a vet)

Flagpole tail – long and carried erect (e.g. Beagle)

Gay tail – carried higher than horizontal

Hook tail – hangs down with an upward curl at the tip

Horizontal tail – (e.g. Bull Terrier)

Kinked tail – a tail with a sharp bend somewhere along it’s length

Low set tail – a tail which begins lower than the topline or from a sloping croup

Otter tail – strong, thick and tapering at tip

Plumed tail – long haired tail carried over the back (e.g. Pomeranian)

Pot hook tail – held over the back in an arc (e.g. Shih Tzu)

Rat tail – sparse or hairless tail (e.g. Irish Water Spaniel)

Ring tail – a long tail, all or part forming a ring

Sabre tail – carried upwards or downwards, it has a gentle curve

Scimitar tail – as the sabre tail but with a more pronounced curve

Screw tail – a short tail with a twist or spiral

Sickle tail – loosely carried over the back

Snap tail – carried over the back with the tip making contact

Squirrel tail – long and sharply angled forward but without making contact with the back

Stumpy tail – short

Sword tail – hanging straight down

Tapering tail – long, shorthaired and tapering at tip

Tufted tail – long or short with a plume or tuft at the end

Whip tail – pointed and carried out stiffly in line with back

Third eyelid – protective membrane at the inner corner of the eye which acts like a windscreen-wiper. Can be seen in sleeping dogs.

Top knot – Long hair on top of head

Tri coloured – Three coat colours together (black, tan & white)

Undercoat – Soft, thick shorter hair concealed by top coat.

Webbed feet – strong webbing between toes often found in breeds which retrieve from water

Wheaten – Fawn to pale yellow colour

Whelps – pups which are unweaned.

Wide front – wider than normal distance of chest between front legs

Wire haired – Crisp, harsh and wiry textured coat.