Glossary of terms for pet insurance


Adrenal: small glands above the kidneys that produce hormones affecting the metabolism.

Alopecia: hair loss.

Anaemia: the reduction of the numbers or quality of the red blood cells.


    Bronchi: are the two large tubes (left and right) that carry air from your windpipe to your lungs.


      Canine parainfluenza virus: a highly contagious virus causing respiratory infections, commonly known as 'Kennel Cough'.

      Cat shampoo: don't use a human shampoo on your cat as it could irritate her skin. Look for a specific feline product instead.

      Cataract: the lens of the eye gradually becomes less transparent.

      Colitis: inflammation of the large intestine.

      Conjunctivitis: inflammation of the conjunctiva (the mucous membrane that covers the eyeball and the eyelids).

      Crate/Cage: a self-contained pet crate/cage with a wipe-clean base that can be used as a safe sleeping area for your puppy. Available through pet stores in various sizes to suit different size breeds. Can also be used to transport dogs safely in cars when travelling.

      Cyst: fluid filled sack-like pocket that can develop anywhere in the body. A sebaceous cyst appears on the surface of the skin as a result of a blocked sebaceous gland.


        Ecto-parasiticide: antiparasitic drug for treatment of external parasites (fleas, ticks).

        Electro-magnetic: relating to the interrelation of electric currents or fields and magnetic fields.

        Elizabethan collar: a plastic cone-shaped ruff worn around the neck that prevents nibbling or licking any part of the body or paws.

        Entire female: a pet that hasn't been spayed and is, therefore, capable of becoming pregnant.


          Gingivitis: gum disease characterised by reddened or bleeding gums at the base of the teeth.


            Haemoglobin: a substance in the red blood cells that carries the oxygen and gives the blood its red colour.

            Haemorrhage: bleeding, blood loss.

            Halti: a head collar for dogs that tend to pull on a normal lead.

            Harness: designed to fit around the dog's body and legs, attaching on the back and in between the shoulder-blades. Some harnesses are designed to stop a dog pulling harshly on their lead.

            Haunches: hind quarters/legs.

            Hock: the joint in the hind leg, situated under the knee (stifle) corresponding to the human ankle.

            Hypersensitivity: an exaggerated or abnormal reaction of the immune system allergens that normally would not cause a reaction.

            Hypoallergenic: relatively unlikely to cause an allergic reaction.


              Infectious canine hepatitis: a viral disease affecting the liver and other organs. Dogs can pass the virus in their urine.

              Inguinal: affecting the groin.

              Insecticides: chemical substances used for killing insects.


                Ketones: substances produced by the liver by breaking down fat.

                Kong: a cone-shaped, hard rubber toy which has spaces to insert treats.


                  Larynx: voice box.

                  Leptospirosis: infectious disease carried by rats. Humans can get infected from their pets (Zoonotic disease).


                    Metaldehyde: a form of insecticide used to kill slugs.

                    Microchip: a tiny device that's injected in the scruff of the neck and holds personal information about the pet permanently. This is a legal requirement for dogs.


                      Neutered: a cat or dog that's had an operation to make it infertile - stopping the ability to reproduce.

                      Neutering: an operation to remove a dog or cat's reproductive organs (testes, ovaries, uterus) - castration for males and spaying for females.


                        Ophthalmic: concerned with the eye and treatment of the disorders that affect it.

                        Otitis externa: inflammation of the outer ear canal.

                        Overbite: in a dog the teeth should mesh together when the animal bites. Overbite is when the jaw is shorter. Underbite is when the jaw is longer (common in the brachycephalic dogs).


                          Periodontal: concerning the structures that support the teeth.

                          Pharynx: throat.

                          Plaque: a rough, sticky coating on the teeth that consists of saliva, bacteria and food debris, usually found at the margins of teeth and gums.

                          Puppy crate: a self-contained pet crate/cage with a wipe-clean base that can be used as a safe sleeping area for your puppy.


                            Tartar: a hard, crust-like deposit found on the crowns and roots of teeth, formed when mineral salts from saliva are deposited in existing plaque.

                            Toxoplasmosis: a parasitic infection in cats that can be passed on via their faeces if left unwormed.

                            Training pad: an absorbent, waterproof-backed sheet that can be laid on the floor for your dog to urinate on and thrown away after use. Available through pet stores and some vets.


                              Umbilical: the navel.

                              Urethra: the tube that carries urine out of the body from the bladder.


                                Warfarin: used as rat poison, causes massive internal bleeding.

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