GLOSSARY - SMALL ANIMAL REPRODUCTION
- Aspermia is lack of ejaculation of any fluid or spermatozoa during manual
- Asthenozoospermia is abnormally low percentage of progressively motile (moving)
spermatozoa. Normal percentage progressive motility of canine spermatozoa
is 70% or greater.
- Azoospermia is ejaculation of seminal fluid containing no spermatozoa.
- Balanoposthitis is inflammation of the mucosa of the penis and prepuce.
It may occur secondary to allergies or may be due to direct infection.
- Benign prostatic hypertrophy
- Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) is an age-related increase in size of
the prostate which occurs in dogs and humans.
- Brucellosis is an infectious disease caused by the organism Brucella canis.
The organism is most commonly spread by ingestion from infected urine or tissues,
but may also be spread venereally. Screening tests are readily available.
Brucellosis is not curable in dogs.
- Corpus luteum (plural = corpora lutea; CL)
- The corpus luteum forms at the site of ovulation on the ovary, and produces
- Cryptorchidism is lack of descent of one or both testes into the scrotum.
Dogs are not definitively diagnosed as cryptorchid until they are 6 months
of age. Cryptorchidism is hereditary in dogs, and probably in cats.
- Spermatozoa that are to be preserved for shipment or freezing are maintained
in extenders, liquid media that provide nutrients, buffer the pH of the solution,and
protect the spermatozoa from cold shock.
- False pregnancy
- All dogs go through the hormonal changes of pregnancy after having gone
through heat, whether or not they were bred. Two months after heat, when hormone
levels fall, some dogs exhibit mothering behaviors and mammary development,
and may produce milk. This condition is a normal physiologic change in dogs
and is not associated with reproductive tract disease.
- Follicles are structures lined with hormone-producing cells on the ovary
that contain at least one egg. Development of the follicle, with subsequent
secretion of estrogen, causes characteristic signs of heat in dogs (vulvar
swelling, exudation of bloody vaginal discharge).
- Mammary hypertrophy
- This is a benign, hormone-dependent enlargement of the mammary glands in
- Mastitis is inflammation of the mammary glands. This usually is due to bacterial
infection and most commonly occurs during lactation after parturition.
- Metritis is inflammation of the uterus due to bacterial infection. This
most commonly occurs after whelping and is curable with appropriate antibiotic
- Neoplasia is cancer. Tumors can arise in all the reproductive organs of
the dog. The most common reproductive tract tumors seen are mammary (breast)
neoplasia and testicular neoplasia.
- Oligozoospermia is abnormally low total number of spermatozoa in an ejaculate.
Normal total number of spermatozoa in a canine ejaculate is 300 million to
- Orchitis is inflammation of the testes. Causes include trauma and infection;
brucellosis can be a cause of orchitis in dogs.
- Ovulation is release of eggs from the follicle(s) on the ovary into the
uterine tubes (oviducts) where they mature and are fertilized.
- Prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate. Bacterial infection of the
prostate occurs secondary to some other complaint, such as BPH or prostatic
- Pyometra is uterine infection overlying an age-related change of the uterine
lining (cystic endometrial hyperplasia). Ovariohysterectomy (spaying) is the
best treatment for pyometra.
- Queening is the name given to parturition (giving birth) in cats.
- Semen is composed of seminal fluid, which is excreted from the prostate
in dogs and from the prostate and bulbourethral glands in cats, and spermatozoa.
- Teratozoospermia is abnormally low percentage of normally shaped spermatozoa.
Normal percentage of normally shaped canine spermatozoa is 80% or greater.
- Theriogenology is derived from the Greek (therio = beast, gen = birth, ology
= study of). It is the term used to describe the specialty of veterinary reproduction.
- Vaginal prolapse
- This is benign, hormone-dependent enlargement of the vaginal lining, with
subsequent prolapse of the tissue through the vulvar lips, that occurs in
- Vaginitis is inflammation of the vagina. It can occur in dogs before puberty
(puppy or juvenile vaginitis); this condition usually resolves with increasing
age and may resolve if the dog is allowed to go through one heat cycle. Adult-onset
vaginitis most commonly occurs secondary to chronic urinary tract disease,
identified by analysis and culture of urine, or secondary to anatomical abnormalities
of the vagina, identified by investigation of the vagina by vaginoscopy or
- Whelping is the name given to parturition (giving birth) in dogs.
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