Golden Retreiver in the woods

Glossary of Terms

Alleles: The exact same or slightly different alternative forms of a gene, one inherited from each parent.

Autosomal Dominant Disease: When inheritance of only one mutant allele on any non-X or non-Y chromosome results in a disease

Bilateral: On both sides. Bilateral hip dysplasia is hip dysplasia which affects both hip sockets.

Cardiologist: A veterinarian with extensive training in cardiology. A cardiologist will have training and experience that will lead to inclusion in the American College of Veterinary Cardiologists.

D-ACVR: Diplomate—American College of Veterinary Radiologists. Diplomate status indicates further advanced training and experience in a specific field. In this case, the individual has completed training and has passed examinations to have diplomate status as a veterinary radiologist.

Degree of Luxation: Luxation is a term indicating that a joint is abnormally out of position. In a normal joint, the pieces that articulate (fit together) have a predefined way of fitting together. Luxated joints have not maintained this fit. Degree of luxation is the amount of change away from this normal position.

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid): The genetic material of living organisms, transmitted from generation to generation, which specifies the characteristics an offspring inherits from its parents.

DNA Profile: Also known as a DNA “fingerprint;” a composite of a set of approximately a dozen highly polymorphic genetic markers that characterizes the individual uniquely.

Dominant: When the presence of only one copy of a particular gene results in the inheritance of an observable trait or disease.

DVM: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. A graduate degree requiring 4 years of training in veterinary medicine. This training includes clinical skill development.

Genes: The biochemical sequences of DNA that constitute the functional units of heredity that are transmitted from generation to generation, and which are ultimately translated into proteins that carry out specific structural or enzymatic functions.

Genotype: An individual’s unique assortment of genes inherited from both parents. It is characterized by a marker or a banding pattern at a particular locus.

Heterozygous: Two genes in the same location that are unlike in action (Aa). Dominant traits may be expressed in the heterozygous state.

Homozygous: Two identical genes (a matched pair) in the same location for the same trait (AA).

Mendelian Inheritance: The pattern of gene inheritance originally described by Gregor Mendel; the inheritance of one copy of a gene (allele) from each parent by its offspring.

Monogenic: Coming from one (“mono”) gene pair.

MS: Master of Science. This degree indicates the individual has completed an advanced curriculum in a specific area of study. Most Master’s programs include course work and research.

Palpation: Manipulation of a joint.

Phenotype: The outward production of the genotype, combined with environmental influences.

Polygenic: Coming from more than one (“poly”) gene pair. These traits are more complex than the typical dominant or recessive genetic trait. The additive interaction of the genes can cause variable results and the gene can be easily passed on to other generations without being identified.

Recessive: Two identical alleles at a locus producing a particular characteristic, trait, or disease.

Specialist: A veterinarian with training in a given area that also includes postgraduate work in cardiology. For instance, and internal medicine specialist will also be trained in cardiology.

Spondylosis: Smooth new bone production between vertebral bodies at the intervertebral disc spaces. The new bone production can vary in extent from formation of small bone spurs to complete bridging of adjacent vertebral bodies. Spondylosis may occur secondary to spinal instability but often it is of unknown cause and clinically insignificant. A familial basis for its development has been reported.

Transitional Vertebrae: A congenital malformation of the spine that occur at the junctions of major divisions of the spine (usually between the thoracic and lumbar vertebral junction and the lumbar and sacral vertebral junction). Transitional vertebrae take on anatomic characteristics of both divisions of the spine it occurs between. The most common type of transitional vertebrae in dogs is in the lumbo-sacral area where the last lumbar vertebral body takes on anatomic characteristics of the sacrum.

Unilateral dysplasia: One side only. Dysplasia may be found in both hip joints (bilateral) or in one hip joint only (unilateral).