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Blog: What do those abbreviations mean? Medical Terminology  
Abbreviations Defined A-H

If you've ever tried to read your pet's medical report, you most likely encountered a veritable alphabet soup of abbreviations. What do all those letters mean? From A to Z, this article defines the abbreviations your veterinarian uses.


  •  Abc Or Abx – antibiotic(s)
  •  Abd – abdomen
  •  Ac – before meals
  •  ACT – activated clotting time
  •  ACTH – adrenocorticotropic hormone
  •  AD – right ear
  •  ADH – antidiuretic hormone, Vasopressin
  •  Ad Lib – as desired
  •  ADR – ain't doing right
  •  AF – atrial fibrillation
  •  AG – albumin/globulin ratio
  •  AI – artificial insemination
  •  AIHA – autoimmune hemolytic anemia
  •  Alb – albumin
  •  ALKP – alkaline phosphatase
  •  ALT – alanine aminotransferase
  •  ANS – autonomic nervous system
  •  AP – anterior posterior
  •  APC – atrial premature contraction
  •  ARF – acute renal failure
  •  AS – left ear/aortic stenosis
  •  AST – asparate aminotransferase
  •  ATE – aortic thromboembolism
  •  AU – both ears
  •  AV – atrioventricular
  •  Ba – barium
  •  BARH – bright, alert, responsive and hydrated
  •  BAR – bright alert and responsive
  •  BBB – blood brain barrier
  •  BDLD – big dog/little dog
  •  BID – twice per day
  •  BM – bowel movement
  •  BP – blood pressure
  •  BPH – benign prostatic hypertrophy
  •  BT – bleeding time
  •  BUN – blood urea nitrogen
  •  Bx – biopsy
  •  C. – with
  •  C – celsius
  •  C1, C2 – first cervical vertebra, second cervical vertebra
  •  Cal – calorie(s)
  •  Cap – capsule
  •  CBC – complete blood count
  •  CC – chief complaint/cubic centimeter
  •  CD – canine distemper
  •  Chem – profile, blood profile, chemistry, blood chemistry, diagnostic profile
  •  CHF – congestive heart failure
  •  CK – creatine kinase
  •  Cm – centimeter
  •  CNS – central nervous system
  •  CO – carbon monoxide
  •  CO2 – carbon dioxide
  •  Code/Code Blue – emergency help
  •  COPD – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  •  COR – care of remains
  •  CPCR – cardiopulmonary cerebral resuscitation
  •  CPK – creatine phosphokinase
  •  CPR – cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  •  CPV – canine parvovirus
  •  Creat – creatinine
  •  CRF – chronic renal failure
  •  CRI – constant rate infusion
  •  CSF – cerebrospinal fluid
  •  CSVD – coughing, sneezing, vomiting, diarrhea
  •  CT Scan – computed tomography
  •  CV – cardiovascular
  •  CVA – cerebral vascular accident
  •  CVI – cervical vertebral instability
  •  CVT – certified veterinary technician
  •  CXR – chest X-ray (radiograph)
  •  D – diarrhea
  •  D/C – discontinue
  •  DCM – dilated cardiomyopathy
  •  DDD – degenerative disc disease
  •  DDX – differential diagnosis
  •  Derm – dermatology
  •  DFW – dog fight wounds
  •  DI – diabetes insipidus
  •  DIC – disseminated intravascular coagulation
  •  Diff – differential count
  •  Dig – digoxin
  •  DJD – degenerative joint disease
  •  DLH – domestic longhaired cat
  •  DM – diabetes mellitus
  •  DMH – domestic medium haired cat
  •  DNA – deoxyribonucleic acid
  •  DPL – diagnostic peritoneal lavage
  •  DSH – domestic shorthaired cat
  •  Dx – diagnosis
  •  ECG or EKG – electrocardiogram
  •  EEG – electroencephalogram
  •  EENT – eyes, ears, nose and throat
  •  ELISA – enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
  •  EMG – electromyogram
  •  EOD – every other day
  •  Eos – eosinophil
  •  ED – every day
  •  EMD – electromechanical dissociation
  •  F – fahrenheit
  •  FA – fluorescent antibody
  •  FAD – flea allergy dermatitis
  •  FBS – fasting blood sugar
  •  FDA – Food And Drug Administration
  •  Fel – feline
  •  Felv – feline leukemia virus
  •  FHA – femoral head and neck osteotomy
  •  FIA – feline infectious anemia
  •  FIP – feline infectious peritonitis
  •  FIV – feline immunodeficiency virus
  •  Fl – fluid
  •  FLUTD – feline lower urinary tract disease
  •  FNA – fine needle aspirate
  •  FORL – feline odontoclastic resorptive lesion
  •  FSH – follicle-stimulating hormone
  •  FU – follow-up in reference to next lab procedure, re-evaluation, etc.
  •  FUS – feline urologic syndrome
  •  Fx – fracture
  •  G or Gm – gram
  •  Gal – gallon(s)
  •  GDV – gastic dilatation and volvulus
  •  GFR – glomerular filtration rate
  •  GH – growth hormone
  •  GI – gastrointestinal
  •  Glu – glucose
  •  Gr – grain
  •  GSD – German shepherd dog
  •  Gtt – drops
  •  H. – hour
  •  Hb – hemoglobin
  •  HBC – hit by car
  •  HCM – hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  •  HCT – hematocrit
  •  HD – hip dysplasia
  •  HDDST – high dose dexamethasone suppression test
  •  Hg – mercury
  •  HGE – hemorrhagic gastroenteritis
  •  H/L – heart and lungs
  •  HOD – hypertrophic osteodystrophy
  •  HR – heart rate
  •  Hs – bedtime
  •  HSA – hemangiosarcoma
  •  HW – heartworm
  •  Hx – history
  •  H2O2 – hydrogen peroxide

    Abreviations Defined I - Z


  •  ICU – intensive care unit
  •  IC – intracardiac
  •  ID – intradermal
  •  IFA – indirect fluorescent antibody
  •  Ig – immunoglobulin
  •  IM – intramuscular
  •  IMHA – immune-mediated hemolytic anemia
  •  Inj – injection
  •  IO – intraosseus
  •  IOP – intraocular pressure
  •  IP – intraperitoneal
  •  IPPV – intermittent positive pressure ventilation
  •  ITP – immune-mediated thrombocytopenia
  •  IU – international units
  •  IV – intravenous
  •  IVDD – intervertebral disk disease
  •  IVP – intravenous pyelogram
  •  K9 – canine
  •  K – potassium
  •  KBr – potassium bromide
  •  Kcal – kilocalorie(s)
  •  KCS – keratoconjunctivitis sicca
  •  Kg – kilogram(s)
  •  L – liter(s)
  •  L1, L2 – first, second lumbar vertebra
  •  LA – left atrium
  •  Lat – lateral
  •  Lb. – pound
  •  LDDST – low dose dexamethasone suppression test
  •  LH – luteinizing hormone
  •  LN – lymph node(s)
  •  LRS – lactated ringers solution
  •  LSA – lymphosarcoma
  •  LV – left ventricle
  •  LVT – licensed veterinary technician
  •  Lymphs – lymphocytes
  •  Mg – milligram
  •  MI – mitral insufficiency - in humans commonly used for myocardial infarction
  •  Ml – milliliter
  •  MM – mucous membranes
  •  MR – mitral regurgitation
  •  MRI – magnetic resonance imaging
  •  MS – musculoskeletal
  •  Na – sodium
  •  NAF – no abnormal findings
  •  NPO – nothing per os/no food or water by mouth
  •  NSA – normal sinus arrhythmia
  •  NSF – no significant findings
  •  NSR – normal sinus rhythm
  •  NSU – no significant change from last exam
  •  NVL – no visible lesions
  •  O – owner
  •  O2 – oxygen
  •  OD – right eye
  •  OES – old English sheepdog
  •  OFA – Orthopedic Foundation For Animals
  •  OHE – ovariohysterectomy
  •  OR – operating room
  •  OS – left eye
  •  OSI – owner stopped in
  •  OU – both eyes
  •  OV – office visit
  •  Oz – ounce
  •  Path – pathology
  •  P.C. – after meals
  •  PCFO – phone call from owner
  •  PCTO – phone call to owner
  •  PCV – packed cell volume
  •  PDA – patent ductus arteriosus
  •  PE – physical examination/pulmonary edema
  •  PEA – pulseless electrical activity (previously EMD)
  •  Pl Eff – pleural effusion
  •  PLN – peripheral lymph nodes
  •  Plt – platelet
  •  PO – per os/by mouth
  •  PPM – persistent papillary membrane
  •  PPMSH – past pertinent medical and surgical history
  •  PPN – partial parenteral nutrition
  •  PRAA – persistent right aortic arch
  •  PRBC – packed red blood cells
  •  PRN – as needed
  •  PT – prothrombin time
  •  PTH – parathyroid hormone
  •  PTT – partial thromboplastin time
  •  PU/PD – polyuric/polydypsic
  •  PVC – premature ventricular contraction
  •  Px – prognosis
  •  Q – every
  •  Q4h – every 4 hours
  •  QAR – quiet, alert, responsive
  •  QD – every day
  •  QID – four times daily
  •  QOD – every other day
  •  RA – right atrium
  •  R & A – resection and anastomosis
  •  RACL – ruptured anterior cruciate ligament
  •  RBC – red blood cell
  •  RDVM – referring veterinary colleague
  •  REM – rapid eye movement
  •  RMSF – Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  •  R/O – rule out
  •  RT – radiation therapy
  •  RV – right ventricle
  •  RVN – registered veterinary nurse
  •  RVT – registered veterinary technician
  •  Rx – prescription
  •  S. – without
  •  SA – sinus arrhythmia
  •  SC – subcutaneously
  •  SID – once per day
  •  SLE – systemic lupus erythamatosus
  •  Sig: – directions to patient
  •  SOAP – signalment, objective, assessment, plan
  •  SQ – subcutaneously
  •  Staph – staphylococcus
  •  Stat – immediately
  •  SX – surgery
  •  Sz – seizure
  •  T – temperature
  •  Tab – tablet
  •  Tbsp – tablespoon (15 ml)
  •  TID – three times per day
  •  Top – topically
  •  TP – total protein
  •  TPN – total parenteral nutrition
  •  TPR – temp, pulse, respiratory rate
  •  Tsp. – teaspoon (5 ml)
  •  Tx – treatment
  •  U – units/urine
  •  UA – urinalysis
  •  UGI – upper gastrointestinal
  •  URI – upper respiratory infection
  •  URV – upper respiratory virus
  •  US – ultrasound
  •  UTI – urinary tract infection
  •  UO – urinary obstruction
  •  V – vomiting
  •  VA – veterinary assistant
  •  VD – ventrodorsal
  •  V/D – vomiting/diarrhea
  •  VPC – ventricular premature contraction
  •  VWD – von Willebrand’s disease
  •  WBC – white blood cell
  •  WNL – within normal limits
  •  Wt – weight
  •  X-Ray – radiograph (C-X-ray = chest X-ray; Abd X-ray = abdominal X-ray)


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