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see Association of American Feed Control Officials.

abrasion (dental)

excessive wear of the teeth due to contact with an external source.

absolute basis

the quantity of nutrient needed by an animal in a 24-hour period; usually expressed as grams per kilogram body weight.


the uptake of substrates into or across tissues.


a food with enough gustatory and sensory appeal to allow the animal to eat enough to maintain body weight.


loss of normal hair color.

acquired pellicle

an acellular organic, thin protein film deposited on tooth surfaces.

Action level

an FDA enforcement guideline that identifies the

level of a contaminant that the agency believes adulterates a food product.

activity product

the product of the chemical activities of two ionic materials, which is a mathematical expression used to estimate the degrees of saturation (that is undersaturation, supersaturation and oversaturation).

activity product ratio

an ex vivo test that quantitatively measures the propensity to form urinary precipitates by determining the relative supersaturation of a test urine sample before and after incubation with purified seed crystals.


1. a disease or clinical syndrome having a rapid onset, a short duration and pronounced clinical signs.

2. in toxicology, a single exposure or a continuous exposure that lasts less than 24 hours.

Acute disease

a disease having severe clinical signs and a course of 12 to 24 hours.

Acute pyotraumatic dermatitis

skin inflammation resulting from a dog or cat biting or scratching at a part of its body in an attempt to alleviate some painful stimulus or itch.

Also called acute moist dermatitis or hot spot.

Acute renal failure

abrupt and sustained inability of the kidneys to regulate water and solute balance with rapid deterioration of renal function resulting in azotemia.

ad libitum feeding

at pleasure or performed with freedom; refers usually to providing an animal unlimited access to food or water. Called also free-choice feeding.


substances purposely put into foods to give them

some desirable characteristic: color, flavor, texture, stability or resistance to spoilage.

adverse reaction to food

a clinically abnormal response to an ingested food or food additive.

advisory level

a non-binding FDA guideline designed to advise the industry as to the maximum level of a particular contaminant that the agency believes to be "safe."


requires air or free oxygen to live and grow.


the impedance to ventricular emptying; one determinant of cardiac output.


the progressive changes that occur after maturity in

various organs that lead to decreased ability of an organism to meet the demands of the environment.


the main mineralocorticoid secreted by the adrenal gland, the principal biologic activity of which is

regulation of electrolyte and water balance by promoting the retention of sodium (and, therefore, water) and the excretion of potassium.


absence of hair from skin where it normally is present

Alpha tocopherol

a source of vitamin E, which is an essential fat soluble vitamin with antioxidant properties

Alpha-linolenic acid

common name for an omega 3 (n-3, 18-carbon)

polyunsaturated fatty acid with three double bonds.

Chemically defined as all cis 9,12,15-octadecatrienoic acid

(18:3n-3). Abbreviated commonly as ALA.



the compact and cancellous bony structure

that surrounds and supports the teeth.

amino acid(s)

any organic compound containing an amino (-NH2) and a carboxyl (-COOH) group that serves as a building block for proteins.


a colorless alkaline gas, NH3, with a pungent odor and acrid taste, that is soluble in water. Ammonia is an end product of protein metabolism.

ammonium urate urolithiasis

formation of uroliths composed primarily of ammonium urate with resultant clinical signs.


the constructive phase of cellular metabolism in which simple molecules are assembled in stepwise reactions into more complex nutrient substances (carbohydrates, fats and proteins) by living cells.


able to live and grow in the complete lack of air or free oxygen.

anaerobic metabolism

metabolism that occurs in the absence of molecular oxygen.

anaerobic threshold

the workload at which anaerobic metabolism becomes an important part of energy production and lactate begins to accumulate in the blood.


the phase of the hair cycle during which hair is


anagen defluxion

sudden loss of hair due to an unusual

event (e.g., antimitotic drugs, infectious disease, metabolic disease) that interferes with anagen, resulting in abnormalities of the hair follicle and hair shaft.


a substance(s) undergoing analysis.


any of a family of polypeptide vasopressor hormones formed by the catalytic action of renin on angiotensinogen; angiotensin I is a relatively inactive precursor of angiotensin II; angiotensin II is a powerful vasopressor, a direct stimulator of sodium reabsorption and a stimulator of aldosterone release from the adrenal cortex.

angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)

a peptidase enzyme found chiefly in the lung that converts the decapeptide angiotensin I to the octapeptide angiotensin II.


lack or loss of appetite; with complete anorexia, the

patient eats nothing, whereas with partial anorexia, the

patient eats some food but less than that required to meet resting energy requirement.


the inability to smell.


a nutrient or non-nutrient substance that neutralizes

acid; usually an orally administered compound used

to safeguard gastrointestinal mucosa against damage by gastric acid.


attributing human-based perceptions to the pet's needs or preferences.


1. a nutrient or non-nutrient substance that either prevents formation of, or quenches, free radicals.

2. one of many synthetic or natural substances added to a food to prevent or delay its deterioration via oxidation by either combining with free radicals or by scavenging oxygen.


toward the root or apex of the tooth.

arachidonic acid

common name for an n-6 20-carbon polyunsaturated fatty acid with four double bonds from which prostaglandins, thromboxane and leukotrienes are derived; essential fatty acid for cats and some other species.

Chemically defined as all cis 5, 8, 11, 14-eicosatetraenoic acid (20:4n-6). Abbreviated commonly as AA.


an essential amino acid that is a key intermediate in

the urea cycle, which is the major metabolic pathway that detoxifies nitrogenous wastes, such as ammonia. Arginine is also involved in formation of nitric oxide in the body, which helps regulate blood flow.

arginine vasopressin (AVP)

a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland that has vasopressor activity and influences resorption of water by the kidney tubules resulting in concentration of urine. Called also antidiuretic hormone (ADH).

aromatic amino acid(s)

the amino acids tyrosine, phenylalanine and tryptophan, which are characterized structurally by having a benzene ring.

arthritis (osteoarthritis)

disorder of movable joints characterized by deterioration of articular cartilage, osteophyte formation and bone remodeling, changes in periarticular tissues and low-grade inflammation.


abnormal accumulation of serous fluid within the

peritoneal cavity, which may result in distention of the


as fed basis

concentration of a nutrient in the food as it is fed to the animal; the nutrient concentration is adjusted to include the water content of the food.

ascorbic acid

vitamin C, which is a water soluble vitamin with antioxidant properties


the incombustible inorganic residue remaining after

incineration; generally the mineral content of food.

aspic binder

made from carageenen or other gums creating

a jelly-like consistency.

Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO)

agency that develops official pet food regulations for the United States.


a genetic predisposition toward the development

of hypersensitivity (allergic) reactions against common

environmental antigens such as pollen, molds, house dust mites, etc.

atrial natriuretic peptide/factor (ANP/ANF)

a peptide hormone found in cardiomyocytes of the atria that is thought to play a role in the regulation of blood pressure and blood volume.

attrition (dental)

excessive wear of the teeth due to tooth to tooth contact during mastication.

Atwater values

theoretical gross energy values for protein (4 kcal/g), carbohydrate (4 kcal/g) and fat (9 kcal/g).

availability (bioavailability)

the degree to which a drug or nutrient becomes available to the target tissue after administration or consumption.


presence of abnormally high concentration of urea, creatinine and other nonprotein nitrogenous substances in the blood.


a rod-shaped bacterial cell.


see balanced food, ration or diet.

balanced food, ration or diet

1. one that provides an animal with the proper amounts and proportions of all the nutrients needed for a 24-hour period; avoids deficiencies and excesses.

2. all non-energy nutrients in the food are in proper concentration to the energy density of that food.

BARF (Bones and Raw Food)

a feeding program first popularized by Dr. Ian Billinghurst that stipulates that home prepared meals consisting  of 60-80% raw meaty bones are the most appropriate way to feed dogs.

basal energy requirement (BER)

the energy requirement for a normal animal in a thermoneutral environment, awake but with no movement (resting) and in a postabsorptive (fasting) state.

beet pulp

derived from sugar beets, this source of soluble and insoluble fiber helps to maintain a normal GI tract


the way in which an animal behaves or performs;

blend of inherited (species-specific) and learned components.


an antioxidant for dogs and cats. Also a vitamn A precursor for dogs.


an energy-yielding catabolism of fatty acids that occurs within the mitochondrial space.


see availability.


essential water soluble vitamin in the B complex group.


the series of chemical alterations of a compound (e.g., a drug) occurring within the body, as by enzymatic activity. Drug biotransformation may produce products that have effects different from those of the parent drug.

body condition score

an assessment of an animal's relative proportions of muscle and fat using both visual assessment and palpation, and comparing the animal under examination with a stereotyped animal on a chart.

body weight

an objective measure of the weight of an animal usually expressed as grams, kilograms, ounces or pounds.

bone remodeling

the process by which bone is restructured in response to physiologic cues. This process is controlled by hormonal, biomechanical and nutrient inputs and

achieved through osteoclastic resorption and osteoblastic formation of new bone.


skull type characterized as short and wide.

branched-chain amino acid(s)

the amino acids isoleucine, valine and leucine, which are characterized structurally as having an alkyl side chain, each with a methyl group branch.

brand name

the name by which products of a given company are identified; usually conveys the overall image of

a product.

bring-down/cooling leg

final phase of the canning process in which the cans are cooled with 18-25°C water prior to labeling.

bring-up leg

initial phase of the canning process in which the

cans are heated to temperatures of 80 to 100°C with hot water.


anatomic term referring to the tooth surface towards

the cheek.

bulk ingredients

ingredients that are delivered in large quantities, i.e., rail cars, truckloads and "supersacks."


an area of the principal display panel of a product label that is designed to highlight information or provide specific information in a visually impactful manner.


a short-chain fatty acid produced by digestion and catabolism of dietary fibers by gut microflora; important source of energy for colonocytes.


secondary products produced in addition to the principal product.


a profound and marked state of general ill health and malnutrition.


a peptide hormone produced in the C-cells of the

thyroid gland in response to increases in plasma calcium concentrations.

calcium oxalate urolithiasis

formation of uroliths composed primarily of calcium and oxalate with resultant clinical signs.

calcium phosphate urolithiasis

formation of uroliths composed primarily of calcium and phosphate with resultant clinical signs.

calculolytic food

a food that when fed produces undersaturation of urine with calculogenic minerals such that uroliths are dissolved.

calculus (tartar)

mineralized plaque that forms a hard shell on tooth surfaces.

caloric density

energy per unit weight of food; usually expressed as kcal or kJ of metabolizable energy per gram of food or gram of food dry matter.

Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA)

the organization that represents the veterinary profession in Canada.

cancer cachexia

severe malnutrition and body wasting that occurs in patients with cancer.

canine behavior profiles

typical behavior characteristics of purebred dogs that can be used to select a dog breed that suits an owner's environment, lifestyle and preferences.

canine hip dysplasia

an abnormal development of the hip joint manifested by varying degrees of laxity of surrounding soft tissues, instability of the joint and malformation of the femoral head and acetabulum with osteoarthritis.

Canine Nutrition Expert (CNE) subcommittee

a group of canine nutrition experts organized by AAFCO to develop nutrient profile guidelines for commercial dog foods.


a process of preserving high moisture food products.

Metal cans are filled, sealed and cooked at high

temperatures for the amount of time necessary to achieve commercial sterility.


an aldehyde or ketone derivative of a polyhydric

alcohol; so named because the hydrogen and oxygen

are usually in proportion to form water (CH2O)n. The most important carbohydrates are starches, sugars, celluloses and gums.

carbohydrate threshold

the workload at which carbohydrate becomes a major energy substrate (30 to 50% V•O2 max), but energy metabolism is still completely aerobic.

cardiac cachexia

severe body wasting that occurs with chronic heart failure.

cardiac glycosides

a group of compounds occurring in certain plants (e.g., digitalis) having a characteristic action on the contractile force and electrical activity of the heart.

cardiac output

the volume of blood pumped by the left ventricle per unit of time; usually expressed as liters (milliliters) per minute.

caries (dental)

demineralization of tooth enamel with subsequent

destruction of organic materials caused by the action of microorganisms on carbohydrates.


a water-soluble, vitamin-like quaternary amine found in high concentrations in mammalian cardiac and skeletal muscle.


any animal that eats primarily animal flesh.


any of a class of naturally occurring yellow to red pigments, including the carotenes and the xanthophyls, found in many fruits, vegetables and flowers; a main dietary source of vitamin A


An edible substance extracted from red algae, used as a thickener in foods, cosmetics and other products


the decaying flesh of a body.


the destructive phase of cellular metabolism in which complex nutrient substances (carbohydrates, fats and proteins) are degraded in stepwise reactions into simpler, smaller end products by living cells.


the brief portion of the hair cycle in which hair growth (anagen) stops and resting (telogen) begins.

Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM)

the section of the Food and Drug Administration charged with the primary responsibility for ensuring the safety of animal feeds and animal drugs used in the United States.

central proteins

visceral proteins of which there are two types: constitutive such as albumin and transferrin, and acute-phase reactants such as globulins and ferritin.

cervical (dental)

at the neck of the tooth, the cementoenamel junction.


inflammation of the biliary ducts and liver.


inflammation of the biliary ducts, especially the

intrahepatic ducts.


vitamin D3, a fat-soluble vitamin; the form of vitamin D produced de novo in animals by ultraviolet activation of 7-dehydrocholesterol.


inflammation of the gallbladder.


the presence or formaton of gallstones.


an agent that stimulates bile production by the liver.


stoppage or suppression of bile flow, due to intrahepatic or extrahepatic causes.


a steroid alcohol in animal fats and oils, found in

bile, brain tissue, milk, egg yolk, myelin sheaths of nerve fibers, the liver, kidneys and adrenal glands.


a mature cartilage cell embedded in a lacuna within the cartilage matrix.


1. a disease or clinical syndrome having a long duration.

2. in toxicology, a continuous exposure that exceeds

24 hours.

chronic disease

a disease persisting for a long time, the

period is undefined and varies with circumstances; usually more than one week. Also, a long-standing disease with little or slow progression.

chronic interstitial nephritis

renal lesions characterized by mononuclear cell infiltration of the interstitium, loss of tubules, cortical and medullary fibrosis, tubular and glomerular atrophy or sclerosis and decreased renal function.

chronic progressive

renal failure after a critical point is reached, a common pathway for progressive renal damage is activated, which relentlessly and irrepressibly impairs renal function, regardless of underlying cause.

chronic renal failure

abnormal state that results from extensive irreversible reduction in the number of functional nephrons.


liver disease characterized pathologically by loss of

normal microscopic lobular architecture with fibrosis and nodular regeneration.

citric acid

antioxidant that preserves the quality of the product by helping prevent fat from becoming rancid (synthetic form of Vitamin C)

closed registry

databank of animal phenotypic information; an example is a registry to certify individual animals as free of radiographic evidence of hip dysplasia.

clostridium botulinum

rod-shaped, thermophilic, sporeforming, anaerobic bacterium that produce a potent neuroparalytic exotoxin responsible for botulism.


vitamin B 12, an essential water soluble vitamin for normal metabolism


an organic nonprotein molecule, frequently a

derivative of a water-soluble vitamin, that is required by

certain enzymes to produce their reactions.


a substance or compound with which another must

unite in order to function.

Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome

the age related deterioration of cognitive abilities characterized by behaviorial changes in dogs that cannot be wholly attributed to general medical conditions.


inflammation of the colon.

colloid solution

a solution containing particles larger than crystalloid molecules that resists diffusion; the particles are dispersed but not large enough to settle out by gravity.


the thick, milky fluid secreted by the mammary gland for several days before and after parturition.

Colostrum contains antibodies and contributes to passive immunity.

commercial sterility

the point at which processed canned foods are completely free of pathogenic microorganisms of public health significance.


1. the procedure for weighing and blending

all of the ingredients in a recipe or formula in preparation for extrusion or retort cooking.

2. mixing two or more parenteral nutrient solutions into one bag.

compound urolith(s)

urolith with a nucleus composed of one mineral type and a shell of a different mineral type.

conditionally essential nutrient

a nonessential nutrient that becomes an essential nutrient when certain physiologic and pathophysiologic conditions result in relative deficiency.

Confédération des Industries Agro-Alimentaires de l' UE


trade association for manufacturers of human

foods and drinks in Europe.

congenital defects

abnormalities of structure or function that are present at birth.

congenital renal disease

renal disease present at birth that may be genetically determined or may result from exposure to adverse environmental factors during development.

congestive heart failure

the form of heart failure characterized by pulmonary and/or systemic venous congestion associated with sodium chloride and water retention.


infrequent or difficult evacuation of feces.


an agent that contaminates.


the addition of an agent (contaminant) that makes a food unfit for consumption.


a device that serves the dual function of mixing raw ingredients together while beginning the cooking process; usually used in manufacture of commercial moist foods.

copper-associated hepatotoxicosis

chronic liver disease associated with abnormal, excessive copper accumulation; autosomal recessive trait in Bedlington terrier dogs.

copper chelating agents

agents that bind to copper and increase its excretion in urine; D-penicillamine and trientine are examples.


ingestion of feces.

corn gluten meal

a source of protein; it is the remainder fo corn after removal of corn starch and bran.

corn meal

ingredient providing carbohydrate (for energy), some protein, essential fatty acids, beta carotene, and vitamin E.

coronal (dental)

toward the tooth crown.

cor pulmonale

right ventricular enlargement due to pulmonary

hypertension secondary to disease of pulmonary

blood vessels.


pertaining to the gingival crevice or sulcus; e.g.,

crevicular fluid.

cricopharyngeal achalasia

motor dysfunction of the cricopharyngeal sphincter in which a failure of relaxation prevents the food bolus from entering the esophagus during swallowing.

cruciferous plant

any plant of the family Cruciferae such as mustard, cress, broccoli, cauliflower, rape, kale, chou moellier or canola.

crude fat

method of expressing fat as determined by a specific

analytical procedure that estimates the lipid content

of a food using an ether extraction technique.

crude fiber

method of expressing fiber as determined by a

specific analytical procedure that represents the organic residue that remains after plant material has been treated with dilute acid and alkali solutions; this technique usually underestimates the level of true dietary fiber in the product because crude fiber primarily consists of hemicellulose and cellulose but fails to include pectins and gums.

crude protein

method of expressing protein resulting as determined by a specific analytical procedure that estimates protein content by measuring nitrogen.


a layer of solid matter that forms when dried exudate,

serum, pus, blood, cells, scales or medications adhere to the skin surface.


a naturally produced angular solid of definite form

with systematically arranged units, usually evenly spaced on a lattice.


the formation of crystals; conversion to a crystalline form.

crystallization inhibitors

substances found in urine that inhibit mineral crystallization or aggregation.

crystallization promoters

substances found in urine that promote mineral crystallization or aggregation.

crystalloid solution

a solution that contains particles smaller than colloid molecules and passes readily through animal membranes.

crystalluria microscopic stones (microliths)

formed as a result of precipitation of minerals and other metabolites in urine.

CVMA Pet Food Certification Program

a program of pet food certification in Canada developed and administered by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association.

cyclooxygenase pathway

cellular pathway in which arachidonic acid is converted to prostaglandins and thromboxanes.

cystine urolithiasis

formation of uroliths composed primarily of cystine with resultant clinical signs.


excretion of excessive amounts of the nonessential

amino acid cystine in urine. Possibly associated with

excretion of other amino acids in urine.


inflammation of the urinary bladder.


puncture of the urinary bladder for the purpose of obtaining an uncontaminated urine sample.


compound synthesized by activated cells of the

immune system that enhances the proliferation and differentiation of other cells in the immune system in response to immune stimulation.

cytoprotective agents

substances that guard against cellular damage; usually an orally administered, non-absorbable compound used to safeguard gastrointestinal mucosa.

daily energy requirement (DER)

the total daily energy requirement of an animal; normally calculated by multiplying resting energy requirement by a factor that represents age, neuter status, activity, reproductive status, etc.


1. a lack or defect.

2. a range of nutrient concentrations at which physiologic function is consistently and reproducibly impaired.

degenerative joint disease

diarthroidal joint disorders characterized by progressive deterioration of articular cartilage; osteoarthrosis, osteoarthritis or secondary joint  disease.

dental substrate

material that accumulates on the tooth surface such as pellicle, plaque, calculus and materia alba.


the layer of the skin underlying the epidermis.


terminology appearing on the principal display panel of a pet food label that clearly identifies the food for animal consumption ("dog food" or "for cats"). Called also the statement of intent.

developmental orthopedic disease

bone and joint disease caused by alterations in endochondral ossification during growth and differentiation of bone and supporting soft tissues.


dual energy x-ray absorptiometry, commonly used to measure bone density


see docosahexanoic acid

diabetes insipidus

central diabetes insipidus is a metabolic disorder attributable to deficient quantities of antidiuretic hormone (ADH, vasopressin) released or produced resulting in failure of tubular reabsorption of water in the kidney; marked polydipsia and polyuria are clinical signs.

diabetes mellitus

a broadly applied term used to denote several clinical syndromes that have in common an alteration in the cellular transport and metabolism of glucose.


abnormal increase in the frequency, fluidity or volume of feces resulting from excessive fecal water content.


the space or cleft in the dental arch between the incisors and canines and cheek teeth. Called also interdental space. A large diastema is characteristic of rodents.

dietary history

in a clinical examination, the collection and recording of facts about the foods, water, snacks and treats fed to an animal and the feeding methods employed.

dietary indiscretion

adverse reactions resulting from such behaviors as gluttony, pica or ingestion of indigestible material.

dietetic pet food

the official term in Europe that describes those pet foods sold by veterinarians for management or prevention of specific diseases.


1. the physiologic process of converting food into

chemical substances that can be absorbed and assimilated.

2. a generic term for a class of flavor enhancers. Meat or

poultry tissue/organs are "digested" with acids or enzymes that breakdown protein and/or fats creating new compounds.

Digests can be either liquid or dry forms.


the percentage of the food's gross nutrient content

released following mechanical and chemical digestive processes. Digestibility is influenced by both food characteristics and the digestive efficiency of the host.

digestible energy (DE)

the energy remaining after the energy lost in feces is subtracted from gross energy.

digestible protein

the protein remaining after the protein lost in feces is subtracted from protein in food.

dihomogammalinolenic acid

common name for an n-6

20-carbon polyunsaturated fatty acid with three double

bonds. Chemically defined as all cis 8,11,14-icosatrienoic acid (20:3n-6). Abbreviated commonly as DGLA.


having two dentitions, a deciduous and a permanent.

docosahexaenoic acid

docosahexaenoic acid common name for an n-3 22-carbon polyunsaturated fatty acid with six double bonds.

Chemically defined as all cis 4,7,10,13,16,19-docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3). Abbreviated commonly as DHA

drug absorption

the act of taking up drugs by the body by specific chemical or molecular action.

drug conjugation

the joining of a drug with a natural substance of the body to form a product for elimination from the body.

drug distribution

the process by which a drug is delivered to tissues distant from the site of absorption.

drug efficacy

the ability of a drug to produce its intended effects.

drug metabolism

the process by which a drug is chemically altered by the body's tissues following absorption and distribution.

drug toxicity

the ability of a drug to produce undesirable or deleterious effects.


a large machine built for the purpose of removing

moisture from pet food kibbles with dry heated air during


dry matter

food residue after it has been heated to a constant

weight and all of the moisture in the sample has been


dry matter basis

expression of nutrient content of food or the  requirements of an animal on a moisture-free basis.

dry matter, energy basis

defined expression of the nutrient content of a food on a moisture-free basis at a defined caloric concentration.

dry mix

the combination of all dry ingredients that make up a recipe or formula.


see exercise duration.


difficult or painful defecation.


painful or difficult urination.

eating behavior

behavior exhibited when eating food.


the regulation of body temperature by the external

environment rather than by internal metabolism, with

thermoregulation accomplished by behavioral means; i.e., the animal seeks an appropriate environmental temperature.

EFA-responsive dermatoses

a variety of skin diseases that are not due to essential fatty acid (EFA) deficiency but seem to respond to high levels of dietary essential fatty acids.


a family of compounds derived from arachidonic acid (e.g., prostaglandins, leukotrienes, thromboxanes and lipoxins) that have various metabolic functions

in animals.

eicosapentaenoic acid

common name for an n-3 20-carbon polyunsaturated fatty acid with five double bonds. Chemically defined as all cis 5,8,11,14,17-eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n-3). Abbreviated commonly as EPA.

elemental liquid food

see monomeric liquid food.


an idiopathic degenerative disease of the

atrioventricular (AV) valves that leads to valvular insufficiency.

Also called chronic acquired degenerative valvular disease.


visual inspection of any cavity of the body by means of an endoscope.


thermoregulation accomplished by internal heat production.


a toxic substance (usually cell wall material of

gram-negative bacteria) that is released following disruption of the cell.

endurance exercise

exercise that is long in duration, usually several hours, and relies primarily on aerobic metabolism.


the ability to do work; all activities of the body require energy and all needs are met by the consumption of food containing energy in chemical form.

energy basis

concentration of a nutrient in food expressed per unit of energy, usually per 100 kcal or 1 megajoule of metabolizable energy.

energy density

see caloric density.


backward displacement of the eye into the orbit.


the process of coating commercial dry pet food with either liquids or powders; e.g., fat and flavor enhancers.


rotating drum-like device that evenly coats dry pet foods.

enteral feeding

use of the upper alimentary tract (mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine) as a route for assisted feeding of patients.

enterohepatic cycling

the process by which a substance, either native or foreign to the body, undergoes recirculation between the intestine and liver, via the portal venous system and biliary tract.


a condition characterized by toxins in the blood produced in the intestines.


a bacterial toxin that has specificity for intestinal cells.


any protein that acts as a catalyst  increasing the rate at which a chemical reaction occurs.


see eicosapentanoic acid


the outermost and avascular layer of the skin.


a hormone produced by the adrenal gland that

aids in the regulation of the sympathetic nervous branch of the autonomic nervous system; powerful vasopressor that increases heart rate and cardiac output, increases glycogenolysis and release of glucose from the liver.

essential amino acid(s)

amino acid(s) required for protein synthesis

that cannot be synthesized by animals and must be

obtained in the food; arginine, histadine, isoleucine, leucine,

lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan,

valine, taurine (cats).

essential fatty acid(s) (EFA)

polyunsaturated, long-chain fatty acid(s) necessary for normal body function that cannot be synthesized de novo by mammals and must be obtained from the food.


highly effective synthetic antioxidant approved for use in pet foods.

European Commission (EC)

the main legislative body of the European Union; makes proposals for directives and legislation, and monitors the application of treaties and decrees.

European Economic Community (EEC)

an economic association first established in 1958 to abolish barriers to free trade among member nations and adopt common import duties on goods from other countries. The name of the EEC was changed to Economic Community (EC) with the Treaty of Maastricht in 1992.

European Union (EU)

same as the Economic Community (see European Economic Community). The EU currently includes 15 countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.


performance of physical activity characterized by

muscle contraction and energy expenditure.

exercise duration

the length of time of exercise. Exercise duration and intensity dictate caloric requirement and preferred substrate type.

exercise energy requirement (EER)

energy expended for muscular activity.

exercise frequency

how often exercise is performed; i.e., times per day or week.

exercise intensity

the amount of work done (or energy used) per unit time, often expressed as a percentage of V•O2 max. Low intensity is up to 30% V•O2 max; high intensity is >75% V•O2 max.

exercise training

consistent performance of some type of exercise with the purpose of producing a measurable effect on body systems used in that type of exercise. Intensity, duration and frequency must be great enough to produce a measurable effect on the systems being trained.

exocrine pancreatic insufficiency

inability of the pancreas to produce and secrete adequate amounts of digestive

enzymes resulting in maldigestion, steatorrhea, weight

loss and an unthrifty appearance.


a toxic substance formed by certain species of bacteria

and found outside the bacterial cell.


an actual or suspected contact with an organism or substance.


dough-like material cooked in an extruder under pressure and heat before forming and cutting. Cutting the strands of extrudate into short pieces as they exit the extruder forms kibbles.


primary cooking/forming machine in the manufacture

of dry and semi-moist pet foods and snacks. The extruder is made up of a cylindrical multi-segmented barrel that contains the screw(s) and shaping die.

facial (dental)

anatomic term referring to the tooth surface towards the lip or cheek; subdivided into labial and buccal surfaces.

familial nephropathy

renal disease that occurs in related animals with a higher frequency than would be expected by chance.


1. the adipose or fatty tissue of the body.

2. neutral fat; a triacylglyceride that contains three fatty acids attached to glycerol by an ester linkage.

fatty acid(s)

any straight-chain monocarboxylic acid, especially

those occurring in fats; generally classified as saturated

fatty acids, those with no double bonds; monounsaturated fatty acids, those with one double bond; and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), those with multiple

double bonds.

Fédération Européenne de l'Industrie des Aliments pour

Aminaux Familiers (FEDIAF)

trade association representing the pet food industry in Europe.

feeding behavior

behavior exhibited when obtaining or eating food.

feeding method

how foods are fed to an animal including the feeding route, amount fed and how the food is offered (when, where, by whom and how often).

feeding stuffs

A European regulatory term used to describe all animal feeds for feed ingredients.

feeding trial

a timed, variable-controlled period of food intake that measures a characteristic or biologic effect of the food.

feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD)

disease in cats recognized by hematuria, dysuria, pollakiuria and/or urethral obstruction; these signs may result from a variety of etiologies such as infection, urolithiasis, neoplasia, neurogenic disorders, inflammatory conditions and anatomic defects.

Feline Nutrition Expert (FNE) subcommittee

a group of feline nutrition experts organized by AAFCO to develop nutrient profiles for commercial cat foods.

feline urologic syndrome (FUS)

a historical term used to describe the clinical state that accompanies lower urinary tract disease in cats.


the anaerobic enzymatic conversion of organic

compounds, especially carbohydrates, to simpler compounds such as volatile fatty acids. An essential part of the digestion that occurs in the colon and cecum.


that portion of ingested foodstuffs that cannot be

broken down by intestinal enzymes of mammals and,

therefore, passes through the small intestine undigested. It is composed of cellulose, hemicellulose, gums, pectin and other undigestible carbohydrates.


accumulation of extracellular collagen and connective



a high-speed machine used in the canning process

to fill and seal cans.


very small particles of dry pet foods found at the bottom

of the container (e.g., bag).


an ingestive behavior requiring highly palatable food offerings or frequent flavor changes for adequate acceptability and food consumption.


an area of the principal display panel on a pet food label

that is designed to highlight information or provide specific information in a visually impactful manner.


excessive formation of gases in the stomach or intestine; flatus is gas expelled through the anus.


any of a large group of plant substances that includes the flavones, flavanols, flavonols, flavanones, isoflavonoids, bioflavanoids, anthocyanidins, and proanthocyanidins; they are potent antioxidants.


a conjugated protein containing a flavin nucleotide.

flavor rotation

a feeding practice consisting of frequent changes of flavors or varieties to increase consumption.

folic acid

an essential water soluble vitamin.

food addiction

an extension of the term finicky in which all foods and flavors except one have become unacceptable.

food additive

a substance purposely incorporated in food to provide desirable characteristics, including color, flavor, texture, stability or resistance to spoilage.

food allergy

an acute or chronic adverse food reaction due to an immunologic reaction resulting from ingestion of a food or food additive. Called also food hypersensitivity.

food anaphylaxis

a classic, acute allergic (hypersensitivity) reaction to food or food additives with systemic consequences such as respiratory distress, vascular collapse and urticaria.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

the federal government body with primary responsibility for regulating foods, food additives, drugs and cosmetics in the United States.

food dosage

the amount of a given food required by an animal to meet its nutritional requirements.

food idiosyncrasy

an abnormal response that resembles food allergy, but does not involve immune mechanisms; a type of food intolerance.

food intolerance

a non-immunologic, abnormal physiologic response to a food or food additive.

food poisoning

an adverse effect caused by the direct action of a food or food additive on the host without the involvement of immune mechanisms. Called also food toxicosis.

food-restricted meal feeding

a method of feeding animals whereby a specific amount of food is fed at specific intervals throughout the day.

free-choice feeding

unlimited access to food throughout the day. Called also ad libitum feeding.

free radical

a group of atoms or a molecule that is extremely reactive, carries any unpaired electron, and has a very short half-life.


see exercise frequency.


non-digestible, soluble fiber carbohydrate that supoorts the growth of beneficial bacteria. Also abbreviated FOS.

furcation (dental)

the normal anatomic space where a tooth root or roots join the tooth crown.

futile cycling

two opposing reactions, using different enzymatic processes, that when summed result in the net hydrolysis of ATP, loss of energy as heat and no net change of substrate.

Future Directions for Veterinary Medicine

report issued in 1989 by the Pew National Veterinary Education Program that identified emerging trends in veterinary medicine and veterinary education in the United States.

GALT (gut-associated lymphoid tissue)

lymphoid tissue associated with the gut including the tonsils, Peyer's patches, and lamina propria of the gastrointestinal tract.

gamma-linolenic acid

common name for an n-6 18-carbon polyunsaturated fatty acid with three double bonds. Chemically defined as all cis 6,9,12-octadecatrienoic acid (18:3n-6). Abbreviated commonly as GLA.

gastric dilatation-volvulus

a syndrome of gastric dilatation leading to volvulus seen most often in deep-chested, large- and giant-breed dogs; usually fatal unless recognized and treated early. Called also bloat.

gastric stasis

reduced stomach motility leading to retention of gastric contents.

gastroesophageal junction

anatomic region where the esophagus enters the stomach; lower esophageal sphincter is the functional term used for this region.


cooking of starch by rupturing the starch granules under conditions of moisture and heat.

generic pet food

non-branded pet foods emphasizing "lowest cost."

geriatric cats

cats 12 years old and older that typically have outward signs of aging.

geriatric dogs

dogs nine to 12 years old or older, depending on breed, that typically have outward signs of aging.


the branch of medicine dealing with the problems of aging and diseases of older animals.


the period of development of the young in viviparous animals from the time of ovum fertilization to birth.

giant-breed dogs

dogs with adult body weights in excess of 50 kg.


the portion of the oral mucosa that covers the alveolar processes and the cervical portions of the teeth.

Subdivided into the attached and free gingiva.

gingival margin

the coronal rim of the free gingival tissue.

gingival recession

loss of gingiva resulting in loss of gingival attachment.

gingival sulcus

the normal space between the free gingival margin and the tooth.


inflammation of the gingivae or gum tissue.


a glutamine- and proline-rich polypeptide found in some cereal flours and thought to contain a toxic factor responsible for causing gluten-sensitive enteropathy in susceptible people (celiac disease) and dogs.

glomerular capillary hypertension

critical intraglomerular hemodynamic factor responsible for promoting glomerular injury.

glomerular hyperfiltration

reducing renal mass increases single nephron glomerular filtration rate (SNGFR) in surviving nephrons. Increased SNGFR is accompanied by intraglomerular hemodynamic changes that increase flux of plasma proteins through the mesangium. The presence of these proteins stimulates mesangial cell proliferation and matrix production and eventually leads to glomerulosclerosis.


raised network of blood vessels visible during cystoscopic examination of human patients with interstitial cystitis.


any disease of the renal glomeruli.


a polypeptide hormone secreted by the pancreas

(alpha cells of the islets) in response to hypoglycemia or to stimulation by growth hormone. It increases blood glucose concentration by stimulating glycogenolysis in the liver.


any corticoid substance (hormone of the adrenal cortex or other natural or synthetic compound with similar activity) that increases gluconeogenesis, raising the concentration of liver glycogen and blood glucose; examples include cortisol, cortisone and corticosterone.


an enzyme that in the presence of ATP catalyzes

glucose to glucose-6-phosphate; similar to hexokinase but active at much higher glucose concentrations.


nutrients produced by the chondrocytes that make up the protective lubricating synovial fluid.

glucose intolerance

the impaired cellular uptake or metabolism of glucose caused by certain metabolic or receptor abnormalities; may lead to delayed glucose disappearance, hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia or abnormal patterns of insulin secretion in response to a glucose load.


a five-carbon amino acid that plays a key metabolic role in the citric acid cycle, transamination reactions, the antioxidant glutathione and as a folic acid cofactor.

Glutamine is a conditionally essential nutrient.


the protein of wheat, barley and other cereal grains,

which gives dough its tough elastic character; gluten is a

mixture of gliadin and glutenin.


a nonessential amino acid postulated to be a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system.


a class of compounds consisting of a protein conjugated to a carbohydrate.


removal of the testes or ovaries.


a disorder of uric acid metabolism characterized by

hyperuricemia and deposition of urates in and around the


grease out

migration of fat through the inner liner of the package leaving a grease stain on the outside of the package.

grocery pet food

nationally or regionally branded pet foods emphasizing palatability and available for purchase in grocery outlets.

gross energy (GE)

the total potential energy of a foodstuff determined by measuring the total heat produced when the food is burned in a bomb calorimeter.

growing cats

young cats less than 10 to 12 months old that are in the active stage of growth and maturation.

growing dogs

young dogs less than 14 months old that are in the active stage of growth or maturation.

growth hormone

a peptide secreted by the pituitary gland that directly influences protein, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, and controls the rate of skeletal and visceral growth.

guaranteed analysis

that portion of the pet food label that lists or guarantees certain minimum or maximum levels of nutrients.

guar gum

soluble gum used as a stabilizer, emulsifier and thickener to provide texture and consistency to the product.


the sense of taste.

hair cycle

the cycle of events associated with hair growth, which consists of a growing period (anagen), a resting period (telogen) and a transitional period (catagen) between these two stages.


oral malodor, foul breath.


the air space between the product and package in moist or dry pet foods.

health maintenance

see wellness.

heart disease

numerous anatomic and physiologic abnormalities of the heart or great vessels that may or may not become clinically significant.

heart failure

the set of extracardiac signs resulting from the inability of the heart to deliver enough blood to the peripheral tissues to meet metabolic demands of the body for nutrients.

heat labile

destroyed by temperatures achieved by normal cooking.


the branch of psychology that deals with pleasurable

and unpleasurable experiences.


vomiting of blood.


fresh blood adherent to feces.


blood in urine.


severe abnormal accumulation of iron in hepatic parenchymal cells and other organs of certain birds (mynahs, hornbills, birds of paradise) resulting in anorexia, weight loss, hepatomegaly, ascites, dyspnea and sudden death.

hepatic encephalopathy

the complex neurologic and behavior disturbances that may occur with either congenital portacaval vascular shunts or advanced acquired liver disease.

hepatic lipidosis

abnormal accumulation of lipids in the liver.


inflammation of the liver.


a liver cell.


any disease of the liver.


any animal that eats primarily plants and plant products.

herbivorous reptiles

those members of the class Reptilia that eat primarily foodstuffs from plants.


animals with a wide range of body temperatures that reflect environmental temperatures.


an enzyme that catalyzes the transfer of a high energy

phosphate group of ATP to a hexose sugar, usually

D-glucose, producing D-glucose-6-phosphate.

hindgut fermenter

those animals that digest and assimilate their food primarily through fermentation in the cecum and large intestine.


a tendency to stability in the normal body states (internal environment) of the organism.


a substance that adds or retains moisture; e.g., propylene glycol, high fructose corn syrup and glycerine.


1. a craving for food.

2. a localized subjective sensation, assumed to occur in animals, caused by emptiness and a resulting hypermotility of the stomach.


strong affinity for water.


a material that has a high affinity to absorb moisture.


a metabolic disorder marked by elevated concentrations of ammonia or ammonium ions in blood.


excessive secretion of calcitonin and the resultant changes. Hypercalcitoninism may contribute to the pathophysiology of developmental orthopedic disease in some dogs.


excretion of excessive amounts of calcium in urine.


elevated concentrations of blood glucose.


persistently elevated levels of blood insulin.


excessive development of epidermal keratin.


increased thickness of the stratum corneum (horny layer of the skin).


elevated concentrations of blood lactate; this  phenomenon occurs in many patients with cancer because of altered carbohydrate metabolism.


a general term for elevated concentrations of any or all lipids in the blood.


excretion of excessive amounts of urinary oxalates.


abnormally increased activity of the parathyroid gland with excessive secretion of parathyroid hormone (parathormone), which may be primary or secondary. Secondary nutritional hyperparathyroidism is usually due to inadequate calcium intake.

hyperplasia (skin)

increased thickness of the noncornified epidermis due to increased numbers of epidermal cells.

hypertension (systemic)

sustained abnormally high blood pressure that may be associated with end organ changes, such as retinal hemorrhage.

hypervitaminosis A

a condition produced by ingestion or injection of excessive amounts of vitamin A; most commonly observed in cats and reptiles.


an abnormally decreased concentration of blood glucose.


abnormally low potassium concentration in the blood.


persistently lowered blood pressure.


the clinical syndrome resulting from a deficiency of thyroxine.

hypovitaminosis A

a condition produced by ingestion of insufficient amounts of vitamin A; usually associated with squamous metaplasia of epithelium and frequently observed in reptiles and birds eating unbalanced diets.


pertaining to or affectred by jaundice, a syndrome characteried by deposition of bile pigment in the skin.


the cause of a disease or syndrome is unknown.

idiopathic cystitis

a term applied to cats with non-obstructive, chronic, recurrent lower urinary tract signs that have met inclusion and exclusion criteria adapted from interstitial cystitis in human beings.


1. obstruction of the intestines.

2. dilatation of intestines associated with inhibition of bowel motility. Called also adynamic ileus.


the suppression or augmentation of an immune response.


the practice of using nutrients for immunomodulation.


the proportion of individuals that develop the condition

of interest over a defined period of time. Incidence refers to only new cases and thus reflects the risk of becoming a case during a defined time period.

indirect calorimetry

calculation of heat production by measuring the respiratory exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Calorimetry is important in measuring and understanding the factors that influence energy requirements.

inflammatory bowel disease

a group of heterogeneous disorders in which mucosal inflammation of the stomach, small intestine and/or colon is found without evidence of other disorders; most commonly causes chronic vomiting or diarrhea in dogs and cats. Also abbreviated IBD.

information panel

the part of the pet food label immediately contiguous to the principal display panel that contains important information about the product such as the ingredient statement, guaranteed or typical analysis, feeding directions, etc.


a raw or processed agricultural commodity, or other nutrient source, used in food compounding.

ingredient statement

the list of food ingredients on the product label. The information found in the statement will vary depending on the country where the food is sold.


a peptide hormone formed from proinsulin in the

beta cells of the pancreatic islets and secreted into the

blood in response to an increase in blood glucose or amino acid concentrations. Insulin promotes storage of glucose and uptake of amino acids in insulin-sensitive tissues, increases protein and lipid synthesis and inhibits lipolysis and gluconeogezesis.

insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM)

diabetes mellitus caused by an absolute deficiency of insulin; successful management requires administration of exogenous insulin or drugs that promote insulin secretion. Called also Type I diabetes mellitus in people.

insulin-secreting beta-cell tumor

a tumor of the beta cells of the pancreatic islets, which usually causes clinical signs associated with profound hypoglycemia due to excessive or inappropriate insulin secretion. Called also functional insulinoma.


see exercise intensity.

intermediary metabolism

the various chemical reactions involved in the transformation of food molecules into essential cellular building blocks.

intermediate exercise

exercise that lasts a few minutes to a few hours.

interstitial cystitis

term used in human medicine for patients, usually women, with lower urinary tract symptoms, including bladder pain and severe urgency, of chronic duration (>9 months) and unknown etiology when more common and objective conditions have been excluded.

invertebrate prey

animals (without endoskeletons) typically fed to reptiles and birds such as insects, worms, larvae, spiders, ant eggs, snails, slugs, etc.

iterative process

repetitive process.


a highly stable, fibrous protein containing disulfidebonds.


the complex process by which a mitotically active cell in the basal layer of the epidermis becomes a dead keratinized cell in the superficial layer of the epidermis.

key nutritional factors

includes nutrients of concern and other food characteristics that have relevance to specific disease treatment or prevention goals. Also abbreviated KNF.


extruded, formed, individual pieces of dry pet food.

kilocalorie (kcal)

one calorie is the energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 g water from 14.5 to 15.5°C. 1 kcal = 1,000 calories = 4.184 kJ.

kilojoule (kJ)

one kilojoule equals 107 ergs or the energy expended when 1 kg is moved 1 meter by 1 newton. 1kJ = 0.239 kcal.

Kjeldahl's method (test)

a method of determining the amount of nitrogen in an organic compound, which is then used to estimate crude protein content.


a syndrome in people produced by severe protein deficiency.

labial (dental)

anatomic term referring to the tooth surface towards the lip.

labile protein(s)

a small protein store (3% of body protein) readily lost or gained from the body in the adaptive response to starvation and repletion.


1. the secretion of milk by the mammary glands.

2. the period of time during which the dam lactates.


a sugar derived from milk, which on hydrolysis yields

glucose and galactose.


a laminar structure or arrangement.

large-breed dogs

dogs with adult body weights of 25 to 50 kg.


an enzyme that catalyzes the reaction Lasparagine

+ H2O = L-aspartate + NH3. This reaction occurs in mammalian and bacterial cells. The enzyme is used clinically in the treatment of human and animal cancers.

lead product

the member of a product family that has undergone nutritional adequacy testing; manufacturers of other members of the product family can make similar nutritional claims with limited testing.

lean body mass

the active metabolic fraction of the body exclusive of stored fat.

learned aversion

avoidance of a particular food because its previous intake was associated with an unpleasant experience (e.g., burned mouth or nausea).

leukotriene(s) arachidonic acid

metabolites produced predominantly by granulocytes, which mediate many of the inflammatory phenomena characteristic of immediate hypersensitivity reactions.

lifestage nutrition

adapting the nutrient profile of the food to the specific requirements of the animal, which optimizes the nutritional plan, foods and feeding methods for the individual physiologic stages of an animal's life (growth, reproduction, adulthood, old age).

lingual (dental)

anatomic term referring to the mandibular tooth surface towards the tongue.

linoleic acid

common name for an n-6 18-carbon polyunsaturated

fatty acid with two double bonds. Chemically defined

as cis cis 9,12-octadecadienoic acid (18:2n-6). Abbreviated commonly as LA.


an excess of fat or lipid in the blood.


any of a heterogeneous group of fats and fat-like substances that are water insoluble and extractable by nonpolar solvents such as alcohol, ether, benzene, etc.

lipophilic strong affinity for fats.

lipoic acid

a vitamin-like cofactor for enzymes in the energy production pathways of the cell. It also functions as an antioxidant and helps to recycle vitamins C and E.


any of the macromolecular complexes that transport lipids in the blood. They consist of a core of hydrophobic lipids covered by a layer of phospholipids and apoproteins that make the complex water soluble.


a nutrient or non-nutrient substance, that may prevent

or correct disorders of hepatic lipid processing and/or

hepatic lipidosis by hastening removal or decreasing the

deposit of fat in the liver.

lipoxygenase pathway

a pathway in which arachidonic acid is converted to leukotrienes and lipoxins.

liquid diets

foods with greater than 90% moisture.

low residue diet

a diet that leaves minimal unabsorbed components in the intestine to minimize functional stress on the colon.


an antioxidant that helps protect the eyes from free radical damage.


dilatation of lymphatic vessels; intestinal lymphangiectasia results in leakage of protein from intestinal villi (protein-losing enteropathy) with resulting hypoproteinemia, diarrhea, edema, ascites and weight loss.


those minerals required by animals in grams per day amounts.


an essential nutrient that has a minimum daily requirement or allowance in milligrams, grams or

kilograms per day.

maintenance energy requirement (MER)

the energy requirement of a moderately active adult animal in a thermoneutral environment. It includes energy needed for obtaining, digesting and absorbing food in amounts to maintain body weight as well as energy for spontaneous activity.


impaired intestinal absorption of nutrients from food.


the inability of the gastrointestinal tract to take up one or more ingested nutrients whether due to faulty digestion (maldigestion) or to impaired intestinal mucosal transport (malabsorption).


incomplete digestion of food as occurs with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.


abnormal nutrition; includes nutritional excesses and deficiencies.


abnormal occlusion of teeth.

materia alba

a soft mixture of salivary proteins, dead cells, food debris and miscellaneous matter that accumulates on tooth surfaces.


the nondialyzable organic portion of uroliths that remains after crystalline components have been dissolved with mild solvents.

mature milk

nutrient fluid secreted by the mammary gland starting several days after parturition.


generalized esophageal dilatation resulting from an aperistaltic esophagus secondary to a neuromuscular



a wide range of pigments that are chiefly responsible for the coloration of skin and hair.


black, tarry feces resulting from digested blood.

menhaden oil

fish oil providing fat, essential fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids.

metabolic acidosis

condition that occurs when the balance between the addition of hydrogen ions to body fluids and their excretion by the kidney is disrupted.

metabolic body size

see metabolic weight.

metabolic bone disease

a range of bone diseases associated with metabolic disorders; e.g., renal secondary hyperparathyroidism, nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism, rickets, osteoporosis.

metabolic food reaction

an adverse reaction to a food or food additive as a result of the effect of the substance on the metabolism of the host (e.g., lactase deficiency).

metabolic phenotype

a category of metabolic activity to which an individual may be assigned based on xenobiotic biotransformation capacity.

metabolic rate

the rate of energy metabolism in the body. The basal metabolic rate is the rate of energy consumption by the body when it is completely at rest.

metabolic water

water in the body derived from chemical reactions during metabolism of nutrients.

metabolic weight

the body weight of an animal in kilograms raised to the three-quarters power (body weight0.75) derived from the relationship between metabolism and size; provides a basis upon which to compare metabolism among species, breeds and animals of differing sizes.


the sum of all the physical and chemical processes by which organic substances are produced.

metabolizable energy (ME)

energy available to the animal after energy from feces, urine and combustible gases has been subtracted.

metabolizable protein

protein available to the animal after protein from feces and urine has been subtracted.

metastable solution

a solution, such as urine, that has the capacity to retain more of a compound in solution than would be predicted by knowledge of its true solubility in water.


single cell organisms capable of causing disease in people and animals including bacteria, rickettsiae, protozoa and fungi.


a smaller than normal liver.


those minerals required by an animal in the diet in milligrams per day amounts.


an essential nutrient that has a minimum daily requirement or allowance in micrograms or less per day.


mixed-function oxidase system the enzymatic system responsible for phase I, cytochrome P450-dependent xenobiotic metabolism; predominantly located in the liver, but also in the kidneys, intestines and lungs.


inorganic solid crystalline chemical element.

minimum nutrient requirements

minimum nutrient intake that will maintain normal function.

Ministries of Agriculture

administrative departments that are responsible for the implementation of European Union directives and regulations in their respective countries, which deal with animal health and disease prevention, and quality of animal products, plants and plant materials.

mixed tocopherols

stereoscopic variants to alpha tocopherol, vitamin E.used as a natural antioxidant preservative.

modified Atwater values

theoretical metabolizable energy values for protein (3.5 kcal/g), carbohydrate (3.5 kcal/g) and fat (8.5 kcal/g).

modular liquid food

a food with greater than 90% moisture that contains predominantly one nutrient.

molt (moult)

the replacement of all feathers, typically following breeding and often preceding migration of birds. Molting in most birds follows a regular sequence within each feather tract.

monadic feeding test

a feeding trial that tests the acceptance of a single food.

monomeric liquid food

a food with greater than 90% moisture with nutrients in a simplified compounded form. Sometimes incorrectly called elemental food.


a diseased condition or state.


the measurement of body forms; e.g., limb length, pelvic circumference.


1. the quality of being mortal.

2. death as a statistic.

mouth feel

the oral sensation as influenced by food temperature,

viscosity, stickiness, kibble size/shape and particle



the property of being able to induce genetic mutation.

n-3 fatty acid

shorthand notation that numbers the first double bond from the methyl terminal carbon atom of a fatty acid. Called also omega-3 fatty acid.

n-6 fatty acid

shorthand notation that numbers the first double bond from the methyl terminal carbon atom of a fatty acid. Called also omega-6 fatty acid.

National Companion Animal Study

a large companion animal epidemiologic study  conducted by the Center for Companion Animal Health at the University of Minnesota.

National Research Council (NRC)

a private, nonprofit organization that evaluates and compiles research done by others. The NRC functions as the working arm of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineers and the Institute of Medicine in the United States.


excretion of increased amounts of sodium in the urine relative to intake; may occur in certain disease states or following therapy with certain drugs such as diuretics.

natural foods

foods wholly composed of ingredients completely devoid of artificial or manmade substances including but not limited to synthetic flavors, colors, preservatives or other additives.

neonatal period

pertaining to the period immediately after birth; the duration varies depending on the ability of the animal to survive without its dam but is usually several weeks.


reluctance or refusal to change from an established food to another one.


precipitation of calcium salts in the tubulointerstitium of the kidney. Recognized histologically by the deposition of stainable calcium salts in the kidney.

net weight

a declaration of the net quantity of contents; usually expressed as ounces, pounds, grams or kilograms on food labels.


essential water soluble vitamin; also called B 3.


point of origin or focus of a morbid process; e.g., a urolith.


a chemical element that constitutes four-fifths of common air, occurs in proteins and amino acids and is, thus, present in all living cells.

nonessential amino acid(s)

amino acid(s) required for protein synthesis but which are synthesized in adequate quantities by animals from other amino acids and are not specifically required in the food.

non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM)

diabetes mellitus characterized by insulin resistance at the peripheral tissues and/or dysfunctional beta cells in the pancreatic islets; referred to as a relative insulin deficiency because the amount of insulin actually secreted may be increased, decreased or normal. Called also Type II diabetes mellitus in people.


a chemical without metabolic value.


new, unusual, or different.


the initial event in the formation of uroliths, which is characterized by the appearance of submicroscopic molecular aggregates of crystalloids.


derived from the combination of "nutrients" and "pharmaceuticals," and the concept that specific substances may be prescribed in the treatment or prevention of a disease; often inplies the administration of nutrients in amounts that exceed their known dietary requirement.


a metabolically useful component of food; may be essential or nonessential.

nutrient allowances (dogs and cats)

nutrient levels that are adequate to meet the known nutrient needs of almost all healthy dogs and cats. Allowances usually exceed minimum requirements because they include safety factors that compensate for food nutrient availability variances due to ingredient and processing variables and for individual differences in nutrient requirements within dog and cat populations.

nutrient profile

the array and quantity of specific nutrients in food.

nutrient-responsive dermatoses

a wide variety of skin disorders that are not due to a dietary nutrient deficiency but which respond to specific nutrient supplementation.

nutrients of concern

nutrients of particular importance for managing specific diseases and/or to optimize normal physiologic processes such as growth, gestation, lactation and physical work.

nutrition(al) adequacy statement

the statement on a pet food label that describes the type of animal for which the product is intended (growing animal, adult, reproducing female, etc.) and how the claim is substantiated. Called also product descriptor.

nutrition(al) claim

nutrition statements appearing on the principal display panel of pet food labels; examples include "100% Nutritious" or "100% Complete Nutrition."

nutritional risk factors

those nutrients, nutrient levels, foods and feeding methods that increase the risk for certain diseases in animals.

nutrition counseling

providing advice about appropriate foods and feeding methods for an individual animal or group of animals.


an increase in body weight as the result of an excessive accumulation of fat; obese individuals weigh 20% or more than optimal body weight.


carbohydrates that yield only a small number of monosaccharides upon hydrolysis.

omega-3 fatty acid

see n-3 fatty acid

omega-6 fatty acid

see n-6 fatty acid


any animal eating both plant and animal foods.

open registry

databank of genetic history for any animal breed, individual and for specific genetic diseases.

open-rooted teeth

teeth having persistently open apices that grow for the life of the tooth and with no distinct root structure; continuously growing teeth. Lagomorphs and rodents have this type of tooth structure. oral malodor see halitosis.

oral tolerance

an immunologic response consisting of the development of specific nonreactivity of the gastrointestinal lymphoid tissue to a given antigen that in other circumstances can induce cell-mediated or humoral immunity.

organic foods

foods with ingredients from cereals or grains grown with fertilizers or pesticides of animal or vegetable origin (not synthetic) and ingredients from animals that were not treated with hormones.


an organic compound containing the -CN moiety; a characteristic component of cruciferous plants.


a form of hyperkeratosis in which the cells do not have nuclei.


a property of a solution that depends on the  concentration of the solute per unit of solvent.


a property of a solution that depends on the concentration of osmotically active particles in solution.


non inflammatory degenerative joint disease occurring chiefly in older animals.

osteochondritis dissecans (OCD)

a specific form of osteochondrosis in which the cartilage flap above the lesion is released into the joint and perpetuates the cycle of joint disease.


a disruption in endochondral ossification that results in focal lesions of growth cartilage.


an excess of a nutrient or nutrients that results in a pathologic lesion or response.


an excessive increase in adipose tissue (fat); overweight individuals weigh 10 to 19% more than optimal body weight.

oxidative potential

propensity to oxidize.


the relative preference for two foods as measured by standardized methods.

palatal (dental)

anatomic term referring to the maxillary tooth surface towards the palate.


inflammation of the pancreas.

pantothenic acid

a water soluble vitamin considered in the vitamin B complex group.


a form of hyperkeratosis in which the cells have nuclei.

parathyroid hormone (PTH)

a peptide hormone released from the parathyroid gland in response to decreased concentrations of calcium in blood, which is important in calcium homeostasis. Called also parathormone.


administered by some other route than the alimentary


parenteral nutrition

administration of nutritional support by some route other than the alimentary canal; typical routes include intravenous, intraosseous and intraperitoneal. Partial parenteral nutrition meets only part of the patient's nutritional requirements and often supplements nutrition

by the enteral route, whereas total parenteral nutrition meets all the patient's nutritional requirements.


inflammation involving the folds of tissue surrounding the toe nail.

partial anorexia

see anorexia.

partial orphan rearing

use of enteral feedings with milk replacers to supplement nursing; most often used when the bitch or queen produces insufficient milk for the entire litter.

partial parenteral nutrition

see parenteral nutrition.


1. dividing into parts.

2. the process by which a drug becomes distributed between different interfacing compartments as affected by ionization or solvent affinity.

Pearson square

a simplified box method of determining the relative proportions of two ingredients required to achieve a particular intermediate nutrient concentration.

percent body fat (%BF)

the percentage of the body weight that is adipose tissue (fat).

periodontal disease

any pathologic process that affects the periodontium.

periodontal ligament

a structure composed primarily of connective tissue fibers located between the cementum and the alveolar bone.

periodontitis gingivitis plus

inflammation/destruction of the supporting periodontium (cementum, periodontal ligament, alveolar bone).


the structures that surround and support the tooth; gingivae, cementum, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone.

peripheral protein(s)

skeletal muscle protein(s).


urinating in inappropriate locations


a substance that prevents, destroys, mitigates or repels any pest.

Pet Food Institute (PFI)

the national trade organization of dog and cat food manufacturers in the United States.


a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution.


1. pertaining to pharmacy or drugs.

2. a medicinal drug.


the action of drugs in the body over a period of time, including the processes of absorption, distribution, localization in tissues, biotransformation and excretion.

pharmacologic food reaction

an adverse reaction to a food or food additive as a result of a naturally derived or added chemical that produces a drug-like or pharmacologic effect in the host.

phase I metabolism

the process of xenobiotic modification through oxidation, reduction, and/or hydrolysis by the cytochrome P-450 enzyme system.

phase II metabolism

the process of xenobiotic modification through glutathione or glucuronide conjugation, acetylation, and/or sulfation by enzymatic systems.


an essential amino acid.

phytin/phytate/phytic acid

forms of organic phosphorus, presumably inositol hexaphosphate, occurring in plant proteins.


a chemical derived from plants.


craving and eating unnatural articles of food or foreign

materials; a depraved appetite.

plaque (dental)

soft, sticky organic deposit on the tooth surfaces, composed primarily of bacteria and salivary  lycoproteins.


inflammation of the skin of the foot.


abnormally frequent urination.

polymeric liquid food

a food with a moisture content greater than 90% containing nutrients in a macro compounded form.


excessive thirst manifested by excessive water intake.


the formation and excretion of a large volume of urine.

polyunsaturated fatty acid

a fatty acid carbon chain that contains more than one double bond. Abbreviated commonly as PUFA.

portal hypertension

a persistent increase in portal venous pressure.

portosystemic shunt

single or multiple blood vessel abnormalities, intrahepatic or extrahepatic in location, that result in venous blood from the intestine bypassing the liver.


occurring after meals. Called also postcibal.


work done per unit time (the rate of doing work); metabolic power is energy turnover per unit time.


part per billion.


part per million.


food substances that promote growth of beneficial intestinal bacteria.

preference feeding test

a feeding trial that tests two foods side by side for comparative choice preferences between the pair.

pregnancy toxemia

in guinea pig sows, particularly obese ones, uteroplacental ischemia in late pregnancy, causing lethargy, anorexia and rapid death.


ventricular end-diastolic volume; one determinant of cardiac output.


a bone in the upper jaw of birds that serves as the major supporting structure for the beak.

premium pet food

a market category of foods featuring high quality ingredient and processing standards.


occurring before meals.


substances added to foods to protect or retard decay, discoloration or spoilage under normal conditions of use or storage.


the proportion of animals evaluated possessing a condition of interest at a given point in time; analogous

to a "snapshot" of old and new cases and, thus, reflects the risk of being a case at a given time.

principal display panel

the part of the product label that is most likely to be displayed, shown or examined under customary conditions of display at retail sale.

private label pet food

a market category featuring a retailer's "own house" branding.


beneficial intestinal bacteria

product family

a group of pet foods from the same manufacturer that have similar characteristics (same process category such as dry or moist; same intended purpose such as adult maintenance or growth; similar nutrient profile) but vary in some ingredients. A family usually includes a lead product and various flavor variations of this product.

product identity

the primary means by which a specific pet food is identified by the consumer; usually includes a product name but may also include a manufacturer's name and/or a brand name.

product vignette

a vignette, graphic or pictorial representation of a product on a pet food label.

proportional morbidity

the proportion of hospitalized animals with the condition of interest.


one of a group of hormone-like substances produced from long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids.

protease inhibitor

a drug that inhibits the enzymes that split the interior peptide bonds in proteins.


any of a group of complex organic compounds that

contain carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and sometimes sulfur, the characteristic element being nitrogen, and which are the principal constituents of the protoplasm of all cells. All proteins have a common property; their structure includes simple units, amino acids.

protein calories

the percentage of calories in food that are contributed by protein.

protein-calorie malnutrition

a clinical syndrome produced by severe protein and energy deficiency, characterized by retarded growth, changes in skin and hair pigment, edema, anemia and pathologic changes of internal organs. Referred to as kwashiorkor when it occurs in people.


presence of protein in the urine; implies the presence

of excessive quantities, generally greater than 400 mg/dog/24 hours, >30 mg/kg body weight/24 hours or a urine protein to creatinine ratio >2.0.


a precursor of a vitamin; a substance from which the animal can form vitamins.



purine urolithiasis

formation of uroliths composed primarily of salts of uric acids (ammonium and sodium urate) and less commonly xanthine with resultant clinical signs.


inflammation of the kidney and renal pelvis, usually septic.


essential water soluble vitamin; also known as B6.


a mature, intact female cat used for breeding or one

presently lactating.


the auto-oxidation of fats and oils in foods that produces

peroxides, hydroperoxides, aldehydes and free oxygen

radicals that create off odors and flavors and destroy

fat-soluble vitamins.

recommended dietary allowances (RDAs)

nutrient levels that are adequate to meet the known nutritional needs of almost all healthy people.


1. a backward flowing, as the casting up of undigested food.

2. backward flowing of blood into the heart or between the chambers of the heart when a valve is malfunctioning.

relative body weight (RBW)

an animal's current weight divided by its estimated optimal weight, usually expressed as a whole number or percentage.

renal disease

any damage to the kidney, location and extent not specified. Because of the large functional reserve of the kidney, the term renal disease should not be used synonymously with the terms renal failure or uremia. Quantitative information about renal function or dysfunction is not implied by the use of this term. Renal disease may affect glomeruli, tubules, blood vessels and/or supporting tissue; e.g., interstitial tissue.

renal insufficiency

decrease in renal function; e.g., decreased glomerular filtration rate.

renal osteodystrophy

bone disease observed with chronic renal failure.

renal secondary hyperparathyroidism

increased levels of parathyroid hormone (PTH) associated with renal dysfunction. Factors involved include phosphorus retention, hypocalcemia, calcitriol deficiency and skeletal resistance to PTH.


a proteolytic enzyme synthesized, stored and secreted by the kidney; plays a role in regulation of blood pressure and blood volume by catalyzing conversion of the plasma

glycoprotein angiotensinogen to angiotensin I.


urolith located in the kidney, usually the renal pelvis.

resistant starch

a fraction of starch found in foods that potentially resists digestion in the small intestine; may have functions similar to those of fibers.

resorptive lesion (dental)

caries-free resorption of the tooth structure commonly seen at the cementoenamel junction. Called also neck lesion or cervical line lesion.

respiratory quotient

the ratio of the volume of carbon dioxide given off by the body tissues to the volume of oxygen absorbed by them.

resting energy expenditure

see resting energy requirement.

resting energy requirement (RER)

the energy requirement for a normal but unfasted animal at rest in a thermoneutral environment; includes energy needed for digestion, absorption and metabolism of food and recovery from previous physical activity.

retinoid-responsive dermatoses

a variety of skin disorders and diseases that are not due to vitamin A deficiency but appear to respond to high levels of natural or synthetic vitamin A administration.


the group of naturally occurring and synthetic vitamin A derivatives.


the cooking and sterilizing machine used in the manufacture of canned foods. Retorts use steam and pressure to achieve commercial sterility and are found in batch or hydrostatic designs.


an essential water soluble vitamin also called B 2.


a condition caused by deficiency of vitamin D, especially

during growth, characterized by a disturbance in normal bone ossification.

risk factor management

detection and management of health risk factors as part of a wellness program.

risk factors

those genetic, environmental or nutritional factors that increase the likelihood of disease.

rosemary extract

a  highly refined substance from the herb rosemary which adds flavor and may be used as a natural preservative to help prevent oxidation of fat.


grows in decomposing organic matter.


abnormal loss of lean muscle mass.


being in a state of satiation; the full satisfaction of

desire to eat and drink.

saturated solution

holding all of a solute that can be held in solution by a solvent; saturation is the state of being saturated.


an accumulation of loose fragments of the horny layer

of the skin.


the disease caused by nutritional deficiency of ascorbic

acid (vitamin C).

self feeding

see free-choice feeding or ad libitum feeding.

senior cats

cats between ages 7 and 11 years with an increased risk for age-related disease; may or may not have obvious physical or behavioral characteristics of aging.

senior dogs

dogs between ages 5 and 11 years, depending on the breed, with an increased risk for age-related disease; may or may not have obvious physical or behavioral characteristics of aging.

shelf life

functional life of a product. A product with poor shelf life spoils or becomes rancid prematurely.

short bowel syndrome

a malabsorptive disorder resulting from massive resection of the small bowel, the degree and kind of malabsorption depends on the site and extent of the resection.

short-chain fatty acid(s)

fatty acids containing two to six carbon atoms that are products of microbial metabolism, primarily in the large intestine or rumen; acetic, proprionic and butyric acids are the major examples.

silica urolithiasis

formation of uroliths composed primarily of silica with resultant clinical signs.

small intestinal bacterial overgrowth

a syndrome of malabsorption causing chronic or recurring diarrhea believed to be due to abnormally large populations of bacteria in the small intestine.


the process of familiarization between animals in a group and, in companion animals, between the animal and people.

specialty pet food

a segment of premium pet foods available in limited, non-grocery distribution.

species-specific behaviors

those inherited behavioral traits that are unique to a species.


larger ingredient particles forced towards the outer edges of a canned food matrix during can filling due to low viscosity.


an inactive resting, resistant form of a bacterial cell.

sprint exercise

high-intensity activity that can be sustained less than two minutes.

squamous metaplasia

epithelial changes in animals (often birds and reptiles) usually associated with hypovitaminosis A that result in lesions in the oropharynx, conjunctiva and respiratory tract.


discoloration of the tooth or of tooth-accumulated materials (e.g., pellicle, plaque, calculus).


1. any of a group of polysaccharides of the general

formula (C6H10O5)n, composed of a long-chain polymer

of glucose in the form of amylose and amylopectin; it is

the chief storage form of energy in plants.

2. a preparation consisting of the granules separated from the mature grain of corn or wheat, or from potato tubers, occurring as irregular white masses or fine powder.

statement of calorie content

the calorie content found on pet food labels in the United States; the statement is based on kilocalories of metabolizable energy on an as fed basis and is expressed as kcal per kg of product.

statutory statement

the mandatory declarations that form a separate and distinct portion of the information panel of pet food labels in Europe.


excessive amounts of fat in the feces; the feces are bulky, greasy, malodorous and pale in color.

sterilization leg

primary cooking and sterilization period in the  manufacture of canned pet food. During this phase,

the product becomes commercially sterile.


inflammation of the oral soft tissues.

struvite urolithiasis

formation of uroliths composed primarily of magnesium ammonium phosphate with resultant clinical signs.


below the free gingival margin.

supersaturated solution

a solution that is more saturated with a substance at a given temperature than would be normally expected.


a concentrated nutrient source that is added to a basic diet for treating a real or perceived nutrient imbalance.


above the free gingival margin.

systems review

in a clinical examination, the thorough review of all body systems using a complete history, physical examination and extended laboratory database.

table food

foods normally consumed by people that are given to animals as a portion of their diet.


a beta-sulfonic amino acid; an essential amino acid for cats.


the phase of the hair cycle when the hair is not actively growing but is retained in the follicle as a dead or club hair that is subsequently lost.

telogen defluxion

hair loss associated with a stressful event (e.g., pregnancy, severe illness, surgery) that causes the abrupt, premature cessation of growth of many anagen

hair follicles and the synchronization of these hair  follicles in catagen, then in telogen.

therapeutic pet food

pet foods having specific nutrient characterisitics and balances to treat or provide adjunct medical support in nutritionally responsive clinical conditions.

thermic effect of food (TEF)

the obligatory cost in energy of digesting and absorbing food.

thermoneutral zone

the environmental temperature zone in which metabolic heat production by the animal is minimal. Called also comfort zone or zone of minimal metabolism.


the physiologic process controlling the balance between heat production and heat loss in the body to maintain body temperature.


an enzyme that catalyzes the splitting of thiamin into a pyrimidine and a thiazole derivative. It is present in some plants (bracken) and in some species of fish so that foods containing these materials are likely to be deficient in thiamin.


an essential water soluble vitamin; vitamin B1.


an iodine-containing glycoprotein found in the colloid of the follicles of the thyroid gland; the iodinated tyrosine moieties of thyroglobulin form the active hormones

thyroxine and triiodothyronine, which are released into the blood on proteolysis of thyroglobulin.

thyroid hyperplasia

abnormal increase in size of the thyroid gland caused by formation and growth of new normal thyroid cells. Called also goiter.


a morbid condition due to overactivity of the thyroid gland.

thyroxine (T4)

a hormone of the thyroid gland that contains iodine and is a derivative of the amino acid tyrosine. The chemical name is tetraiodothyronine. Thyroxine influences metabolic rate, growth and development, nutrient metabolism, reproduction and resistance to infection.

time-restricted meal feeding

a method of feeding animals whereby an unlimited amount of food is offered for a specific amount of time, usually for five to 10 minutes, at specific intervals throughout the day.


a source of vitamin E in the alpha form and an antioxidant used as a natural preservative.


1. the ability to endure an agent without ill effects.

2. the maximum legal limit of a drug or pesticide residue

in an edible animal tissue, raw agricultural commodity or

processed food.


an intact male cat typically used for breeding.

total dietary fiber

that portion of ingested food that cannot be broken down by intestinal enzymes and juices and, therefore, passes through the small intestine and colon undigested. Dietary fiber is not to be confused with "crude fiber" measurements that usually underestimate actual total dietary fiber levels in food.

total nutrition admixture (TNA)

a solution used for parenteral administration containing amino acids, lipids, dextrose, vitamins and minerals.

total parenteral nutrition

see parenteral nutrition.


1. the quality of being poisonous.

2. a range of nutrient concentrations at which pharmacotoxicologic effects occur.


any poisonous substance of microbial, vegetable or animal origin.


see exercise training.


small rewards of food not intended to be major contributors to total daily nutrient intake.

triacylglyceride (TAG)

a compound consisting of three molecules of fatty acid esterified to glycerol; it is a neutral fat synthesized from carbohydrates for storage in animal adipose cells. Called also triglyceride.


a hairball; a concretion within the stomach or intestines formed of hairs.


a diagnostic technique performed by plucking hairs from the skin and examining them under a microscope.


see triacylglyceride.

triiodothyronine (T3)

an organic iodine-containing thyroid hormone with several times the biologic activity of thyroxine.

trypsin-like immunoreactivity (TLI)

an immunoassay that detects both trypsinogen and trypsin; serum TLI concentration is both highly sensitive and specific for the diagnosis of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.

tumor necrosis factor (TNF)

a cytokine produced by macrophages that has many biologic functions; one form of TNF is involved in metabolic responses associated with body wasting.


nonessential amino acid that is synthesized metabolically

from phenylalanine; it is a precursor of thyroid hormones, catecholamines and melanin.


improper nutrition due to inadequate food supply or failure to ingest, assimilate or use any or all of the necessary food elements.

undersaturated solution

a solution that contains sufficiently low concentrations of crystalloids to permit dissolution of additional quantities of the crystalloid.

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

the federal department with primary responsibility for domestic food production including grain and slaughterhouse inspection, animal disease prevention and control, supervision of animal vaccine manufacturers and inspection of imported foods in the United States.

universal product code (UPC)

the number and bar code on a pet food label that identify the product for sales and tracking purposes.


a salt of uric acid.

urea cycle

a cyclic series of reactions that produce urea, a major route for removal of ammonia produced in the metabolism of amino acids in the liver and kidney.


an enzyme that catalyzes the decomposition of urea to ammonia and carbon dioxide.


literally defined as urine in blood or presence of abnormal quantities of urine constituents in blood. The term is used to indicate clinical signs associated with retention of abnormal blood concentrations of substances normally eliminated in the urine. Although uremia is always accompanied by azotemia and renal failure, azotemia and renal failure may or may not be associated with uremia.

uremic syndrome

constellation of clinical signs brought about by renal failure; e.g., lethargy, anorexia, gastroenteritis, anemia and osteodystrophy.

urethral plugs

obstructing material in the urethra of cats that is soft, compressible, cylindrical or shapeless, white or tan and consists of large amounts of matrix and variable amounts of crystalline components.


incontinence; inability to control urination with involuntary

passage of urine.

uric acid

the end product of purine metabolism in many but not all species of animals.


excessive amounts of uric acid in the blood.

urinary acidifier

a drug or substance used to increase urine acidity.

urinary pH

the measure of the degree to which urine is acidic or alkaline. When referring to pet foods, the average urine pH values produced by a group of animals eating a specific food.


the fluid containing water and waste products that is

excreted by the kidneys.


urolith located in the urinary bladder.


a technique used to dislodge uroliths obstructing the urethra.

urolith polycrystalline

concretions that typically contain more than 90% organic or inorganic crystalloids and less than 10% organic matrices.


the formation of urinary stones anywhere in the urinary tract from less soluble crystalloids of urine.


United States Department of Agriculture.


oxygen consumption; a measure of workload or exercise


V•O2 max

maximal oxygen consumption. Workload is frequently

expressed as a percentage of V•O2 max and work done above this level has a significant anaerobic component.

vasoactive amines

amines that cause vasodilation and increased small vessel permeability; e.g., histamine, serotonin and others.


a person who eats a diet that does not contain animal

ingredients or foods.


a person who eats a meatless diet.

veterinary therapeutic pet food

pet foods having specific nutrient characteristics and balances to treat or provide adjunct medical support in nutritionally responsive clinical conditions.


the ability of a microbe to invade a host and cause disease.


any of a number of compounds that possess a given vitamin activity; there are niacin vitamers, pyridoxine vitamers, A vitamers, D vitamers, etc.


a general term for a number of unrelated organic substances that are essential in small amounts for normal metabolism.

vitamin E-responsive dermatoses

a variety of skin disorders and diseases that are not due to vitamin E deficiency but appear to respond to high levels of supplemental vitamin E.


forcible ejection of stomach contents through the mouth. Called also emesis.


a combination of hydrogen and oxygen (H2O) that is vital to life.


the act of separating the young from the dam that they have been nursing.


concepts and programs that attempt to promote health in an individual or group; in contrast to focusing on diagnosis, treatment or management of disease.


the result of a force acting against a resistance to produce motion. The amount of work done and energy used are the same for the exercising animal.


expected work done per unit time, synonymous with exercise intensity.

World Health Organization (WHO)

an agency of the United Nations that is devoted to attainment of the highest level of health by all peoples of the world.


a purine compound found in most body tissues and fluids; a precursor of uric acid.

xanthine oxidase

enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of hypoxanthine to xanthine and xanthine to uric acid.

xanthine oxidase inhibitor

a drug, such as allopurinol, that is used to decrease production of uric acid and reduce serum and urine uric acid concentrations.


any substance, harmful or not, that is foreign to the animal's biologic system.


abnormal dryness, as of the skin (xerosis cutis).

zinc-responsive dermatoses

a variety of skin disorders and diseases that respond to dietary changes or zinc supplements.

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