Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Tackling The Veterinary Terminology: Prefixes (cervic-)

Remember the Spelling Bee? Big words are easier to tackle when you understand how they're put together. Veterinary terms are composed in the same way. Just like with other words, the main parts of a veterinary term are a prefix, a root, and a suffix. The difference is that they typically come more directly from Greek or Latin.

A prefix is placed at the beginning of a word to modify its meaning by providing additional information. It usually indicates number, location, time, or status.
cervic- [ˈsər-vi-k] - from Latin - neck, pertaining to the neck, also uterine cervix

It seems kind of confusing as these things are at the opposite ends of the body, with different functions, doesn't it? 

As it happens, the word is merely descriptive of the shape. That's why it means either the neck itself, or the narrow neck-like passage forming the lower end of the uterus. Of course, we are much smarter now and I'm sure we would have come up with much better names. But it was named a long time ago and it is what it is.

So how do you know which one is your vet talking about?

I bet you even money that most of the time they're indeed talking about the actual neck.

An example? Cervical spondylomyelopathy, also known as the Wobbler syndrome.

Jasmine's spinal problems were also focused at her neck, the rest of her spine was actually about as fit as a fiddle. Her file contained terms such as cervical osteopathy and cervical spondylosis deformants. Which really meant that her cervical spine was not doing great.

Image caninechiro.com

Btw, if you noticed that vertebrae are marked with numbers following a letter, the letter identifies the part of the spine. C = cervical, T = thoracic, L = lumbar

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Related articles:
Veterinary Suffixes (-itis)
Veterinary Suffixes (-oma) 
Veterinary Suffixes (-pathy)  
Veterinary Suffixes (-osis) 
Veterinary Suffixes (-iasis) 
Veterinary Suffixes (-tomy) 
Veterinary Suffixes (-ectomy)  
Veterinary Suffixes (-scopy) 
Veterinary Suffixes (-emia)
Veterinary Suffixes (-penia)
Veterinary Suffixes (-rrhea) 
Veterinary Suffixes (-cyte) 
Veterinary Suffixes (-blast) 
Veterinary Suffixes (-opsy)
Veterinary Suffixes (-ac/-al)

Veterinary Prefixes (hyper-) 
Veterinary Prefixes (hypo-)
Veterinary Prefixes (pyo-) 
Veterinary Prefixes (myo-) 
Veterinary Prefixes (myelo-)
Veterinary Prefixes (spondylo-)
Veterinary Prefixes (cardio-)

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