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Commonly Used Veterinary Abbreviations

Here’s help in deciphering the meaning of the alphabet soup on your veterinary report.

After an examination, a doctor always leaves you a report of your horse’s condition and recommends treatment, but sometimes some of the terminology may not be clear if you are not a medical professional.
Below are some of the more commonly used abbreviations and terms our vets use, with definitions. We hope this list will be helpful to you, but if there are still some terms that you do not understand on a vet’s report, be sure to call our office for clarification. We will be happy to translate for you!

BAR: Bright, Alert, and Responsive

CBC: Complete Blood Count. This is a blood test that helps determine if infection is present and checks for anemia, dehydration, and protein status.

Chem: Chemistry. This is a blood test that indicates whether the horse’s kidney and/or liver function or general metabolic balance is becoming or is already compromised due to illness or medication. It also measures glucose and electrolyte status as well as several important enzyme and ion levels.

EIA: Equine Infectious Anemia (a.k.a. Coggins)

IM: Injection given in the muscle (intramuscular) vs.

IV: Injection given into the vein (intravenous) vs.

IVC: Injection given into the vein by a catheter

“__-itis”: Means inflammation. Thus, arthritis is an inflammation of the joint; and dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin.

L: Left vs. R: Right

LF: Left fore limb vs. RF: Right fore limb vs.

LH: Left hind limb vs. RH: Right hind limb

N: Normal vs. ABN: Abnormal

OS: Left eye vs. OD: Right eye vs. OU: Both eyes

TPR: Temperature, Pulse, Respiration (vital signs)

URT: Upper Respiratory Tract

WNL: Within Normal Limits