Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Veterinary Medical Terminology 101: Purulent

A pussy cat with a purulent abcess. Photo: Zemlinki!
For some reason, purulent is just one of those words that gets my tongue tied. I never feel like I'm pronouncing it properly and I feel like I just can't say it the right way. Purulent is pronounced pyoo-ruh-luhnt and it's definition is the following according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

"Containing, consisting of, or being pus."

OK, so I apologize for the gross word today but this is one word that a lot of people are unsure about. How so? Let me explain a little bit. 

When I was new to the world of Veterinary Medicine, I would occasionally come across a patient who might have an abcess or sore of some type. Pus is a regular occurrence at a vet hospital. One day, while trying to write down my description of a patient's wound in their medical file, I became stumped. 

At first I was inclined to write "pussy" on the paper... but that just didn't seem right. Besides, I didn't want to write that word down and look like an idiot. I decided to stick with "pus-y" instead. I brought the file to the doctor I was assisting so she could read my notes and we could talk about the patient. 

We also discussed the proper way to describe something that contains pus. You don't say a "pussy sore" or "pusy sore". The right way to describe a sore that contains pus would be to say that it is purulent

Several years later, I was relieved to see that I wasn't the only technician who had ever made this mistake. I would see other technicians writing the same things I did down. 

23 comments:

  1. Woof! Woof! Interesting! Golden Thanks for sharing. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

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  2. Ewwwww...hehehe! New word of the day though, now I just have to get it into a sentence nonchalantly :-D Domeek's kitty (a few years before I was born) use to get quite a few abscesses, but she's never heard of purulent, that would have been a nicer word to use then pus filled (ewwwww). :-)

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  3. We never heard of purulent. You always inform us. Have a terrific purulent free Tuesday.
    Best wishes Molly

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    1. I hope that it is purulent free as well!

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  4. I can't even say that..lol Aflie had a pussy abcess. They are horrible and smell :( xx00xx

    Mollie and Alfie

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  5. Once when I was attacked by a big dog, I had one of those drains sewed into my neck so the bite wouldn't get purulent. Mom was afraid to look at it. After the drain was out, I wore a bandage covered with a bandana and looked tougher than I really am!

    Love and licks,
    Cupcake

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    1. Wow Cupcake, I bet those bigger dogs were scared of you after that! Looking all tough. Sorry you got attacked though.

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  6. Mom kind of likes the sound of this word. But not as much as she likes pruritic :)

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    1. Ah that's a good word that I can actually say!

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  7. Ha! I just tried saying it out-loud....lol, though one! Thanks for sharing, very informative.

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  8. whoa! hope I don't ever, ever have to have that written on my vet record...I wish all kittehs could live indoors...just my wish and IMFHOP, paw pats, Savannah

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    1. I hope not either Savannah! Cats are better off indoors, but some just refuse to be that way. My Kitty Kitty Meow Meow came to me from the outdoors but I could never keep her inside!

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  9. Hope I never have to hear that word. MOL!

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  10. Oh my, I just have to say "poor kitty" and oh my the language! LMAO Great word to know however, don't think I'll be saying it. I'm sure it will come out all wrong! :)

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  11. Not the most fun topic ever but at least now I know how to pronounce it properly..now i can impress my vet ;)

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  12. That's gross to think about, but interesting, too. I've had a lot of experience in the medical field - personally and professionally (as a mental health professional) - but I wouldn't know how to describe that kind of wound, either. I'd never heard of the word, lol. Thanks for teaching me something new! :)

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  13. Well, that'll teach you, humans to use such strange words ;-)
    Purrs

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  14. Yuck! Hope my boys never have a purulent wound. But, I'll know how to pronounce it! :)

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  15. Thanks for sharing. I like knowing the words that vets use. Very useful.

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  16. Thank Cat Granny has a medical background. Purruhlend... it's so easy ;)

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  17. Ha, we got a good laugh out of that one. Nice to know the correct word!

    Oink oink,
    Katie and Coccolino the mini pig

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  18. I have never heard of that word before now. That would be a really hard one to pronounce. Glad you didn't write pussy on your report. Have a great day.

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