Monday, March 5, 2012


Vets have a secret sort of language that is made up of weird abbreviations and acronyms.  And they use this language when they are writing in your medical records.  The reasons why I think they do this are (1) it keeps you from knowing what they are really saying about your medical condition, (2) it's easier and faster than writing out whole words, and (3) it makes them feel like part of a special group or club or something.

But guess what!  I have managed to get hold of a list of this secret code that vets use, and I am going to share it with you.  That way, we will always know what crazy things our doctors are saying about us.  This is important because for instance, one time my mom got to look at my chart while Dr. Patricia was out of the room, and Mom kept seeing NSF written in it.  She got really worried because she thought maybe NSF was some kind of horrible, fatal disease that the vet had not told her about.  So when Dr. Patricia came back, Mom asked what NSF stood for, and it turned out that it meant "No Significant Findings." So it was not a disease at all!

Anyway, here's the list.  It's pretty long, and I am still working on memorizing it, but you can get started doing the same thing, and soon we will be almost as smart as our vets!

AD: right ear
ADR: ain’t doing right
AS: left ear
AU: both ears
BAR: bright, alert and responsive
BCS: body condition score
BID: twice daily, every 12 hours
BPM: beats or breaths per minute
CBC: complete blood count
CHF: congestive heart failure
CNS: central nervous system
CRT: capillary refill time
D/C: discontinue
Dx: diagnosis
EENT: eyes, ears, nose and throat
EOD: every other day
F/S: spayed female
FNA: fine needle aspirate
FUO: fever of unknown origin
Fx: fracture
HBC: hit by car
HCT: hematocrit
HR: heart rate
Hx: history
IM: intramuscular
IN: intranasal
IV: intravenous
M/N: neutered male
NDR: not doing right
NPO: nothing by mouth
NSF: no significant findings
OD: right eye
OS: left eye
OU: both eyes
PCV: packed cell volume
PE: physical exam
PO: by mouth
PRN: as needed
PU/PD: polyuria/polydipsia (i.e., drinking and urinating more than normal)
q: every (e.g., q4hrs means every 4 hours)
QAR: quiet, alert and responsive
QD: once daily, every 24 hours
QID: four times daily, every 6 hours
QOD: every other day
ROM: range of motion
RR: respiratory rate
Rx: prescription
S/R: suture removal
SC: under the skin
SID: once daily, every 24 hours
SOAP: subjective, objective, assessment, plan – a method of organizing medical records
SQ: under the skin
STAT: immediately
Sx: surgery
TID: three times daily, every 8 hours
TPR: temperature, pulse and respiration rates
Tx: treatment
UA: urinalysis
URI: upper respiratory infection
UTI: urinary tract infection
WNL: within normal limits


  1. WOW...the secret code list!! How neat!! I even knew a few of them...very few. Some are the same codes that are used for people. Since I seem to be a patient in the hospital more than I care to be...I have learned a few of the "codes" cause they get posted on my hospital door! I'm going to save the list to one of my word documents. Thank you soooo much.

    Also - tell your mom I watched the entire "Pledge" show last night and I got to see your mom and even hear her talk on tv!! :) I also pledged...:)
    Love, AP

    1. Dear Aunt Patty,
      I think a lot of the secret codes on this list work for people medicine, too. In fact, maybe all of them do. But now you don't have to go to the hospital in order to learn them! LOL

      It's good that you watched the Telethon last night and saw my mom on there. If you read my blog tomorrow, you will see some of the pictures my mom took. Oh, and thank you for making a pledge. The poor homeless animals will be very happy to know you did that!

      Love, Piper