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Defect Definition

 Reviewed 11 December 2018 share-a-picture Or go to discussion?join-the-discussion dogphoto

What Google ranks top to tell anyone interested the leading medical defect definition isn't all that bad, see below.

This by itself makes the leading defect definition special for medical definitions overall because as you have seen there the others are way too ambiguous to be of any help for health concerns.


To foster the lingua franca adopted for the related terms disorder and disease, any defect definition from myself needs to be more precise as well:

Defect is an inherited or acquired impairment of an organ, body structure, or body function other than a disorder.

A defect is:

Examples of what actually are defects:

  • von Willebrand Defect, being commonly called "von Willebrand disease blood disorder": note this total mess in medical and common parlance!
  • Degenerative Myelopathy, being commonly called "Degenerative Myelopathy disease": which obviously must be wrong because for example Tuberculosis is considered a disease as well (and here sensibly) yet is subject to entirely different circumstances! doh!
  • Hearing defect (sic!) excellent, but not difficult mrgreen
  • Down Syndrome; here you see: a syndrome actually can be a defect. So why not strive for clarity and call it Down Defect?!


Be aware that inherited defects are much rarer than commonly perceived, because:

  • Most DNA changes are acquired during lifetime and not heritable, ie a variance not a mutation
  • Over the millions of years evolution has developed a significant arsenal of safeguards that work hard to:
    1. prevent that an existing mutation is passed on to offspring!
    2. deactivate defective genes that nonetheless made it to be passed on to offspring!
    3. activate other genes that compensate for some or all of the effect caused by defective genes that could not be deactivated!
  • This is why even an inherited gene abnormality (a mutation) results in an inherited defect in only some individuals. take-note
  • To be truly inherited, the defect must be caused by a mutation in the genetic code that results in the particular defect in every organism with that mutation (dog or person).
  • Else the observed mutation is just a trigger, and then every ailment (defect, disorder, and disease!) would have to be considered an inherited defect because the genetic code with any and all its mutations is a trigger for everything, including that we breathe! idea

So, don't feel disheartened when you read or hear "you have an inherited defect, accept it".

While it isn't impossible of course, rather likely is: you have an acquired defect or indeed, much more likely, you have no such defect at all, but a disorder.

And disorders are much easier to cure than defects.



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