2018 Ultimate Veterinary Guide to Dog Anatomy with Images | VetCheck

Dog Anatomy

By understanding your cat's anatomy, you are giving your pet the best chance of a healthy and happy life. The following is a comprehensive guide to your dog's anatomy.

It covers information about your dog's:

  1. Anatomical terminology
  2. Pet senses
  3. Cardiovascular system
  4. Digestive system
  5. Musculoskeletal system
  6. Respiratory system
  7. Urogenital system
  8. Nervous system
  9. Eye

Each section is accompanied with labeled diagrams.

Anatomical terminology

Understanding some common terms used by your veterinary team will help you quickly identify with key discussion points to do with your pet's health.

Common anatomical terminology

Here are some common veterinary terms and their meanings:

Abdomen Tummy
Dew claw First digit
Patella Knee cap
Stifle Knee
Thorax Chest
Digit Finger or toe
Flank Side of the body between chest and tail base
Muzzle Nose and upper and lower lip
Pinna Ear flap
Tarsus Hock

Pet senses

Pets communicate in a very different way than people do. They have the same basic senses like sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste, but they use them differently to communicate with the world. In general, pets have a much better sense of smell, hearing, and sight than humans. This allows them to identify odours better, to hear noises at greater distances, and to see in the dark. Pets also have sharp teeth and claws that developed to help them survive in the wild.

In the wild, dogs are pack animals that require a strong leader. Their excellent senses of smell and hearing have allowed them to survive and catch prey in the wild. Because of their highly developed senses they are great trackers. Dogs identify each other by their unique scent. They have scent glands located around their bottom and use them to mark territory as their own. This is why we commonly see dogs greeting other dogs by sniffing their bottom.


Hearing Dogs have a greater hearing range than
people do. They can detect sound as low as 16 Hz frequency to as high as 100,000 Hz (people hear 20 to 20,000 Hz ). Their ears have a great degree of flexibility that allows them to funnel sounds and easily locate the direction of sound. They can hear sounds much sooner and at much greater distances than people do. Dogs with cone ears naturally hear better than those with floppy ears.
Sight People used to think that a dog’s sight is dichromatic (see in black
and white). But the latest research suggests that dogs may actually see some color, though certainly not as much as people do. Depending on the dog breed, their field of vision can vary up to 270 degrees for sight hounds like greyhounds and whippets, and as low as 180 degrees for flat-faced breeds like the bulldog or Boston terrier. People also have a narrow field of vision of 180 degrees. Dogs can see much better at night than people do. Their eyes are more sensitive to light and motion than ours. They have a structure, the tapetum lucidum, that allows them to see in dim light. Have you ever noticed their eyes reflecting back when bright lights like a car headlight or flashlight are directed at them?
Voice Different dog breeds have different voices. There are many different types of voices: bark, growl, howl, and whimper. A dog’s bark expresses different emotions like pleasure, fun, loneliness, fear, or stress.
Smell Smell is the dogs’ primary sense. Dogs have nearly 220 million olfactory (smelling) cells, compared to 5 million in people. Dogs sniff to take in air quickly to identify different smells. Their sense of smell is extremely sensitive and the government often uses dogs to track people, drugs, or explosives. They can even use smell to sense human and animal moods such as fear, happiness, or sadness from long distances.
Taste Dogs have 42 permanent teeth to chew on meat and vegetables. They have a broad tongue with only 1,700 taste buds, since their heightened sense of smell allows them to identify food. People have 9,000 taste buds.

DID YOU KNOW?

Barking can be a very frustrating behavioural problem for pet owners and their neighbours. If your dog has a barking problem, PetCheck has a comprehensive guide to barking that can give you insight into why your pet may be barking and tips on how to reduce it.

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BEHAVIOUR HANDOUTS

With hundreds of veterinary handouts from behaviour experts, you can instantly share information direct to your customer's digital device.

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Cardiovascular system

The cardiovascular system refers to the organs and vessels that allow blood to circulate nutrients, oxygen, carbon dioxide, wastes and hormones to the various cells within the body. The heart pumps oxygenated blood from the lungs to the rest of the body, while pumping deoxygenated blood to the lungs.

The heart is made up of the following structures:

DID YOU KNOW?

Quick thinking and a few essential steps while on the way to the vet can make a difference in the outcome of the emergency. To learn basic first aid and CPR, head to PetCheck.

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THE PET EMERGENCY ACTION PLAN

Start sharing the pet emergency action plan with your customers so they can be prepared in the event of an emergency and help improve the outcome of an emergency.

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Digestive system

The digestive system is made up of the organs responsible for processing food into a format that can be used by the body in the form of energy and nutrients. Food enters the mouth and travels through the oesophagus, stomach, small intestine and large intestine before being passed through the anus as solid waste.

The digestive system includes the:

Mouth and teeth


Stomach and stomach lining


Small intestine


Pancreas


Liver

DID YOU KNOW?

Good gut health starts with the right diet - a complete and balanced commercial diet. But, there are some other great natural foods that your pet can benefit from. For example bananas are a good source of electrolytes, potassium and fibre, melons are a good source of vitamin A&C and minerals and berries are a good source of Vitamin B&C, calcium, magnesuim and fibre. To find out more including dose rates, sign up to PetCheck for free.

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DIET PLANS FOR PETS WITH SPECIFIC HEALTH CONDITIONS

Need to share information on diets for pets with bladder stones, dietary sensitivities, liver or kidney conditions or even start a customer on an elimination diet? VetCheck has all the professional, veterinary handouts you need to help educate your customers.

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Musculoskeletal system

The musculoskeletal system is responsible for form, support, stability and movement. It is made up of skeletal bones, muscles, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, joints and connective tissue.

Common joints include the:

Elbow


Shoulder


Pelvis


Stifle and patella

DID YOU KNOW?

Pets can sustain a sprain or strain when they have not been warmed up before exercise? By not addressing minor muscle issues, your pet can sustain more severe musculoskeletal injuries such as rupture cruciate ligaments or luxating patellas. To help prevent sprains or strains, always warm up before exercise with a leash walk before a jog or run off the leash and perform muscle stretched and joint rotations 1-2 minutes before exercise. For more information on preventing musculoskeletal injuries, visit PetCheck.

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VISUAL ANATOMICAL DIAGRAMS

Do you find there is never enough time to explain serious musculosketal conditions to your client in a consultation? Start sharing VetCheck handouts written by veterinary orthopaedic experts that covers Cranial Cruciate Ligament Ruptures, Luxating Patellas, Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Intervertebral Disc Disease and more. Sign up to VetCheck now.

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Respiratory system

The respiratory system is responsible for bringing oxygen into the body and removing wastes in the form of carbon dioxide. Pets cannot regulate their heat through their skin in the form of sweat - the respiratory system is responsible for regulating the body temperature for example panting when the pet is hot.

The respiratory system includes the:

DID YOU KNOW?

Excessive panting can be a sign of a serious problem such as heat stress, anxiety and more. Learn to pick up early behavioural changes and know when to seek veterinary attention with PetCheck.

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RESTING RESPIRATORY RATE TOOL

Need your customers to calculate their pets Resting Respiratory Rate? VetCheck has a great handout on "How to perform a Resting Respiratory Rate" to share with your customers.

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Urogenital system

The urogenital system refers to the urinary system that includes the kidneys, ureter, urethra and bladder in the exretion of liquid wastes and the reproductive system that includes the female uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes and vagina and the male testes, epididymis, vas deferens and penis.

Lower urinary tract


Female genitalia


Male genitalia

DID YOU KNOW?

Desexing before 6 months of age can help reduce the onset of bad behaviours such as spraying, marking and fighting. Find out more about the benefits of desexing and other behavioural changes that may occur.

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POST SURGERY HANDOUTS

Desexings are one of the most common surgeries performed in veterinary practice. Help your customers understand what to expect after surgery with post-surgery handouts, desexing handouts and more.

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Nervous system

The nervous system is responsible for the transmission of messages to and from the brain and spinal cord. The spinal column is protected by the boney spinal vertebrae.

The nervous system includes the:

DID YOU KNOW?

Just as in humans, a dog's brain starts to shrink with age. To help reduce old age signs such as disorientation, decreased interaction, inappropriate toileting, try adding more fruits and vegetables to the diet. Studies show that Vitamin C & E or the use of veterinary prescription diets can decrease the risk of cognitive decline. Find out specific lifestage tips at PetCheck.

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DETAILED ANATOMICAL DIAGRAMS

Using visual aids in a consultation can greatly increase a clients understanding of the problem. Start sharing VetCheck handouts written by veterinary orthopaedic experts that covers Cranial Cruciate Ligament Ruptures, Luxating Patellas, Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Intervertebral Disc Disease and more.

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Eye

The eye is responsible for collecting light from the environment and converting this into an image in a three dimensional, moving image.

The eye is made up of the:

DID YOU KNOW?

Watery eyes, tear staining or third eyelid problems are common eye problems in dogs. Visit PetCheck on tips for eye care.

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EYE CONDITION HANDOUTS

Managing a case of sudden blindness, cataracts, chronic conjunctivitis or persistent corneal ulcers? Help educate your customers on homecare and give the pet the best chance to recovery.

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These illustrations are available with permission by the copyright owner, Hill's Pet Nutrition, from the Atlas of Veterinary Clinical Anatomy. This illustration should not be downloaded, printed or copied except for non-commercial use. © Hill's Pet Nutrition Pty Ltd.