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Dog & Cat Anatomy Questions & Answers I-Body


closer to the midline of the body or median plane


further from the median plane


toward the head


toward the tail


toward the ground ("Down")


away from the ground, for the distal limbs, away from the tail

What surfaces below the "top" (proximal end) of the carpus/tarsus are directed toward the tail or ground?

Palmer and Plantar


near to the body or point of origin


far from the body or point of origin

For what is the term peripheral used to describe?

a part distal from its point of origin or near the surface


closer to the longitudinal axis of the limb


farther from the longitudinal axis of the limb

Where is the axis of the limb in relation to the digits?

between the 3rd and 4th digits

External vs. Internal

closer to the outer surface of the body vs. closer to the center surface of the body

Superficial vs. Deep

closer to the surface vs. internal to the surface

Sagittal plane

divides body into unequal right/left portions, parallel to median plane

Median (mid-sagittal) plane

divides body into equal right/left portions

Transverse plane

perpendicular to the median plane, divides body into caudal/cranial portions

Cross section

a cut through the transverse plane of a structure

What are sections? List two.

cuts through planes of the body to display internal structures (Transverse & Longitudinal)

Human terms

anterior=cranial, posterior=caudal, superior=dorsal, inferior=ventral; correctly applied when used for the eye & some other head structures

The skeleton can be divided into ___, ___ and visceral portions.

axial, appendicular

Name 3 parts of the axial skeleton

Skull, spinal column, thorax

The vertebral column consists of what five regions?


What connects the thoracic girdle to the axial skeleton?

Muscle attachments (synarcosis)

List the regions of the thoracic limb and the bones each includes.

shoulder: scapula
brachium: humerus
antebrachium: ulna and radius
carpus: carpal bones
manus: carpal, metacarpal, phalangeal and sesamoid bones
digits: prox., middle, distal phalanges and associated sesamoid bones

List the regions of the pelvic limb and the bones each includes.

Pelvis/pelvic girdle: hip bones (ilium, pubic, ischium), sacrum and first few caudal vertebrae
Thigh: femur
Stifle: femur, tibia, and fibula
Crus: tibia and fibula
Tarsus/hock: tarsal bones
Pes: tarsal, metatarsal, phylangeal, and sesamoid bones
Digits: proximal, middle, distal phalanges and associated sesamoid bones

What are the parts of a long bone?

Two ends: epiphysis
Body: diaphysis

In endochondral (intracartilaginous) ossification, where are the centers of ossification located?

diaphysis and two epiphyses

Lengthening of long bones occurs in what area?

outer growth plate (epiphyseal side)

What are the two different types of growth plates? give examples of each.

Traction: olecranon, calcaneus
Compression: most of the rest

Structural classification groups joints according to their ____ ____.

uniting medium

What are three types of uniting medium of joints in the structural classification?

Fibrous, cartilaginous, synovial

A suture is what type of structural joint? movement?

fibrous (immovable)

Is a gomphosis (implantation of teeth in the jaw) a true joint?

No, because teeth aren't part of the skeleton

Where are symphyseal joints found?

Generally on the midline of body

What type of joint occurs between the bodies of most vertebrae?

Symphyseal-intervertebral disc

Ginglymus or hinge

Flexion and extension (elbow)

Plane joint

Gliding or sliding (carpal bones)


universal movement (shoulder and hip)

pivot joint

rotation around a longitudinal axis (atlantoaxial joint)

Condylar joint

flexion and extension/rotation (stifle)

Most of the joints of the thoracic and pelvic limb have what type of ligaments? Which joints don't?

collateral ligaments; shoulder and hip

What five things characterize a synovial joint?

Mobility, articular cartilage, joint capsule, synovial fluid, joint cavity

What covers the articular ends of bones?

articular cartilage, usually hyaline cartilage

What is the nerve and vascular supply in articular cartilage?

doesn't have any

How does articular cartilage receive nutrition and remove waste?

Synovial fluid, as it has no blood supply

Where are bursae located?

between skin and bones, tendons and bones, muscles and bones, or ligaments and bones

What is the function of a bursa?

reduce friction between structures

What structure, similar to a bursa, is completely wrapped around a tendon?

a synovial sheath

where are synovial sheaths commonly found?

carpus, tarsus, digits

what is the function of a synovial sheath?

reduces friction on a tendon as it crosses a number of joints

what is the configuration of the shoulder joint?

ball-&-socket joint (spheroidal)

List the joints of the manus and the bones they are between.

-Antebrachial (radius and ulna and carpal bones)
-middle carpal (proximal and distal carpal rows)
-carpometacarpal joints (distal carpal and metacarpal bones)
*Metacarpophalangeal (MP) joint (metacarpal bone and a proximal phalanx)
*Proximal interdigital (PIP): proximal and middle phalanges
*Distal interdigital (DIP or "claw") joint: middle and distal phalanges

with what do the proximal ends of the ribs articulate? Distal ends?

thoracic vertebrae; sternum

name the fibrocartilages between the bodies of adjacent vertebrae.

intervertebral discs

What is the relatively immovable joint between the sacrum and ilium?

sacroiliac joint

name the ball-and-socket joint of the pelvic limb

hip joint, coxofemoral, or coxal joint

what are the fibrocartilaginous discs between the condyles of the femur and tibia

medial and lateral menisci (sin.=meniscus)

List the four main joints of the hock/tarsus

tibiotarsal joint, proximal intertarsal (PIT) joint, distal intertarsal (DIT) joint, Tarsometatarsal (TMt) joint

List the different types of muscles and whether they are voluntary or not

*striated (skeletal [voluntary])
*cardiac [involuntary]
*smooth (unstriated [involuntary])

What are the two attachments of skeletal muscles?

origin (proximal or usually least movable) and insertion (distal or usually more movable)

What are the flat attachments of flat muscles (eg. abdominal muscles)?

aponeuroses (sin.=aponeurosis)

What is the difference between tendons and ligaments?

Tendons: attaches a muscle to bone; Ligaments: attach 2 bones

What do muscles' actions depend upon? (3)

how they cross a joint, the # of joints crossed, and shape of joints

How is the nervous system divided? a. Functionally? b. structurally?

a. somatic (body) and autonomic (ANS, visceral system) nervous systems
b. Central (CNS) and peripheral nervous systems (PNS)

what functional division of the nervous system keeps the body in balance with its external and internal environment, respectively?

External: somatic
Internal: autonomic (ANS)

what are the two parts of the CNS?

brain and spinal cord

what are the three parts of the PNS?

cranial nerves, spinal nerves, and ganglia

what are the two impulses of the nervous system, both somatic and autonomic?

sensory (afferent) and motor (efferent)

What nervous structures pass from the spinal cord to the periphery?

spinal nerves (LMN, lower motor neurons)

where do the spinal nerves leave the vertebral column?

intervertebral foramen

what arises from the spinal cord to form a spinal nerve?

dorsal (sensory) and ventral (motor) roots

what are the two main branches of spinal nerves? (what do they carry?)

Dorsal and ventral branches, (mixed: motor and sensory fibers).

To what areas do the ventral and dorsal motor branches of the spinal nerves supply motor innervation?

Ventral: muscles ventral to the transverse process of the vertebrae
Dorsal: muscles dorsal to the transverse processes, sensory innervation not exactly the same)

What spinal nerve branches receive sensation from the skin of the abdominal wall and back?

Dorsal: back (above the transverse processes) and upper flank (area just below the transverse processes), Ventral: rest

List the components of a reflex arc

stimulus, receptor, sensory neurons, interneurons, motor neurons, effector organ

What are aggregations of nerve cell bodies in the CNS? PNS?

CNS: nucleus; PNS: ganglion

What is gray matter?

part of nervous tissue consisting of the neuronal cell bodies

What is the white matter?

part of the nervous tissue consisting mainly of myelinated nerve fibers/axons

What is a nerve?

a bundle of nerve processes outside the CNS

what are nerve tracts or fasciculi?

nerve fiber bundles of common origin in the brain and spinal cord

what is the definition of an artery? a vein?

arteries: vessels that travel away from the heart; veins: toward the heart

list the superficial lymph nodes of the body (5)

parotid, mandibular, superficial cervical, popliteal, and superficial inguinal

the skin consists of what two layers?

epidermis and dermis

the two layers of the skin (dermis and epidermis) lie on the ____.

subcutaneous layer, superficial fascia, subcutis; hypodermis, SQ or SC

where is the skin thin? where is it thick?

belly; neck

what is another name for eyelids?


what is the function of the pupil?

control amount of light coming into the eye

what is the flap of skin inside the medial part of the eyelids?

third eyelid (nictitating membrane)

how can you get the third eyelid to cross the eye for examination?

open the palpebral fissure and press the eyeball through the lateral upper lid

how can the mouth be opened to look in the oral cavity?

grasp the upper jaw with one hand and pushing down on the incisors with a finger of the other

what are the large, shearing teeth of dogs and cats?

carnassial or sectorial teeth (upper premolar 4 and lower molar 1)

which teeth have three roots in the dog?

Last three on top (PM4, M1, and M2)

describe the external ear canal.

two parts, vertical part passes down takes a sharp turn and continues as the horizontal part to the ear drum (tympanic membrane)

what is the pocket of skin in the caudal edge of the ear?

cutaneous pouch

what do the costal cartilages of the ribs caudal to the sternum form?

costal arch

what remains of the entrance of the umbilical cord?

umbilicus or belly button (faint scar)

how many mammae does the dog usually have?

8 to 10 or 4 to 5 pairs

what is the lateral abdominal area between the back legs?

inguinal region

what is the most dorsal portion of the flank?

paralumbar fossa

what are the boundaries of the perineum

base of the tail, tuber ischii, past the vulva (female), to base of the scrotum (dog) (past scrotum in cats)

where are the openings of the anal sacs (clock-faced analogy)?

4 and 8 o'clock position

what is the depression on either side of the anus?

ischiorectal fossa

where would you find the tibia and fibula?

crus or true leg (gaskin)

where is the clitoris found?

in the ventral commissure of labia

What is the picture taken by a radiographic machine called?

radiograph or film, not an X-ray

why isn't X-ray an appropriate term for a radiograph/film?

can't see X-rays

what is evaluated in a radiograph?

shape and density

what can eliminate the need to think about the inverse square rule?

using standard distance for different techniques (technique chart) eliminates distance as a variable

how do you minimize the distortion of divergence in radiology?

always place the part/side of interest against the cassette so it will be sharp and close to actual size

how do the five different radiographic densities appear on film?

Air & Fat = black; Water = shades of gray; Bone & Metal = white

what the five B's that aid in remembering density differences?

Bubbles, Blubber, Blood, Bone, Bullet = Air, Fat, Water, Bone, and Metal

what is required to see structures in a radiograph that touch each other?

differences in densities between them

how is fat a friend when reading radiographs

more radiolucent = contrasts soft tissues (e.g., perirenal fat around the kidney)

define the following radiographic terms:
a. increased opacity:
b. decreases opacity:
c. radiolucent:
d. radiopaque:
e. increased radiolucency:

a. whiter shadow than expected caused by an increased subject density or size
b. darker shadow than expected caused by a decrease in the subject density or size
c. dark, a structure allowing most of the X-rays to pass through it, resulting in a dark shadow
d. white, a structure that blocks most of the X-rays resulting in a white shadow
e. darker, caused by decreased density or size of a subject

what is the general rule in preparing the animal to take good radiographs?

minimal amount of movement

discuss minimal amount of movement when taking radiographs

varies with type of radiograph: from minimal restraint, to sedation, or anesthetized(spine films)

what does and does not lead protect against in relationship to radiology?

does: scatter; doesn't: primary beam

what is often imagined in radiographs but can't be seen, as it is a 2D image?

do not try to read or see depth

how are radiographic views named?

where the beam enters and exits the body/part

Describe how the beam enters and exits the body in the following way:
Right or left lateral projections of major body cavities (abdomen, thorax)

named for the surface closest to the cassette (beam exit point).

Describe how the beam enters and exits the body in the following way:
DV/dorsoventral and VD/ventrodorsal projections:

DV: beam enters the dorsal surface and exits ventral. VD: enters ventral surface and exits the dorsal

Describe how the beam enters and exits the body in the following way:
Craniocaudal (CrCa) or anterior/posterior (AP) projections:

CrCa: beam enters cranial/anterior side and exits caudal/posterior surface (back) of the limb above the carpus/tarsus

Describe how the beam enters and exits the body in the following way:
DP/dorsopalmer (dorsoplantar) PD or palmarodorsal (plantarodorsal) projections:

DP: shot from the "front to back" (dorsal to the palmer side) below the proximal end of the carpus (tarsus)
PD: beam through the palmer/plantar side and out the dorsal side below the proximal end of the carpus (tarsus)

what do lead "R" and "L" markers indicate on a radiograph?

Patient's lateral side placed on the film/"down", side of body in VD and DV films, or which limb if there is only one limb in the film

what should always be used to check if markers on a film are correct?

anatomical landmarks

what is the survival law when reading radiographs?

read in a systematic manner

what helps you orient the views and indicate the direction of the beam?

anatomical landmarks

what view silhouettes lateral and medial limb structures?

craniocaudally, dorsopalmar, or dorsoventral

since a radiograph is a 2D representation of a three dimensional object, how is the third dimension extrapolated?

at least two radiographs must be take at 90 degrees to each other

the different views _____ different sides of the bones.


what does the lateral view silhouette?

cranial and caudal surfaces of bones

is cartilage seen radiographically?

no, only inferred

since cartilage can't be seen radiographically, how is it evaluated?

check subchondral bone

what is the space between bones seen in a radiograph?

joint space and articular cartilage

What is the composition of most long bones at birth?

bone capped at both ends with articular cartilage, 2 cartilaginous discs between the diaphysis and the 2 epiphyses

What are the cartilaginous discs between the diaphysis and epiphysis?

epiphyseal, metaphyseal or growth plate; or physis

where does lengthening of bone occur?

epiphyseal side of the metaphyseal plate

during growth, how does the physis appear radiographically?

as a radiolucent line (dark line).

what should not be mistaken for fractures radiographically?

physeal lines or sesamoid bones

what is a normal remnant of the closed physis?

physeal scar

Where are growing long bones prone to fracture?

physis (growth plate)

when do most physes close (by what age?

by one year of age

What is inflammation of a tendon? Tendon sheath?

tendinitis, tendosynovitis/tenosynovitis (tendovaginitis)

what is osteocondrosis (OC)?

a defect in endochondral ossification which causes the deeper layers of articular cartilage to die

what is osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD)?

osteochondrosis with a dissecting flap or separated piece of cartilage ("joint mouse")

what is the most common place for osteochondrosis in dogs?

shoulder; the head of the humerus

do you look for radiographic changes in the cartilage in OC?

no, can't see cartilage, check subchondral bone

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