How Do Veterinarians Know About the Anatomy of Animals?

For proper treatment, veterinarians must know about the anatomy of different animal organs. But how do veterinarians know about the anatomy of animals?

Quick answer: veterinarians know the anatomy of the animals by systemic, topographic, and regional approaches. Again, they may also know the animal anatomy with the help of clinical and imaging techniques.

Here, I will discuss the methods by which veterinarians or veterinary students can learn about animal anatomy. As a first-year veterinary student, you might have an idea of these methods or techniques.

How do veterinarians know about the anatomy of animals?

Veterinarians can know about the anatomy of animals by the following approaches –

  • Systemic anatomical study of the animal body,
  • Topographic and surface anatomy approaches,
  • Applied anatomy method,
  • Studying the regional anatomy of the animal body,
  • Functional anatomy study method,
  • Studying the clinical anatomy of the animal, and
  • Using radiological and other imaging techniques,

They can use any of the approaches to know the animal anatomy. However, the systemic and topographic study methods with the imaging technique are the best for veterinarians to know animal anatomy perfectly.

How Do Veterinarians Know About the Animal Anatomy
How Do Veterinarians Know About the Animal Anatomy

Again, veterinarians can know the anatomy of animals’ organs in the field practice by following –

  • Inspection and palpation of the specific organs of the animal body and
  • Using the imaging technique of that specific organ of the animal,

Now, let’s see how veterinarians use these methods and know about the anatomy of animals. Here, Table 1 shows the ways of knowing animal anatomy for the veterinarians –

How do veterinarians know about the anatomy of animalsShort overview
Systemic anatomy study methodDeals with organ system
Topographic and surface anatomyDetermine the relative position of organs
Applied anatomy methodApplication of anatomical facts in practice
Regional anatomy study methodStudy of the animal body by region
Functional anatomy study methodCorrelation between structure and function
Radiological anatomy study methodStudy of organs using imaging technique
How Do Vets Know the Animal Anatomy?

What is systemic anatomy study in veterinary?

It consists of a system of organs that have a similar origin and structures. Again, these organs of the particular system are responsible for the specific function.

Thus, the systemic anatomy study methods teach you the anatomical features of the particular organs of the body. Systemic anatomy consists of the following –

  • Collection of organs or apparatus,
  • Have similar origins and structure and
  • Associated with performing the particular function of the animal body,

Let’s give an example of the systemic anatomy –

In the skeleton of an animal, you will find various types of bones. These bones are similar in origin and structure. They perform similar functions, like protecting the vital organs of the body and helping in its movement.

This is the skeletal system of animals, and the specific study of bone and skeleton is known as osteology.

Animal Anatomy for Veterinarians
Animal Anatomy for Veterinarians

Here, Table 2 shows the systems or parts of the systemic anatomy of the animal body –

Systemic anatomy of animalDeals with
OsteologyDescription of the bone and skeleton
SyndesmologyStudy of the animal joints
MyologyStudy of the animal muscles
Splancology –
Digestive system
Respiratory system
Deals with the anatomy of digestive organs
Study of the respiratory organs
Angiology –
Cardiovascular system and
Lymphatic system
Deals with the heart and vessels
Study of the lymph formation, lymph nodes, and lymph circulation
Neurology (nervous system)Study of brain, spinal cord, and nerves
Sense organsDeals with ear, eye, and skin
Integumentary systemStudy of hoof, horns, and others
Systemic Anatomy of Animals

How does topographic anatomy help veterinarians to know about animals’ organs?

The surface and topographic anatomy are almost the same in anatomy. But, you may make little difference between the surface and topographic anatomy –

  • Surface anatomy: it deals with the external description or landmark of the specific organ of animals.
  • Topographic anatomy: it deals with the study of the relative position of the different organs of the animal body. By this study method, you may determine the exact location of the particular organ of the animal.

Thus, the surface or topographic anatomy helps veterinarians find the landmarks or specific and accurate locations of animal organs.

Now, let’s give an example of surface and topographic anatomy –

If you tell the cow heart is located at the dorso-medial aspect of the elbow joint, then it is the surface anatomy of the heart. Here, the elbow joint is the landmark for the cow heart.

But, you may also tell that the heart is located cranial to the diaphragm. Its base is located between the second and sixth ribs, whereas the apex is located just above the sixth condosternal joint.

Dorsally, the cow heart is enclosed by the lungs. So, when you express the relative position of the cow heart, then this is topographic anatomy.

How does regional anatomy help veterinarians to know about animals?

The regional anatomy of an animal deals with the anatomical features of the organs in a specific area. Thus, it is the study of the organization of the animal body in region or area-wise.

Example of regional anatomy from the animal –

  • Anatomy of the structures, organs, and parts of the limbs,
  • Study of the organs, structures, and parts of the thorax,

Thus, regional anatomy helps veterinarians to know the detailed anatomical features of the specific region of an animal’s body.

Applied anatomy study method in veterinary

In field practice and physical diagnosis purposes, you need to apply anatomical knowledge. Thus, when you apply anatomical knowledge to this purpose, this is applied anatomy.

The applied anatomy study is effective in the following veterinary practices –

  • Perform the surgery on the animal,
  • For the physical diagnosis and other practical branches,

Suppose you want to collect ruminal fluid for diagnosis purposes. You might have knowledge of anatomy and the exact location of the ruminant rumen.

Both the surface and topographic anatomy of the rumen are essential to collect the ruminal fluid.

Examples of the applied veterinary anatomy:

  • Radiological veterinary anatomy,
  • Clinical veterinary anatomy,
  • Functional veterinary anatomy and
  • Veterinary surgical anatomy,

What is veterinary radiological anatomy?

The structure and form of the animal organ can be determined by radiological and imaging techniques. This is the veterinary radiological anatomy and is widely used in veterinary science for diagnostic purposes.

Example of veterinary radiology anatomy: you may easily learn the anatomical features of the bones by imaging techniques from live animals. Again, you may also learn the structure and form of internal organs by using imaging techniques from the live animal.

What is clinical anatomy in veterinary?

Sometimes, you need to know the anatomy of various organs to practise medicine and other health sciences. When anatomical knowledge is related to the practice of medicine and other health sciences, then it is clinical medicine.

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So, veterinarians know about the anatomy of animals through systemic study methods and imaging techniques. Besides these two, there are other different methods by which veterinarians can learn about animal anatomy.

Thus, the article helps you to get the answer to the question – ‘how do veterinarians know about the anatomy of animals?’. As a veterinarian or veterinary student, you may learn the systemic anatomy of animals from AnatomyLearner.