In this guide, you will know the answer to the question – what are the branches of the abdominal aorta in cattle? This abdominal part of the cattle’s aorta is the continuation of the thoracic aorta. Again, the thoracic aorta is the first segment of the animal’s descending aorta after the aortic arch.
Quick answer: there are five major branches of the abdominal aorta in cattle. These branches are – celiac, cranial and caudal mesenteric, renal, testicular/ ovarian, and lumbar arteries.
Here, I will show you all these significant branches of the cattle abdominal aorta with the diagram. You will find the sub-division of these major branches of cattle’s abdominal aorta with their distribution in this guide.
Let’s read the article and learn the branches of cattle’s abdominal aorta.
Where is the abdominal aorta in cattle or animals?
The abdominal aorta in cattle is the part of the descending aorta located just caudal to the diaphragm. It courses beneath the lumbar vertebrae next to the caudal vena cava. Finally, it terminates by dividing into two external iliacs, two internal iliacs, and a single median sacral artery.
This division of the abdominal aorta of cattle occurs at the level of the fifth or sixth lumbar vertebrae. The median sacral artery is the midline continuation of the abdominal aorta that continues ventral to the caudal vertebrae.
So, the extension of the cattle’s abdominal aorta –
- Origin: arises from the descending aorta after entering the diaphragm through the aortic hiatus,
- Course: passes below the bodies of the lumbar vertebrae, sublumbar muscles, and ventral common vertebral ligament,
- Termination: it terminates below the fifth or sixth lumbar vertebrae and divides into 5 branches,
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Branches of the abdominal aorta in cattle
The main branches of the abdominal aorta of cattle are distributed to the abdominal viscera. You will find the unpaired and paired branches of the abdominal aorta in cattle as follows –
- Celiac artery (unpaired),
- Cranial mesenteric artery (unpaired),
- Caudal mesenteric artery (unpaired),
- Renal arteries (paired),
- Gonadal – testicular or ovarian arteries (paired) and
- Lumbar arteries (paired),
Here, I tried to show all these five branches of the cattle’s abdominal aorta in the labeled diagram. But, you might know the details of these branches with their specific distribution in cattle.
Celiac artery of the cattle or animals
The animal’s celiac artery arises shortly after the aorta passes through the diaphragm. In cattle, the celiac artery arises with the common trunk of the cranial mesenteric artery.
- Hepatic artery: it arises from the convex side of the curve of the celiac artery. This artery crosses the caudal vena cava and gives off several branches (see below).
- Splenic artery: a slender vessel that arises in common with the right ruminant artery. This artery passes cranially, reaches the dorsal surface of the rumen, and finally enters into the hilus of the cattle spleen.
- Right ruminal artery: it is a large vessel that passes through the right ruminal groove. It reaches the left side of the rumen and anastomoses with the left ruminal artery.
- Left ruminal artery: it passes along the right surface of the rumen and traverses the left longitudinal groove. This artery is anastomosed with the right ruminant artery on the left longitudinal groove of the rumen.
- Reticular artery: this artery of the cattle arises from the left ruminant artery and supplies it to the reticulum.
- Phrenic artery: this very small artery arises from the celiac artery and supplies the diaphragm. Sometimes, you may find two arteries for each cur of the cattle diaphragm.
Branches of the hepatic artery in cattle or ruminant
The hepatic artery of cattle or most ruminants gives off several branches –
- Pancreatic branch for the cattle pancreas,
- Right hepatic branch for the right part of the liver,
- Left hepatic branch for the left lobe of the cattle liver,
- Right and left gastric arteries: the right gastric artery arises from the left hepatic artery. It passes in the lesser omentum along the lesser curvature of the stomach. Finally, this right gastric artery anastomoses with the left gastric artery of the cattle’s stomach.
- Left gastric artery: it passes cranially to the lesser curvature of the omasum. This artery reaches the lesser curvature of the abomasum and anastomoses with the hepatic artery.
- Cystic artery for the cattle’s gall bladder and
- Gastroduodenal artery: this artery gives off several arteries to the cattle’s pancreas, duodenum, and abomasum. It passes along the greater curvature of the abomasum and anastomoses with the left gastric artery.
Cranial mesenteric artery in cattle
Immediately caudal to the celiac artery, the cranial mesenteric artery arises in the cattle. This is another large and unpaired artery of the cattle’s abdominal aorta.
Several branches from the cranial mesenteric are supplied to most of the small and much of the large intestine. The number and distribution of the branches of the cranial mesenteric artery vary in different species.
In cattle, it gives off branches to the pancreas, descending colon, distal loop of colon, jejunum, and ileum. Let’s see the significant branches of the cranial mesenteric artery in the cattle –
- Pancreatic and caudal pancreaticoduodenal arteries,
- Middle colic artery for descending colon,
- Ileocolic artery for the distal loop of the cattle’s colon,
- Collateral arteries in the cattle (but absent in the sheep and goat),
- Jejunal arteries of the cattle, and
- Ileal arteries of the cattle’s ileum,
Branches of the renal artery in animals
These are the larger two arteries that directly arise from the cattle abdominal aorta at the level of the second lumbar vertebra. A single renal artery supplies each right and left kidney of the animal.
The left renal artery of the cattle is longer than the right renal artery. Here, the right renal artery of the cattle arises at the level of the second lumbar vertebra.
It crosses the dorsal face of the cattle’s caudal vena cava. Finally, it passes laterally and enters into the hilus of the cattle’s right kidney.
Again, the left renal artery of the cattle arises further behind the right renal artery. It passes cranially and ventrally to enter the hilus of the cattle’s left kidney.
You may know more details about the cattle’s kidneys from the below-mentioned article –
Testicular or ovarian arteries of animals
Both the vessels are paired and depend on the male and female animals. Here, the male testicular arteries arise close to the caudal mesenteric artery.
This vessel passes caudally traverses along the lateral wall of the pelvic cavity. Finally, the testicular artery descends within the inguinal canal of the cattle. Thus, this vessel becomes included in the bull’s spermatic cord.
Again, the ovarian artery also arises close to the caudal mesenteric artery. It descends ventrally and passes along the free border of the broad ligament. Finally, it divides into several branches and supplies the cow’s ovary and fallopian tubes.
Caudal mesenteric artery in cattle
The caudal mesenteric artery in cattle is an unpaired artery that directly arises from the abdominal aorta. It gives off several branches to the colon and the last part of the large intestine.
Origin of caudal mesenteric: near the termination of the abdominal aorta (at the level of the fifth lumbar vertebra), just caudal to the gonadal artery.
Lumbar arteries of the cattle
You will find six pairs of lumbar arteries in cattle. The first five pairs of lumbar arteries arise from the dorsal surface of the abdominal aorta. Again, the last pair of lumbar arteries arises from the internal iliac or iliolumbar artery.
The lumbar arteries give off two branches – dorsal and ventral. Here, the lumbar arteries’ dorsal branch supply to the cattle’s sublumbar muscles. The ventral branch of the arteries supply to the cattle’s abdominal wall.
Summary of the cattle abdominal aorta
Table 1 shows the summary of the cattle abdominal aorta (main branches and subbranches) –
|Main branches of abdominal aorta
|HEPATIC DIVIDES –
Right hepatic branch
Left hepatic branch
Right gastric branch
|Cranial mesenteric artery
Middle colic artery
|Right renal artery
Left renal artery (larger)
|Testicular or ovarian arteries
|Right and left gonadal arteries
|Six paired lumbar arteries
|Dorsal and ventral branches
So, the celiac, mesenteric, gonadal, renal, and lumbar are the main branches of the abdominal aorta in cattle. Among these arteries, the celiac and cranial mesenteric arteries are more considerable.
Again, more branches are found in the cattle’s celiac artery than others. The caudal mesenteric artery is thinner and smaller than the cranial mesenteric artery.