Dog Musculoskeletal Anatomy

Dog Musculoskeletal System Outline


This means the bones are “jointed” or have a common point for motion.

dog musculoskeletal anatomy

Picture 1


Form – provide a rigid structure for support of internal organs. This allows the animal to stand against gravity.
The Skeleton Protects more delicate internal structures.
Leverage is provided by bony attachments or protuberances for Muscles

Storehouse of Minerals to be released as the metabolic demands n the body change.
The Bone Marrow produces blood cells
Landmarks are useful from a surgical standpoint

Two Major Divisions of the Skeletal System



Spinal Column
Os Penis

Axial Skeleton

Skull – Many bones fused – two moveable jaws. The rest of the cranium is rigid bone
Puppies “Soft Spot” Fontanel
Sagittal Ridge – Dorsal protuberance
Inner Ear – Bones which make up the inner ear
Pituitary Gland – The base of the skull has a fossa which protects the pituitary gland as it hangs from the ventral surface of the brain.

Upper Jaw – Maxillae
Pre maxillae – the bones which hold the incisor teeth.
Alveoli – the sockets which the teeth are held into the bone.
Lower Jaw –MandibleMandibular Symphysis – the junction of the right and left mandibles

Elongated Nose = Dolichocephalic – Collie
Middle of the Road = Mesaticephalic – Beagle
Short Nosed = Brachycephalic – Bulldog

Spine – Flexible part of axial skeleton made of vertebrae

Intervertebral Disc – these are the cartilage cushions between the vertebrae. Shaped like a “Jelly Donut” with the tougher outer cartilage “filled” with inner “jelly” disc material. That gives it the compressibility.

Cervical vertebrae – Mammals always have 7 cervical vertebrae from a mouse to a giraffe

C1 – Atlas – First cervical vertebrae – supports the head – at the end of the neck

C2 – Axis –Second cervical vertebrae – allows the head to turn on the neck
dog axial skeleton

Picture 2

Thoracic vertebrae – 13 thoracic vertebrae serve as attachments for the – Ribs – Protects the delicate heart and lungs within the chest.

Lumbar vertebrae – 7 lumbar vertebrae – have long transverse processes – which serve to protect the abdominal organs from the top while allowing abdominal distention

Sacral vertebrae – Three fused vertebrae caudal to the lumbar vertebrae. Serve as a singular point of attachment of the pelvis to the spine..

Coccygeal vertebrae – Caudal vertebrae which form the tail.


Picture 3


Continued on following page, “Appendicular Skeleton”, link below


Pelvic Limb – Dog Pelvis Anatomy Continued from previous page Anatomy -Musculoskeletal System Outline   Picture 4   Shoulder Scapula…