What’s That Part Called?

The names of many pet parts are the same as humans (think pelvis, scapula, and femur), but there are a handful that are unique to animals. Check them out!

apron (or frill): chest hair

crest: the area of the back that starts at the nape of the neck and ends at the top of the shoulders

dewclaws: a vestigial thumb

dewlap: loose skin under the throat and neck, often seen in basset hounds

flank: the side between the last rib and rear leg

flews: upper lips

forequarters: the front section, which includes the shoulder blades, upper arms, and forelegs

hindquarters: the rear section, which includes the pelvis, upper thighs, and hind legs

hock: the sharp bend at the back of the leg, sort of like an ankle

keel (or brisket): the lower curve of the chest

muzzle (or foreface): the protruding area of the face that includes the nose, jaw, and mouth, often called the snout

pasterns: similar to the bones in a human’s hands or feet, these shock-absorbing bones are located in the forelegs and hind legs

prosternum: the part of the chest that juts out the farthest

rump (or croup): the rear end

stifle: the knee joint on the back leg

stop: where the skull ends toward the muzzle

tail set: where the tail attaches to the rear end

withers: top of the shoulder blades

The next time you bring your pet in for a visit, try using some of these terms to explain any health concerns — or just to impress your medical care team member or Dr. Anderson!

Companion Animal Hospital is all for education to help our clients. Please let us know how we can better serve you!


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For Boarding: Please have your pet’s previous record faxed or emailed to Companion Animal Hospital if they received vaccines at another facility. All dogs must be current on Rabies, Bordetella and Distemper Parvo (DHPP, DA2PP). All cats must be current on Rabies, Leukemia and Feline Distemper (FVRCP). We will vaccinate the pet if he/she is due for vaccinations or if documents showing proof of vaccination cannot be provided.