What’s That Pet Part Called?

dog and veterinarian with x-ray scan

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!

man petting a catapron (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 veterinarian!