Clinical Gross Anatomy of the Skin


It is important to standardize the description and position of anatomical features.  The following pictures provide illustrations of terms used to describe directions around the pig and major surface landmarks.

Describing the general directions around the pig

View of the pig neck

The head view of the pig


Surface landmarks relating to the sex of the pig

The major surface landmarks of the rear of the female pig:

The hind view of a female gilt

Detail of the vulva opened

The major surface hind quarter landmarks of the rear of the male:

The entire male:

The castrated male:

Remember that the male also has the prepuce on the ventral surface.

Lateral view of the mammary glands

Detail of the teat with milk from the supplying mammae being expressed


Specific detail of the surface anatomy of the lower limb

Detail of the dorsal surface of the front foot

Plantar view of the foot

Lateral view of the front foot

Carpal glands – function unknown

Visualising the position of the major organs


When clinically examining the pig, it is essential to be able to visualize the position of the major organs. 

The following illustrations reflect the major organs onto the surface of the pig.

The white line represents the position of the last rib.  The organs are similarly colored in each drawing.  The organs are labeled in the right side illustration.  Note the large size of the pig’s head to the rest of its body.

Left side




Small intestine





Right side





Large intestine






From the Dorsum


Skeleton and organ layout superimposed on the image of the pig

The commercial Large White/Yorkshire

The Vietnamese Pot Belly


Detail of the major meat joints of the pig drawn on the skin of the pig

The pig is the most important meat source in most countries.  It is important to understand the various joints and their relative importance to the meat industry.