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Anatomy and Physiology of the Digestive Tract



Lips
Prehension, sorting

Tongue
Gather and move the food around between the teeth and help in swallowing.

Teeth
Cut grass, grind and shred food material

Mouth
Hard and soft palate form the roof, salivary glands provide enzymes and saliva to start digestion and aid in swallowing

Esophagus
Smooth muscle tube connecting the mouth to the stomach, moves food by peristalsis, upper and lower esophageal sphincters are one way valves at each end.
Stomach
Glandular and non-glandular areas divided by margo plicatus, enzymes and acids are added for digesting , but main function is storing, pylorus is valve to the duodenum.

Duodenum
First part of small intestine, pancreas adds enzymes, bile duct adds bile (no gall bladder in the horse), starts digestion and absorption.

Jejunum
Longest part of small intestine, enzymatic digestion, absorption of nutrients.

Ileum
Last, short part of small intestine, leads to the cecum through the ileo-cecal valve

Cecum
Blind pouch, (appendix), digestion by microbial fermentation, absorption, two way peristalsis.

Large Colon
Right Ventral, Sternal flexure, Left Ventral, Pelvic flexure, Left Dorsal, Diaphragmatic Flexure, Right Dorsal to small colon, digestion by fermentation, absorption of nutrient and water.

Small Colon
Absorption of nutrients and water, dries out feces.

Rectum
Forms fecal balls, further drying, holds feces prior to evacuation.

Anus
Sphincter to regulate defecation.




 









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