Why is skin called the Integumentary System

Skin (veterinary medicine)

Synonym: Integumentum commune
English: skin

1 definition

The outer skin, also Integument commune called, represents the protective covering of the body against the outside world in domestic mammals.

2 function

The skin is the largest organ in house mammals and, as the interface between the organism and the environment, fulfills a number of physiological tasks. In this way, it contributes significantly to the individual's ability to live and survive. The main tasks of the skin include:

  • Barrier against mechanical, chemical, physical environmental influences as well as against the penetration of parasites, bacteria and viruses.
  • Ion pool for keeping the serum electrolyte level constant and regulating blood pressure.
  • Receptor for pressure, temperature, tension and pain,
  • Storage of water, vitamins and fats,
  • Temperature regulation,
  • immunological defense and
  • Communication area.

3 anatomy

On the outer skin, three layers can be distinguished with the naked eye, the formation of which varies greatly on the individual body sections. One distinguishes

The skin has various modifications, in the form of

The skin of all domestic mammals is considerably thick and for the most part is densely hairy. Less dense hairs reveal coarser and fine furrows on the surface of the skin, between which there are corresponding ridges. A reduction in the circumference of the relevant body sections can thus produce the image of the wrinkle.

4 animal specifics

Depending on the type of animal, breed, age, individual disposition and area of ​​the body, the skin is of different thicknesses and has a different strength. In addition, the type of diet and the climatic conditions play an important role in the formation of the skin. Basically, the skin on the back is thicker than on the stomach and thicker on cattle than on horses. In addition, all areas of the skin that are subject to considerable mechanical stress (e.g. lateral torso surfaces) are thicker than the more protected areas (e.g. between the thighs). In highly bred and younger animals, the skin is thinner than in older individuals and those of the land races.

The skin on the dorsal side of the horse's tail, the cattle's triel and the ventral surface of the neck and on the pig's shield is considered to be particularly pronounced.

The skin of domestic mammals is usually brown, gray or black in color, depending on the amount of pigment (melanins and lipofuscins) deposited in the head. However, there are also animals that are basically lacking the skin pigment and whose skin therefore appears pale pink or flesh-colored. Pied and spotted animals have both pigmented and unpigmented areas of skin. A complete lack of pigmentation in the skin is usually associated with a lack of pigment in the iris and the pars iridica retinae of the eyes (albinos).

5 clinic

The skin acts as a mirror for the state inside the animal's body. A rough, dull, shaggy texture of the coat often indicates that the animal is sick.

6 literature

  • Nickel, Richard, Schummer, August, Seiferle, Eugen. Textbook of Domestic Anatomy, Volume III: Circulatory System. Parey Verlag, 2003.
  • König, Horst Erich, Liebich, Hans-Georg. Anatomy of domestic mammals: textbook and color atlas for study and practice. 3rd, revised and expanded edition. Schattauer Verlag, 2014.