Anatomical Study of the Forearm and Hand Nerves of the Domestic Cat (Felis catus), Puma (Puma concolor) and Jaguar (Panthera onca)

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The innervation of the forearm and hand regions of cats has not been well described despite its importance for any surgery or any neurological disorder. It is probably the main area where disorders of peripheral nerves in this species are observed. In felines, the forelimbs facilitate the jump and represent the most important way for capturing prey. The main muscles and nerves involved in this activity are located in the region of the forearm and hand. The aim of the present study was to provide a detailed description of the innervation of the forearm and hand regions of the jaguar and puma, in comparison with that of the domestic cat, contributing thus with the anatomical knowledge of the area for applying it to surgery and pathology. The forearms of three pumas and two jaguars (all of them fixed in formalin) and of six domestic cats (fresh) were dissected. The nerves path and their forearm distribution patterns of all three species were described. The analysed results indicate that the observed variations between species are minimal; thus, the anatomy described for domestic cats can be widely applied to American wild felids.

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