Caninus Dilator naris lateralis

• Origin: Side of the face—in front of the facial crest in the horse; at the end of the facial crest in the ox; just above the large molar in the dog and feline.

• Insertion: Side of the wing of the nostril in the horse and ox; upper lip in the dog and feline.

• Action: In the horse and ox, the caninus pulls the side wall of the nostril rearward, dilating the nostril; in the dog and feline, it lifts and retracts the front of the upper lip, exposing the "canine" tooth.

• Structure: In the horse, the caninus is a thin, flat, triangular muscle. It begins with a thick tendon, and widens as it inserts into the edge of the nostril. It passes between the two branches of the levator nasolabialis, first passing under the rear portion then over the front portion. Its lower fibers blend with the orbicularis oris; the lower edge of the muscle may be visible on the surface. In the ox, the caninus does not diverge as much as in the horse, but rather develops two or three tendons that attach to the side of the nostril. In the dog, it lies just below, and parallel to, the levator labii maxillaris; they both pass under the levator nasolabialis.

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