Horse

• Origin: Lower end of the inner surface of the humerus.

• Insertion: Inner and outer corners, on the rear surface of the lower end of the upper toe bone and the upper end of the middle toe bone.

• Action: Flexes the wrist joint and the upper two toe joints; extends the elbow joint.

• Structure: The muscle belly lies deep to the other muscles of the forearm. Its strong, flat tendon emerges at the back of the wrist, descends as the most superficial tendon on the back of the lower part of the limb, widens behind the metacarpophalangeal joint, and then splits before inserting. The tendon of the flexor digitorum profundus emerges through this split. A deep radial head, consisting of a fibrous band, is not visible. The tendons of the superficial and deep digital flexors appear as a single powerful cable on the back of the metacarpal.

• Insertion: Upper rear surface of the middle toe bone of both toes.

• Structure: A small portion of the fleshy belly is visible on the surface, on the inner side of the limb, above the wrist. The long tendon splits on the back of the metacarpal bone for each toe. Just before it inserts, the tendon is perforated with a single hole to allow passage of the tendon of the flexor digitorum profundus.

• Insertion: Upper end of the rear surface of the middle toe bone of the four outer digits.

• Structure: The entire muscle belly is visible on the surface, in marked contrast to the horse and the ox. It becomes tendinous just above the wrist, then splits into four tendons. The inserting ends are perforated with a single hole to allow passage of the tendon of the flexor digitorum profundus.

FELINE

• Origin: Outer portion of the rear surface of the tendon of the palmaris longus, just above the back of the wrist.

• Insertion: Upper rear surface of the middle toe bone of the two outer digits (4 & 5).

• Action: Flexes the upper two toe joints of the outer two toes (4 & 5).

• Structure: In the feline, the flexor digitorum superficialis is a small, minor muscle that lies on the back of the wrist. Only the ulnar head comes to the surface (the radial head is deep). It has a small, flat belly and two tendons that pass deep to the outer tendons of the palmaris longus.

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