Our readers sometimes ask why we call dogs a mustache? Yes, four-legged friends on the face grow some unusual hairs. But why? Let's look into this issue in more detail.
Where do vibrissa grow?
The mustache is called vibrissa (from the Latin word vibro - I hesitate, wriggle). These are the first hairs that grow in puppies. They grow in groups of 3-5 hairs near the nose, above the upper lip, on the chin, above the eyes, on the neck.
Vibrissas - thick, long, stiff hair. The base of each is in a hair bag and is surrounded by venous cavities. Many nerve endings approach the vibrissa roots, making the receptors very sensitive. Each vibrissa has its own area in the brain.
If you touch the vibrissae, the four-legged one will turn to close his eyes and turn his head away. The dog uses them as an antenna. Vibrisses pick up even the slightest vibration of air. The dog does not focus well on objects nearby. The antennae help, which seem to feel the object. Mukhtars thus recognize its size and shape. The dog easily avoids obstacles due to vibrissa. Many animals have mustaches: cats, seals, bears, rats.
Dog whiskers can be damaged due to illnesses (e.g. scabies), injuries, burns, haircuts. Not every owner or groomer knows the purpose of a mustache. Some consider them superfluous. As a result, vibrissae are often cut.
Removal of antennae is a painful procedure that reduces the sensitivity of the animal.
A dog with a trimmed mustache moves slowly, because it does not receive information about surrounding objects. Especially difficult for the poor fellow at night. There are tetrapods who frolic as if nothing had happened even after depilation. However, this is still a happy exception than the rule.
Mustache is an important tactile organ that helps the dog navigate in space and learn about the world.Translation by Ryndina O. V.