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Medicine LibreTexts

12.05: Excretion

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  • Animals need to excrete because they take in substances that are excess to the body’s requirements and many of the chemical reactions in the body produce waste products. If these substances were not removed they would poison cells or slow down metabolism. All animals therefore have some means of getting rid of these wastes.

    The major waste products in mammals are carbon dioxide that is removed by the lungs, and urea that is produced when excess amino acids (from proteins) are broken down. Urea is filtered from the blood by the kidneys.

    Urinary System of Dog.JPG

    Diagram 12.2 - The position of the organs of the urinary system in a dog


    • Ruth Lawson (Otago Polytechnic; Dunedin, New Zealand)