May 15, 2017 06:24 AM EDT
Ranchers in a North Dakota farm was expecting a new calf but they did not expect its physical outcome as it came with an extra set of limbs. Despite this, veterinarians said that the newborn cow is at the healthy stage.
In an article published in Bismarck Tribune, Gerald Skalsky, a rancher in a North Dakota farm located south of Beulah, said that he was astonished when his wife called him Wednesday morning to see the calf with an extra set of hind legs hanging off one side of its neck. "I've been ranching my whole life, and I've never seen anything like it," Skalsky said.
Susan Keller, the state veterinarian, said that the unusual calf may have been born with polymelia. Polymelia is where extra limbs are usually smaller or shrunken. She also said that the calf may have contacted polydactyly, which could be the result of genetic combinations involving recessive genes.
She also added that such defects to the calf could ignite important topics that producers and ranchers should not be afraid to report to various veterinarians and to all breed associations. Gerald Kitto, a veterinarian from Sheridan Animal Hospital, said that he has only seen three or four calves with an extra limb during his 42 years of practice.
Morgan Dallman of Knife River Veterinary Clinic agreed with Kitto's statement. He added that the calf's situation is one of the better and fortunate ones in terms of birth defects, as most cases are reported as fatal.
Dallman, who also serves as Skalshy's veterinarian for his animals, recommends DNA testing in these situations of multiple cases of defects. But, he said that most of these cases are isolated and he suspects that the case of the calf is just one of the random occurrences.
Even if veterinarians reported that the calf is currently healthy, Skalsky has still had plans for the animal's extra limbs. In an article published in ABC, he said that he will have the extra limbs surgically removed.
Skalsky also said that he does not have any plans to keep the calf for breeding but would likely to keep the cow as it is. He said that the calf's mother is still playing its role as its mother even if the baby is deformed.
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