Radiographic Finding of Radial Hemimelia in a 6-Day- Old West African Dwarf Goat with a Fractured Ulna

Special Article - Radiology Case Reports

Austin J Radiol. 2017; 4(1): 1062.

Radiographic Finding of Radial Hemimelia in a 6-Day- Old West African Dwarf Goat with a Fractured Ulna

Oviawe EI¹*, Yakubu AS¹, Kene ROC¹, Buhari S¹ and Mayaki AM²

¹Departement of Surgery and Radiology, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Nigeria

²Department of Veterinary Medicine, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Nigeria

*Corresponding author: Oviawe EI, Departement of Surgery and Radiology, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria

Received: December 26, 2016; Accepted: February 14, 2017; Published: February 24, 2017


This report describes a case of radial hemimelia in a 6 day-old West African Dwarf female kid presented at the Large Animal Clinic of Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria, because of inability to bear weight as a result of suspected bone fracture of the right forelimb which was noticed few minutes after kidding. Physical examination revealed crepitation along the ulna shaft of the right forelimb. Radiographic examination revealed complete absence of the radius, malformed carpal bones, reduced congruity at the humeroulna joint, and curved ulnar bone with a complete closed transverse fracture at the distal 1/3rd. Documentation of such defects in ruminants would give valuable information on their incidence, animal species, breed susceptibility and possibly environmental influence on their pathogenesis.

Keywords: Hemimelia; Radiography; Radius; Ulna; West African dwarf goat


Hemimelia is a congenital abnormality of partial or complete absence of an individual limb which is usually unilateral, although bilateral case may occur [1,2]. Different names have been used to describe congenital malformations affecting boneson any areas of the body. Those involving the vertebral segment are called hemi vertebra, fore limb is called a brachia [3], and the hind limb is calledapodia [1]. Where one of the limbs is absent, monobrachia is used [4] but if all or portion of the middle bones of a limb(s) are absent, leaving only the proximal and distal portions, the hemimelia is called intercalary [5]. Viewing it from an anatomical aspect, hemimelia is classified into transversal hemimelia meaning complete absence of the distal portion of the limb or paraxial hemimelia meaning an aplasia of either the radius or ulna, or tibia and fibula [1].

The causes of radial hemimelia in the foetus are considered to be multifactorial either genetic, environmental or a combination of both factors [6]. Genetic factors include association between autosomal recessive heritage and chromosomal aberrations [6- 8] while environmental factors particularly in the North-eastern Nigeria which is characterized by low rain fall, less pasture and harsh environment, may serves as sources of different teratogenic agents such as toxic plants, maternal infections, radiations from the harsh sun, chemicals and drugs [9,10].

Radial hemimelia is the partial or total congenital absence of the radial bone [5]. Although reports have been documented on radial hemimelia in domestic ruminants (Cattle, Sheep and goats) and small animals (dogs and cats) [1] but small domestic ruminants was reported to suffer more from frightful malformations [11]. The congenital malformations reported in the goats in the past includeperodactylia [12], tibial agenesis monopodia [13], monobrachia [14,15], hemimelia [1], and radial agencies [16]. In Nigeria, case(s) of phocomelia in sheep [10], brachiomelia in West African Dwarf triplet goat [17], peromelia in a Simmental calf [18], agenesis in Sahel goats [11] and a brachia in sheep [3] have been reported. Apart from the clinical examination, radiography is the best diagnostic tool for the identification of malformations involving the bony structures of the body [19]. Most cases of radial hemimelia usually manifested as varus deviation of the affected limb [1].

A survey conducted by [10] on ruminants in the North Eastern part of Nigeria reported that 11 cases of malformation were obtained between 2001-2002 of which sheep were most affected with 5 malformations (45.5%), goats were the second with 4 malformations (36.4%) and cattle were the least affected with 2 malformations (18.2%). Among the deformities, the limbs were mostly affected (36.36%), followed by craniofacial defects (18.8%) and the least affected were the defects of the general body posture (18.18%). Malformations involving abnormal twinning were recorded to be 21.27%.

Case Report and Observations

A 6-day-old female West African dwarf kid weighing 3kg was referred to Large Animal clinic of Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, with complaint of nonweight bearing lameness due to suspected bone fracture on the right fore-limb which was noticed few minutes after kidding. On physical examination, pain and crepitation along the ulna shaft of the right forelimb, inability to extend and flex the elbow joint, marked reduction in size and varus deviation of the limb were observed (Figure 1). The animal could not bear weight on the affected limb (Figure 2). All the vital parameters were within the normal limit.