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 3. Birthing & Neonatal Care
 Need advice! Newborn cria with deformed hind leg
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Sharon I.

1 Posts

Posted - 10/12/2017 :  4:36:39 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We just had our 14th cria born a week ago on the 6th of this month. He is a white male and weighed 6 kg. We noticed right away that his LEFT hind leg was bent in a very odd way. An x-ray was taken and it showed that he has a normal femur, but the stifle bone is underdeveloped and bent 90 degrees in the opposite direction; making a "U" shape. The metacarpus and foot is present and has blood flow but he can not move it. He can move his femur bone and muscle but not anything below that. Another issue is that the tip of the bent stifle bone protrudes from his skin. Just the tip of it but it is sharp. We are sanitizing it with medication at the moment being.

The vets here have not seen a good case where a hoofstock has lived with only 3 legs and assumes that even if we amputate and give him a prosthetic leg, he will not survive long and that putting him down is the easiest thing to do. But when you see this little guy's will to stand (with just his front legs) we want to try anything that will give him a chance at life.

(Our farm is located in Nagano, Japan. Alpaca has only been in Japan for a few years and most vets do not have any experience dealing with alpacas)

We are currently on the search to find someone who can perform an amputation from below his femur bone.
* Has anyone had this kind of congenital problem with their cria?

* Is it possible for him to survive on just 3 legs?

If you would like to see a photo and x-ray of the leg, please contact me at ""

Any advice would be helpful! Thanks!


6 Posts

Posted - 10/21/2017 :  8:09:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Sharon. I just came across your post. How is your cria doing?
First-alpacas, and other 4 legged animals CAN survive and thrive with just three legs. They adjust quite easily, as this is what they know. You may be able to find a local human or horse physical therapist to give you some suggestions.
More importantly, the fact that his bone is protruding is of great concern. This can lead to infection and poor outcome. I'm sure that by now, it has been corrected?
We had an alpaca born with both of her hind legs having an abnormal bend in the 'tibia'. One was at a 61degree angle, and the other was at a 43 degree angle. We did find an alpaca vet to do surgery. They cut out the 'wedge', straightened her legs, & inserted pins with external fixstors. She had daily dressing changes for 5 weeks, then bones were healed enough to remove hardware. The greatest challenge was to keep her from running for that time. She did great, getting up on all 4 legs within a few hours after surgery to nurse. She was about a month old when we had surgery done. A local horse vet did our X-rays and emailed them to the surgeon, a few states away. In hind site, the horse vet could have done the surgery locally. Our little Liberty is doing quite well today-with no evidence of having issues. She is expecting her first cria in the springtime. I hope that your outcome is positive. Good Luck!

Valerie Csehoski & Jake Hoover
Bedford, PA 15522
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