1-2-3-4...5?! Angus steer born with an extra leg

BEFORE AND AFTER: A 15-month-old Angus steer on a Warwick property with an extra leg
BEFORE AND AFTER: A 15-month-old Angus steer on a Warwick property with an extra leg Contributed

IN HIS 45 years working with cattle, veterinarian Ross Newman had never seen anything quite like this five legged steer.

The mobile vet was recently called to a Warwick property to deal with an Angus steer that had a leg growing out of its front leg.

Mr New man said the 15 month old steer had a condition called polymelia.

"I've seen it reported but I've never seen one myself," he said.

"It's certainly not unheard of but it's pretty rare."

The extra leg was growing out from near the steer's shoulder blade.

And while the leg was only miniature, it had all the normal leg bones and joints except only one toe instead of two.

After a tricky, hour-and-a-half surgery, Mr Newman was able to remove the extra leg.

"The steer was heavily sedated with local anaesthetic," he said.

"I had to dissect down from the top of shoulder, clamping numerous big blood vessels off.

"Then we had to cut the leg off and stitch it all back up again."

While the extra leg would have had no effect on the steer, Mr Newman said it was better to remove it.

"It's just the aesthetics of it," he said.

"If it got caught on things, like going out the gate, it could have really hurt itself."

Topics:  editors picks steers veterinarian warwick

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