XX/XY chimerism and freemartinism in a female llama co-twin to a male. Academic Article uri icon


  • A 20-month-old female llama was examined because at the time of mating, the male llama was apparently unable to achieve intromission. The female llama had been born co-twin to a male. On physical examination, the vaginal vestibule appeared to end in a blind pouch, and the uterus, cervix, and ovaries could not be identified during transrectal palpation or ultrasonography. Karyotyping was done, and 43% of blood lymphocytes had 2 X chromosomes, and 57% had 1 X and 1 Y chromosome. All skin fibroblasts had 2 X chromosomes. A diagnosis of freemartinism and XX/XY chimerism was made. Because conception of twins may be more common in llamas than birth of twins, it is possible that freemartinism could develop in singleton females, if, for instance, a male twin was conceived and died after the placentas had anastomosed. More widespread use of karyotyping in llamas with congenital defects of the reproductive tract will help to define the incidence of freemartinism.

published proceedings

  • J Am Vet Med Assoc

author list (cited authors)

  • Hinrichs, K., Buoen, L. C., & Ruth, G. R.

citation count

  • 19

complete list of authors

  • Hinrichs, K||Buoen, LC||Ruth, GR

publication date

  • October 1999