71 (3) 211-215

S. Verberckmoes, A. Van Soom, I. De Pauw, S. Van Cruchten, A. de Kruif

In this case report an anatomical, histologic, hormonal and cytogenetic study of an intersexual sheep was carried out. At the age of 15 months, no udder could be detected in the animal, which had been classified as a female of a heterosexual twin at birth. At the age of 22 months the sheep was diagnosed as an intersex due to the presence of both male and female characteristics, viz. two testicles and a vulva. The hCG stimulation test proved that active Leydig cells were present in the male gonads. Histologic analysis after necropsy showed inflammation and atrophy of the testicular parenchyma. However, at the cytogenetic level, sexual chromosome mosaicism 54, XX / 54, XY was found after lymphocyte culture. These analyses made it clear that the intersex described here was a male pseudohermaphrodite. This condition occurs in less than 0.03% of the total sheep population. The hCG stimulation test can be used to distinguish “pseudo-male” from “pseudo-female” freemartins at a young age and without the need for necropsy.

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pp 211-215