In the United States, a puppy named Skipper was born a few days ago with six legs and two tails. Her vets believe she is the first female dog to be born alive with this particular set of birth conditions. For the moment, the young female is doing well.
Her life might not be easy, but she could manage, her vets say. Skipper was born on February 16 in a clinic in Oklahoma, where she is currently still being treated. She came from a cross between a border collie and an Australian Shepherd, and was part of a litter of nine puppies.
Six legs, two tails
Skipper developed two congenital disorders called monocephalus dipygus and monocephalus rachipagus dibrachius tetrapus. To put it simply, she has “A head and a thoracic cavity, but two pelvic regions, two lower urinary tract, two reproductive systems, two tails and six legs among others”, can we read in a Facebook message published by the veterinary team.
According to Dr Tina Neel, owner of the veterinary hospital, Skipper was probably part of a twin in utero, “And when the fertilized egg tried to split, it didn’t completely separate”, can we read on CNN
In addition to her unique body structure, Skipper also appears to have developed a possible disease of the spine, as well as monocephalus dipygus, which explains the duplicated internal features of the young bitch.
For the moment, Skipper is hanging on!
Despite his rare ailments, Skipper appears in good health. “His organs seem to be in great shape”, according to the Facebook post. “All its paws move and respond to stimuli like a normal puppy”. She also defecates and eats properly. Unfortunately, having been rejected by her mother, she has been bottle-fed since birth.
Skipper being the first known puppy to have six legs, special care will obviously be needed for its development. “She may need physical therapy and mobility assistance as she gets older. Given the uniqueness of her situation, we will be monitoring her development to ensure she is comfortable throughout her life ”, the hospital said.
With this in mind, the owners of the young bitch have implemented a GoFundMe (fundraising) to help finance future medical care. More than $ 6,400 have already been given at the time of writing this article. “Our vets and his family see no reason not to give him the best chance to live a good life”, assures Dr. Neel.