OKLAHOMA CITY — This is one unusual puppy, one that veterinarians are calling miraculous.
A border collie was born with six legs and is standing up against the odds. The Neel Veterinary Hospital in Oklahoma posted a photo of the pup, named Skipper, on its Facebook page.
Skipper was born with a single head and chest cavity, but in addition to her legs she has two tails, two pelvic regions, two lower urinary tracts and a pair of reproductive systems.
“It is likely that she was going to have a litter mate but they did not separate in utero,” the veterinary hospital wrote on Facebook. “She also has signs of spina bifida along her spine.”
Skipper was part of a nine-puppy litter born Feb. 16 during a snowstorm, Tina Neel, the owner of Neel Veterinary Hospital, told CNN.
When the weather subsided, Skipper’s owners brought the puppy to the veterinary hospital to be examined.
“Our doctors knew that we needed further imaging to determine a diagnosis so we donated the service of an abdominal ultrasound,” Neel told CNN. “The ultrasound, along with radiographs, showed that she had two types of congenital disorders, called monocephalus dipygus and monocephalus rachipagus dibrachius tetrapus, which means she has one head and chest cavity but two pelvic regions, two lower urinary tracts, two reproductive regions, two tails and six legs, among other things.”
Hospital officials believe Skipper is the first six-legged canine to be born alive.
“All of her legs move and respond to stimulus just like a normal puppy, the hospital wrote on Facebook. “It’s possible she may need physical therapy and assistance with mobility as she gets older.”
Neel called Skipper “a strong girl.”
“She loves to nurse and is able to scoot around just like a regular puppy,” Neel told CNN. “We think that she may have some things to overcome, but she is determined right now and thriving. Our veterinarians and her family don’t see any reason not to give her the best chance a great life.”