A puppy named Skipper likes to cuddle, sleep and eat — but there’s one thing that makes her stand out: she was born with six legs.
The newborn pup, who was born on February 16 at Neel Veterinary Hospital in Oklahoma City, Okla., has since made history and is believed to be the first puppy to survive with six legs.
“This is a miracle named Skipper. Literally. She has survived longer than we suspect any other canine has (at just 4 days old - published research does not indicate one has been born alive) with her combination of congenital conditions,” the hospital’s Facebook post wrote.
“You might notice she looks a little different - 6 legs! She has a type of congenital conjoining disorders called monocephalus dipygus and monocephalus rachipagus dibrachius tetrapus which simply means she has 1 head and chest cavity but 2 pelvic regions, 2 lower urinary tracts, 2 reproductive systems, 2 tails and 6 legs among other things,” the post continued.
As to how Skipper formed six legs, “it is likely that she was going to have a litter mate but they did not separate in utero. She also has signs of spina bifida along her spine.”
Luckily, Skipper’s “organs appear to be in great shape, she is peeing and pooping, and is very strong! She nurses well and is growing appropriately so far,” the post noted. “All of her legs move and respond to stimulus just like a normal puppy. It's possible she may need physical therapy and assistance with mobility as she gets older. We will continue to research her conditions, monitor her development during rechecks and help keep Skipper pain-free and comfortable for the rest of life. She is doing well at home now.”
One week after Skipper was brought into the world, she is doing better than ever. "She is strong girl! She loves to nurse and is able to scoot around just like a regular puppy," Dr. Tina Neel, owner of the Neel Veterinary Hospital, said. "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."