Skipper acts just like your average puppy, but the newborn canine doesn’t look the way you’d expect. That’s because the 11-ounce Border Collie/Australian Shepherd mix has six legs! Not only that, but she also has two tails and some duplicate organs. Most puppies in these situations don’t survive, but Skipper isn’t one to follow the crowd.
Thanks to the help of supportive veterinarians, Skipper is thriving despite her conditions. All her legs seem to be functioning properly, and vets are confident she will live a happy life just like all her brothers and sisters. She’s one of a kind, and she refuses to let that hold her back.
One of a Kind
Tiny Skipper was born at Neel Veterinary Hospital in Oklahoma City. While Skipper’s siblings had a normal birth, Skipper’s first day in this world was anything but ordinary. Everything from her waist down seemed duplicated. She was born with six legs, two tails, two pelvic regions, two lower urinary tracts, and two reproductive systems. According to reports, no puppy has ever survived a situation like this.
“I don’t think I’m probably gonna see another puppy in my lifetime like this,” said Dr. Everett, a veterinarian at Neel Veterinary Hospital. “I would say she’s probably one of a kind.”
The hospital stated that Skipper’s extra body parts are due to several congenital conjoining disorders, including monocephalus dipygus and monocephalus rachipagus dibrachius tetrapus. However, she is still able to function properly despite it all.
“What we think happened with her is that sometime during development, when the body normally starts patterning itself … she started trying to split, almost like trying to form a twin, and it just didn’t complete itself,” Everett added.
A Bright Future
Skipper already has a family to love her, and she’s living a normal puppy life as much as she can. After her birth, vets discovered she has mobility in her legs and can relieve herself with no complications. She’s also healthy and shows no signs of pain or discomfort.
At 10 days old, Skipper returned to the vet for further examination. She gained about two ounces and is doing well at home. She will likely go through physical therapy or need assistance walking as she ages, but she has a bright future ahead of her. Vets even showed Skipper’s mom how to help the pup with range-of-motion exercises to further strengthen her legs.
Sadly, the vets have received lots of negative comments, saying they should put Skipper out of her misery. But Skipper seems happy, pain-free, and full of life, so she deserves a chance at happiness. She will continue to live her best life at her home, and keep having regular check-ups at the vet. Vet check-ups will keep her healthy and help professionals learn a little more about her unique conditions.
Thank you to all the kind animal lovers who believed in Skipper!