But the border collie and Australian Shepherd mix is unique compared to the rest of her litter – she was born with six legs.
Skipper was born naturally – with eight siblings – on Feb. 16 in Oklahoma during a heavy snowstorm, Dr Tina Neel, owner of Neel Veterinary Hospital, told CNN.
After the storm, Neel said Skipper’s owners brought her to hospital for vets to examine.
“Our doctors knew we needed additional imaging to determine a diagnosis, so we donated the service of an abdominal ultrasound,” Neel told CNN.
The ultrasound, as well as the x-rays, showed that she had two types of congenital disorders, called monocephalus dipygus and monocephalus rachipagus dibrachius tetrapus, which means that she has a head and a chest cavity but two pelvic regions, two lower urinary tract, two reproductive regions, two tails and six legs, among others. “
Neel said Skipper was probably part of a twin in utero “and when the fertilized egg tried to split it didn’t completely separate.”
“So only the back half of his body was able to duplicate,” Neel said. “She also has signs of Spina Bifida along her spine.”
A week after he was born, Neel said Skipper was on the rise.
“She’s a strong girl! She loves to breastfeed and is able to move around like a regular puppy, ”said Neel. “We think she might have things to overcome, but she is determined right now and successful. Our vets and her family see no reason not to give her the best chance at living a great life.”
However, vets are still watching Skipper, given the uniqueness of his situation.
“We will continue to research his conditions, monitor his development during rechecks and help Skipper remain painless and comfortable for the rest of his life,” the veterinary hospital wrote in its Facebook post. “She’s fine at home now.”