A pet parent got the surprise of a lifetime when her Golden Retriever gave birth to a litter of nine puppies, one of which had a green tint to his fur.
According to the U.K. outlet The Sun, Louise Sutherland of Scotland was shocked when her dog Rio delivered a puppy that appeared to be a mint green color.
The fascinating and rare pup, who has been making headlines worldwide since his birth, has aptly been named Forest.
So what exactly caused Forest to look like this? Dr. Victor Stora, a resident at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, explained that the green pigment is caused by biliverdin.
"The placenta has an enormous blood supply and there is a lot of blood that moves through the placenta," Stora told petMD. "Blood which escapes the main placenta is broken down in the uterus to biliverdin, which, if this pigment invades into the amnionic sac that surrounds the puppy, would dye the hairs on the fetus green. Therefore, the placentation of this puppy must have been abnormal if it did not repel the biliverdin and allowed it to invade in."
While Forest's rare pigment won't cause any harm, Stora said the pup is actually quite lucky, all things considered.
"Most often, defects in the placenta cause the puppy to die becauase this is the only way for it to receive nutrients and oxygen," he noted. "One could understand that if there is a defect in the placenta, it would be odd that only biliverdin would leak in and no other molecules. This puppy is pretty lucky that the defect which allowed the entry of biliverdin did not cause any other potentially toxic substances to come through."
Little Forest's case is an extremely rare one, and a short-lived one to boot. "Like hair dye, this is a temporary change and will fade," Stora said.
Read more: 5 Rare Diseases of Dogs
Image via Cascade News