From the moment she was born, Skipper's life has been an uphill battle. The Australian shepherd-collie mix was born with six legs: a rare and life-threatening deformity. But despite possibly being the only dog born alive with this condition, Skipper the miracle puppy appears to be happy and healthy, Yahoo! reports.
Neel Veterinary Hospital in Oklahoma posted Skipper's story on February 21, 2021, four days after she was born. Vets suspect that she failed to fully separate from her litter mate in utero, leaving her with two pelvic regions, two lower urinary tracts, two reproductive systems, two tails, six legs, and a single head and chest cavity.
The doctors could find no record of another dog born alive with Skipper's mix of congenital defects. Her mother rejected the newborn, which means she has to be bottle-fed. Even though the odds were stacked against her from the start, Skipper has persevered. She's eating and going to the bathroom regularly, growing on schedule, and moving around on her own. Her organs are healthy and her legs move in response to stimuli, though she'll likely need help with mobility when she matures. Vets are still monitoring Skipper closely, but they're hopeful she will live longer than expected.
You can follow updates from owners on the puppy's progress through the Facebook page Skipper's Journey. Her caretakers are also accepting donations to fund her monthly X-rays and other medical procedures through GoFundMe.