When Mark and Elaine Cooper’s two-year-old chocolate labrador Milly gave birth to four male and one female puppies in January, the couple was shocked to find that one of the dogs was born with a green coat!
The couple from Lancashire, England had never seen anything quite like it before. In recognition of the pooch’s uniqueness, they decided it should be called Fifi, after the green ogre Princess Fiona from Shrek.
“She came out in the sack so we thought that it was the placenta that made her look very dark. We thought she was a black Labrador,” 56-year-old Elaine said. “But when Milly started to lick the placenta off she actually had a green tinge. We were laughing and saying no, this can’t be green.”
When the couple went online to research, they found out that the condition is completely harmless. It is simply a discolouration in the birthing process that sometimes happens to puppies with very light-colored hair. Normally, it wears off after a few weeks. The phenomenon happens when a puppy is over-exposed to a substance called Biliverdin, which can be found in the placenta.
Elaine and Mark believe that Fifi might be one of only several dogs on the planet born this way. When researching online they only managed to find two reports of similar cases: one in Spain, and the second one, remarkably, in their native Lancashire five years ago!
Elaine said that all of the puppies including Fifi are doing very well. The couple are planning to sell them once they are old enough.
“The color’s faded now and Fifi is doing well even though she was the smallest of the litter, she’s so sweet,” the 56-year-old told the Sun.