When your furry friend gives birth for the first time, it’s always a special feeling. But you should also be ready for surprises, and some of those surprises can be unique. You might sometimes end up with a green puppy!
So why are some puppies born green, and is it normal? Let’s explore more in this article.
Why Do Some Puppies Come Out Green?
In a litter of puppies born to a mother dog of a certain color – white, black, or golden – most puppies will be born identical.
Yet, it is not entirely unheard of for a female dog to give birth to a puppy with green fur. For example, In North Carolina, a mama German Shepherd gave birth to a healthy green fur pup named Hulk.
You might also have heard of an English Labrador Retriever with a green puppy born to her (named Fifi). There was another case of a White Retriever in Sardinia who gave birth to a green puppy named Pistachio. All of them are reported to be doing well with their respective families.
But why are puppies born green? The answer lies in a pigmenting substance called Biliverdin or because of in utero Meconium by the pup which you will notice in nursing puppies.
This rare phenomenon of a dog born with green fur occurs when the puppy gets dyed with a green pigment called Biliverdin while still in its mother.
If the puppy has naturally light-colored fur, the pigment Bilverdin might cause the fur to be colored green.
Another reason for a green puppy to be born is when it passes Meconium while still in the mother’s uterus. Let us discuss these in more detail.
Biliverdin is a pigment that is found in the bile of dogs and other animals. It is responsible for the green color of bile and can be seen in their vomit or diarrhea.
Excess Biliverdin can be an indicator of liver disease or other health problems. If you notice Biliverdin in your dog’s vomit or diarrhea, it is important to take them to the vet for an evaluation.
When your dog is pregnant, there may be some changes in her bodily functions, and her stool might also be affected due to the Biliverdin.
In some cases, this pigment can work as a “dyeing agent” for one of the amniotic sacs of her puppies. Since all the puppies have their individual amniotic sacs, the weakest ones can be affected by the pigment.
These pups change color over the gestation period, resulting in green dogs being born. Though this is extremely rare, it can happen to almost any dog.
Moreover, puppies born green due to this reason will not remain green forever. They will slowly lose their green dye and regain the natural color of their fur.
The first stool that a mammal’s child passes is called Meconium, and it has a special significance to it. It is thick, viscous, and sticky like tar and has materials that the baby ingested while still in the uterus. This includes:
- Amniotic fluid
- Epithelial cells
- Bile, and
Ideally, the newborn pup should pass Meconium within the first 48 hours after being born. Beyond this, the pup could have a dangerous bowel obstruction (called meconium ileus).
However, sometimes the pup will pass Meconium while still inside the uterus.
Research suggests that this can happen if the mother dog is facing a difficult birth (known as dystocia).
This causes the Meconium to stain the amniotic fluid (known as meconium-stained liquor), by which the pup is surrounded. If this happens, it can leave the dog’s placenta green-colored and end up causing a green fur puppy to be born.
In most cases, however, it is unlikely to cause any long-term effect on the puppy or the mother. After giving birth, the puppy should be able to live a healthy life.
Is It Normal For a Puppy to Have Green Fur?
Veterinary experts are trying to figure out how common this phenomenon can be. As of now, there are no clear statistics. Dr. Bronwyn Crane, a Canadian vet, suggests that the likelihood is close to 1 in 10,000.
In any case, it is just a physiological condition of the mother that is affecting her babies and is considered to be totally safe.
Unless the green puppy is born with any other medical condition, you will find a green puppy growing up as a happy and healthy dog, just like other puppies. After all, Pistachio, Fifi, and Hulk are all growing up as furry balls of energy in their homes!
Is It Dangerous to Have a Green Puppy?
No, it is not dangerous to have a green puppy. Green dogs are just a result of pigmentation that affects them in their mother’s womb.
The other puppies of the litter are not affected by this sibling’s condition. In most cases, the mother and puppies are all healthy.
If the green color is due to Meconium, it might have happened due to a tough delivery. But once the delivery is over and the baby and mama are healthy, there is nothing to worry about.
Will the Green Stain on My Puppy’s Fur Stay Until It Gets Older?
Whether it is caused by the pigmentation from Biliverdin or Meconium, a green puppy’s color is rarely permanent. There are a lot of news reports of green puppies but almost nothing about green dogs.
This is because the “dyeing agent” from the pigmentation causes a puppy’s fur to be green only when they are young. As they grow up, the pigmentation fades, and the puppy’s fur becomes identical to the rest of the litter.
Some puppies might take a long time to have the green wear off, while the others may turn white, golden, or black within a month or two.
A green fur puppy may be born due to pigmentation from Biliverdin or due to in utero Meconium during a difficult birth. However, they are just as precious and beautiful as the other pups in the litter, and they are not dangerous to anyone.