An unusual occurrence happened last month in La Union Province, Philippines, when a puppy was born to its owner with green fur.
Local Chona Lacsamana woke up in her home to find her dog, Mocha, sleeping with a pack of newborn pups. The babies were colored black, white, and brown—nothing unusual—all except one, which appeared to be light green, the Daily Mail reported.
At first, Chona thought it was discoloration caused by blood during the birth, but closer inspection showed otherwise. The puppy was in fact green. And fittingly, they named him “Wasabi,” after the green spicy Japanese condiment.
Chona posted pictures on Facebook, where they went viral.
This was the first litter for Chona’s dog, and the family intend to keep all of the puppies, including Wasabi.
“We will take care of the dog together with its siblings and mother. They are all special for us,” she said.
Dogs born with green fur are exceptionally rare; however, earlier in the same month, another green puppy, named Pistachio, was born on a Sardinian farm in Italy.
Farmer Cristian Mallocci was surprised when one of his eight dogs gave birth to the green-tinged puppy on the Mediterranean island. He named the tiny dog after the tree-grown seed of the same color.
Green is a color of hope and luck, he shared, as the BBC reported, something many of us could use a little bit more of in 2020.
Pistachio was part of a litter of five, yet the rest of his siblings, as well as the mother, all had a white coat.
So why are some puppies actually born green, and do they stay that color their whole lives?
Although the puppies may appear green, the fur itself is not actually green in color. It is in fact a stain caused by biliverdin, a compound responsible for producing bile and healing wounds in animals, according to Esquire.
If the level in the birth sac is too high, it can stain the coat, lending the greenish hue (think of it as a natural hair dye).
The green stain, though, is not permanent and will eventually fade as the puppy sheds fur. The condition is not dangerous and has no known negative effects on the growth of the puppies.
It seems, therefore, that neither Wasabi nor Pistachio will stay green, but they’ll always be special.
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