A dog owner was shocked when her golden retriever gave birth to a rare mint-green puppy.
Louise Sutherland's beloved 3-year-old dog Rio gave birth to nine puppies, but one had a distinct difference, Daily Mail reports. The pup, who has been named Forest, was born with a vibrant green coat -- which has only happened a few times in recorded history.
The phenomenon is caused by biliverdin, a pigment found in dogs' placentas. The pigment may rarely stain the pup's coat as it mixes with the mom's amniotic fluid.
The effect is most visible when seen on light-colored dogs. Humans are also affected by biliverdin, evident when bruises take on a green hue.
"The first pup was stuck, so myself and my daughter Claire managed to free him and pull him out safely," said Sutherland. "It was all hands on deck but then as the puppies started to arrive, we noticed that one of the puppies had green fur! We couldn't believe it."
The color isn't expected to last long, however. The effect from biliverdin only lasts for a few weeks.
"When we checked it out later we found out it is very unusual and to do with the placenta," Sutherland added. "The color has faded quite a bit already and will be gone soon, I'm told."
Sutherland plans to keep Forest and has found homes for the other puppies.
"Rio had a total of seven boys and one girl and they are all great and growing like mushrooms," said Sutherland. "This is her second litter but the first was much more normal -- a five-hour labor and five pups, two girls and three boys. But this will be her last!"
The phenomenon has reportedly only happened to three other dogs, including a chocolate Labrador retriever in the U.K. who gave birth to a green puppy. Owner Elaine Cooper named that puppy Fifi as an homage to Princess Fiona from "Shrek," according to Inside Edition.
"We'd never heard of it before and couldn't believe our eyes," said Manchester native Cooper. "We thought it was a black Labrador at first when it was in the sack. Then when she licked the placenta off, the pup looked emerald green."
Fifi was the smallest pup of her litter, and the only female, but Cooper said that her size wasn't stopping her from holding her own with her brothers Gizmo, Rover, Bear and Ghost.
"At first, her brothers beat her to the milk, but she's bossing them around now," said Cooper.
Cooper said the puppies were all doing "excellent."