Puppy was born with fifth leg due to extremely rare condition — now up for adoption

Some dogs are born with medical conditions so rare they stun even the most dedicated veterinarians and rescuers. Recently, one humane society took in a puppy with a medical condition they had never seen before: she has a “fifth leg.”

Now, this one-of-a-kind dog is up for adoption.

Wisconsin Humane Society, in Milwaukee, recently took in a 6-month-old puppy named Bella whose medical condition left them “floored.”

Bella has an extremely rare congenital anomaly called dimelia characterized by duplication of bones. Her right hind leg has two femurs, two fibulas, two tibias and five extra toes on her paw — like having an extra, fifth leg fused with one of her legs.

WHS said it’s not only the first case they’ve seen in their 145-year history, but it’s one of the few documented cases of dimelia in a dog ever.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in a dog,” Nancy Weiss, DVM, WHS medical director, said in a press release. “Her radiographs are quite extraordinary.” 

Wisconsin Humane Society

According to GMA, Bella was surrendered to the shelter by her owners — not because of her medical condition, but because she was “too rambunctious.”

Their veterinary team consulted with an outside surgical specialist about treatment possibilities, including amputating the leg. But Bella walks comfortably even with her fused leg, and there are potential risks for surgery, so for the time being they have ruled out surgery.

The extra bones affect her mobility somewhat and she has an abnormal gait, but she otherwise lives a normal life and loves to go on walks and play in the yard.

As of April 26, this truly unique dog is up for adoption and looking for a great home.

“We have a sea of dogs and puppies looking for homes right now, but Bella is extra special,” said Angela Speed, vice president of marketing and communications. “Who wouldn’t adopt this loving unicorn of a pup? Our community is awesome, and we know there is a great person out there to support Bella in her journey.”

While Bella lives a fairly normal life, owners would have to regularly consult with a veterinarian about her health.

“It’s really hard to know what the next six months, two years, five years, are going to look like for Bella,” Speed told USA Today. “We know that today she’s a happy otherwise healthy girl.”

May be an image of dog and acupuncture
Facebook/Wisconsin Humane Society

WHS says that adoption applications are first-come, first-served as long as it’s a good fit. Interested adopters can visit the humane society’s adoption page for more information.

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