Unusual Dog Defies Odds of Survival

When I first saw this image being passed around, I thought it was Photoshopped, or at least a digital glitch. No, this is Pig, a dog who was born with profound deformities. Pig and her litter mates were found in the woods near Atlanta. Kim Dillenbeck of Helena, Georgia, adopted the puppy named Pig. She is experienced in animal rescue and fostering, and figured she could handle it if the puppy died. Veterinarians did not expect Pig to survive.

At 8 months old, Pig weighs about 15 pounds; her sisters are closer to 35-40 pounds.

"She's not fully grown," Dillenbeck said. "She's still gaining weight. At this point, she has the potential to gain another 20 pounds, and that would probably kill her."

But Pig's veterinarians, Drs. David Fuller and Rachael Hudson at Hope Animal Clinic, say Dillenbeck is doing everything right for Pig.

"Pig doesn't know there's anything wrong with her," Dillenbeck said. And true, that's the way Pig acts. But she has plenty of issues. Dillenbeck said Pig is missing part of her spine; she's missing several ribs. And she has vertebrae that are fused and twisted. Near her neck, her spinal cord splits into two separate cords. Her hips and joints are rotated in the wrong positions.

Yet, Pig runs and is good at standing up on her hind legs, and she is in no obvious pain.

Dillenbeck must carefully supervise Pig’s eating and takes precautions with her health. What does the future hold for this dog? No one knows, as she was not expected to live as long as she already has. See more pictures of Pig, including X-rays, at AL.com. -via Arbroath

(Image credit: Kim Dillenbeck)


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