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Vets and owners amazed by the rarest Dalmatian puppy

Dalmatian lies on the ground in a house dog-wow
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A Dalmatian gave birth to a pup in 2018 and had a rare and fascinating appearance. Read on to learn more about the dog born with two heads, seen of less than 0.4% of births.

By Nick Whittle , 16 Oct 2019

A five-year-old Dalmatian belonging to a foster family in Delaware made history of sorts last year. Three of its four pups were born naturally - all healthy animals - but the delivery of the fourth caused concern. Mum started to get distressed as she laboured with the final pup. Sensing her health was in jeopardy, the family rushed the animal to the local vet’s surgery to be told that the dog would need an emergency caesarean section.

Rare breed

The delivery of the fourth pup was carried out. To the astonishment of those present, the pup was revealed to have two tongues and two noses.

Diprosopus (Craniofacial Duplication) is a congenital defect which causes a foetus to grow with two faces. The word “Diprosopus” comes from the compound of two Greek words for “two-faced”. The condition is similar to that seen of conjoined twins.


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Causes unknown

The causes are so various that it remains impossible to say whether the defect is caused by a hereditary gene or an abnormal volume of a protein responsible for mapping the foetal face.

Despite the efforts of the medical team the puppy unfortunately did not survive. In fact, most offspring (of dogs or humans) with the condition do not have a brain and therefore are deemed not viable.

That being said, the Mail ran a story last year about one of six puppies born to a Creole breed of dog that had two heads and survived.

According to the report, owner Percy Ortiz said he would, “Ensure it received the same care as the other puppies, and would consult a veterinarian to see whether it would have specific dietary requirements and care.