Owner's surprise as puppy potentially born both female and male
- Credit: Carl Davies
A puppy in Norwich could have an extremely rare condition where it is both male and female, much to the surprise of their owner and animal experts.
Carl Davies, Pip's owner, took them to the vet after his friend who worked for the RSPCA thought the puppy had a prolapse.
After an emergency appointment, it was revealed that Pip may have been born both female and male.
Mr Davies, 38, said: "The vet said that Pip could be a hermaphrodite.
"Currently the vets don't want to do anything about the growth as it may be where Pip urinates from.
"I was told the condition did not harm Pip at all and they are just like a little teddy bear."
Mr Davies kept Pip after the puppy bonded with his now deceased bull-terrier.
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He added: "Pip thought my bull terrier was their dad and even though they were only together for two months, they are so similar.
"I take Pip to work with me and they sit in the spot my bull terrier sat - it's almost like my bull terrier came back in the puppy."
Laura Prendergast, a veterinary surgeon at Vets 4 Pets, in Hall Road, said that Pip's condition is extremely rare.
She said: "This is a very rare occurrence and probably a case that will happen once in my career.
"It's not clear purely from examinations, but Pip has some sort of hermaphroditism."
The condition could be either true hermaphroditism, with both male and female sex organs, or pseudo-hermaphroditism.
This is where Pip is a female dog but due to a hormone imbalance, she may have developed male features including testicles.
She added: "The bone growing out of Pip's vagina has a groove on it, similar to that on a male dog's penis.
"This groove is not present in females, which led us to believe they are a hermaphrodite.
"Pip is a very healthy, happy little dog, with no inflammation showing.
"However, this condition may be genetically inherited so we would recommend the breeding line wasn’t continued."