A GOLSPIE golden retriever has given birth to a green puppy, believed to be one of only four in the world.
Three-year-old Rio is owned by Louise Sutherland of Drummuie.
On Friday, Rio went into labour for 36 hours and finally produced a litter of nine pups, although one was stillborn.
Mrs Sutherland said: "The first pup was stuck, so myself and my daughter Claire managed to free him and pull him out safely.
"It was all hands on deck but then as the puppies started to arrive, we noticed that one of the puppy’s fur was green! We couldn’t believe it.
"When we checked it out later we found out it’s very unusual and something to do with the placenta. The colour has faded quite a bit already and will be gone soon, I’m told. We’ve named him Forest."
Puppies can turn green because of a bile pigment called biliverdin that is found in the placenta of dogs. On very rare occasions, the substance can stain the puppy’s coat when it mixes with the mother’s amniotic fluid – the liquid that protects and nourishes the pup.
It is most visible on light-coloured breeds such as labradors and retrievers, but it is harmless and wears off after a few weeks.
A couple from Lancashire, whose labrador gave birth to a green puppy in February this year, researched online and could find only two other similar cases, including one in Spain.
Mrs Sutherland said: "Rio had a total of seven boys and one girl and they are all great and growing like mushrooms.
"This is her second litter but the first was much more normal – a five-hour labour and five pups, two girls and three boys. But this will be her last!"
She has managed to find good homes for all the puppies and will also keep one herself – possibly Forest.