Six-legged abandoned dog has operation to remove extra limbs

A six-legged dog found abandoned in a supermarket car park has had a successful operation to have her additional limbs removed.

Ariel was found alone aged just 11 weeks outside a B&M store in Pembrokeshire in September.

The cocker spaniel was born with birth defects, which resulted in her having six legs, two vulvas, and only one kidney.

When news of her abandonment broke, more than £15,000 was raised in donations.

She was taken in by her local vets Greenacres Rescue in Haverfordwest, but was transferred to Small Animal Referral Hospital Langford Vets University of Bristol for an operation to remove her extra limbs.

Mikey Lawlor, founder and manager of Greenacres Rescue, said of her condition: "Due to having two hip joints on one side, Ariel's pelvis never formed properly.

"As a result her normal back right leg had virtually no muscle tone, so there was a possibility that might have had to come off too.

"Thankfully that wasn't the case though as it's shown signs of having strengthened a lot in recent months."

Two operations, which lasted around two hours each, were successful and Ariel, named because of her fused limbs that looked like a mermaid's tail, was "walking around eating and drinking" the following day, he added.

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She will soon be discharged to her foster home in West Wales, before the search begins to find her a "forever home".

Langford Vets's hospital director Vicki Black added: "Ariel was a complicated little dog whose care required close collaboration across a number of our specialist teams, including orthopaedics, soft tissue surgery, anaesthesia and radiology.

"As part of the University of Bristol we are a centre committed to career-long learning and are proud to innovate and treat pets like Ariel.

"We are delighted such a lovely animal has recovered well from her surgery."