Has Anybody Seen... A Dog Dyed Dark Green?

Imagine a world in which The Incredible Hulk and Clifford the Big Red Dog immaculately conceive a puppy. Now imagine if that world was this world, and green puppies were a real thing. 

While there are probably better things to spend your time doing than daydreaming about a Hulk/Clifford genetic collab, nobody could call you crazy, because green puppies are real.

Fox 7 Austin reports that when a Great Dane in Colorado gave birth to a litter, one of its pups was the color of a faded military-issued overcoat. Given that most dogs are more often the color of khakis and tuxedos, owner Caddy Williams was taken aback.

"It was so shocking when she was born..." Williams said. "It was dark, so I finally got out my phone flashlight — and she was green!"

What makes a dog turn green?

Though the image etched into her retinas bespoke a Lovecraftian horror, Williams kept her cool, recalling previous reconnaissance into canine pigmentation aberrations.

"Luckily, I had recently read an article about a green dog. So at least I knew what was going on."

Apparently, this whole chlorophyll-colored pup thing isn't as uncommon as you might think. CNN reported a similar case in 2017, attributing the cause to "biliverdin," a pigment found in bile, and the same pigment that causes that Grinchly shade of green in bruises.

If a dog comes into contact with biliverdin in the womb, it can basically dye their fur that color, not unlike how you might color an Easter egg — just a little less festive. The good news is that green in the womb doesn't spell doom for a puppy, as it's mostly a cosmetic issue, and that the coloration will usually fade within a couple weeks.

Biliverdin in the womb is natural, and a green pup likely just points to a higher amount than would usually be present. While research on the subject is scant, it appears that biliverdin plays an important role in neonatal development and wellness for a variety of creatures, according to ScienceDirect, with a wide range of antioxidant and pigmentation properties. Being born Hulk-hued seems to be an issue specific to dogs, though.

So if you ever come across a green puppy, keep calm and name it something more creative than "Hulk" or "Forest," cause out of the handful of documented cases, those names have already been taken.