Susie the long haired dachshund had a surprise in store for her owner and vets when she went in to be spayed.
When she went under the scalpel at Eastgate Vets in Mildenhall the vet could find no womb and the ovaries were the wrong colour. In fact, they were the colour of testicles, which tests showed was exactly what they were.
Susie’s owner Jackie Thompson from Hanmer Avenue, Mildenhall, said: “I always knew she was special but didn’t know how special.”
The lab that did the tests reported that Susie is intersex so she is not a girl, but then again, she’s not a boy.
She may not be even a true hermaphrodite — only 25 per cent of intersex dogs have the necessary chromosomes to be hermaphrodites.
One senior vet at Eastgate had seen the condition before, about 20 years ago, but partner Alex Wylie, who qualified in 1993, said: “I’ve heard of it but never seen it.
“I’ve seen weird stuff like only one ovary or only bits of the uterus, but I’ve never seen testicles inside.
“It’s interesting — I wish I’d done this one! It is a male, but externally female.”
Jackie said she bought Susie four years ago from a breeder in Norwich and she was the only ‘girl’ in the litter of about six puppies.
“I kept reading on the internet that if you’re not breeding from them you should get them done, so I booked her in,” she said.
She had never noticed Susie being in season but the vets told her it was not unusual for owners to miss that.
Though it turned out Susie did not need to be spayed to stop her getting pregnant, it was fortunate Jakcie had the operation done because it has probably saved her dog’s life.
Alex said: “If they had been left in, the testicles would have turned cancerous.”
Jackie said Eastgate had been ‘great’ in dealing with the unusual case.
But will she be changing Susie’s name to something less feminine now her secret has been revealed?
“No, she’s still a girl,” Jackie said fondly. “On the outside she’s still a girl.”