Unusual dog is a genetic fluke -- and internet star - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Unusual dog is a genetic fluke -- and internet star

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(CBS 8) - He looks like two different dogs because genetically he could be. Students at the veterinary hospital at Texas A&M are studying an unusual canine that may have double DNA, and is now an internet hit.

It's the photo that's going viral online of one cute pup named Bull that might have started off as two.

"Bull could be a chimera, and a chimera is actually a fusion of two embryos," Maria Kounnas, PhD of NeuroGenetic Pharmaceuticals said.

Kounnas says Bull could be a fascinating genetic oddity of twins merging into one.

"One black dog, one blond dog and now these guys are formed, fused together to be one single dog," she said.

Bull's markings have made him an internet star. CBS 8 posted his photo on our Facebook page a week ago after first seeing it on the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital's Facebook page. The post has since been seen by more than 380,000, the highest numbers we've seen in the history of our station's Facebook page. The story prompted comments, and some controversy.

"The guy is so unique and cute, of course everyone is interested in him. So I think it would be nice to have the scientific follow-up," Kounnas said.

But we may never know the results. On Facebook, Texas A&M's Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital has thanked everyone for their interest in the now-popular pup, but the school says to respect his family's privacy, they will not be giving any updates on Bull's care.

Kounnas says the other genetic explanation for Bull's markings could be mosaicism, meaning Bull may have started out as one embryo with a gene mutation that caused him to have two colors of fur.

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