For female dogs, it is reasonable to give birth to at most six puppies. But in rare instances, one female dog can give birth to 20 or more puppies. This was the case of this Neapolitan Mastiff named Shadow when she gave birth to 21 puppies on April 20 in Australia.
The number is unprecedented because it broke the previous record from the same country. The former titleholder gave birth to 19 puppies. According to reports from Animal Emergency Service, Shadow had to undergo a caesarian operation so she could give birth to her puppies. The dog could not give birth via regular delivery due to her advanced age. Add to this the many puppies she had to push out of her.
The vets who checked on the pooch did not expect that the dog would give birth to many puppies. The reason for this is that Shadow arrived at the clinic with an average weight. However, when the vets began the caesarian operation, they found out that Shadow had to give birth to multiple puppies.
It was Dr. Patrycja Zimmermann who attended to the pooch along with other veterinarians. Dr. Zimmermann explained that the pooch had already given birth to three puppies at home. The dog’s owner had to bring the pooch to the clinic because Shadow looked tired. When she arrived at the clinic, the vets noticed that the pooch was already flat. This means Shadow can no longer push the puppies out by herself.
Since it was a complicated case to handle, Dr. Zimmermann had to ask assistance from 10 other veterinarians as well as three nurses during the procedure. It took them four hours before all the puppies got carried out of the dog’s stomach. However, only 18 of the 21 puppies survived, according to Dr. Zimmermann.
Credits to Welfare of Dogs.