The owner of a black Labrador retriever in the United Kingdom was shocked when the dog birthed 13 puppies — roughly double the amount she was expected to deliver.
Beau the Lab was five weeks pregnant when her owner and dog breeder, Leah Barrett, 32, of Kent, took her to a veterinarian for an ultrasound. At the time, the scan revealed the dog was expecting maybe five or six puppies. Barrett said she expected Beau to deliver eight at most.
But when Beau went into labor, it was quickly made clear there were many more than first anticipated.
“The vet told us it would take about an hour for each puppy to be born. We thought there could be up to eight, so roughly calculated [an] eight-hour labor. But after seven were born in just 40 minutes, we were all absolutely gobsmacked. They were just flying out,” she told SWNS, a British news agency.
The dog’s labor and delivery was going well until one of the puppies, a female, became lodged in her birth canal.
“She was there for 40 minutes. By the time we got her out she wasn’t breathing or moving,” she said. Barrett was able to save the young dog, however. Named Hope, the pup is now one of the biggest in the litter.
“Beau only has 10 teets for 13 puppies, which left three who were just too weak to force their way on. That meant I’d get up in the middle of the night to hand-feed them. They’d probably have died otherwise,” she added.
Seven weeks later, all the puppies are doing well. Barrett is keeping two of them – Hope and a male named Bear – while the rest will be sold for roughly $ 1,223 each.
“Beau is our baby, so for her to have babies is so special,” she added.
A black Lab in Scotland delivered 15 puppies in 2014, which reportedly marked the biggest litter ever recorded for the breed. The largest litter of puppies ever recorded was also in 2014, when a Neopolitan Mastiff birthed 24 pups, according to Guinness World Records.