Dog delivers record number of pups after COVID cancelled neutering appointment
Dog owner Mary Killing was left in shock when her dog delivered an incredible 16 puppies after an appointment to get both of her dogs neutered was cancelled because of coronavirus.
Published on the 08/09/2020, 18:00
When Mary Killing was told that the appointment she had booked to have both of her dogs neutered had to be cancelled, she did everything she could to keep the dogs apart.
Mary put Vick’s VapoRub on the dogs to remove their scent and even tried putting nappies on them.
But despite Mary’s best efforts, Bella, a Labrador - Collie Cross and Archie, an Irish Setter and English Springer Spaniel mix, still managed to rendezvous and their illicit liaison resulted in 15-month old Bella falling pregnant.
Once Mary had got over the surprise of Bella’s pregnancy, more shocks were in store for the family from Ireland. The vet had told Mary that they expected Bella would give birth to around eight to ten puppies. But that estimate fell a little short.
Mary was watching Game of Thrones when Bella started panting heavily before delivering the first of her litter on Mary’s lap. Mary moved Bella to a more comfortable spot on a duvet and as more and more puppies were born, Mary couldn’t believe it. Brave Bella delivered an incredible 16 puppies in total, a record for Ireland – although one pup sadly died.
Mary has been helping Bella take care of her new brood, which she admits has been hard work. The family have decided to keep the first-born pup who they’ve called Walter. The rest of the pups will find loving homes with friends and family.
Frequently asked questions
How can I tell if my dog is pregnant?
Just like when humans are pregnant, dogs show certain signs that they are expecting. This can include weight gain, fatigue, loss of appetite, vomiting and even morning sickness. You may also notice that her nipples have become larger and swollen, particularly in the later stages of the pregnancy. If you suspect your pup is pregnant then it's a good idea to get her checked out by your vet as soon as possible.
Find out more about how you can tell your dog is pregnant.
What are the signs that my dog is in heat?
Female dogs reach puberty at around six months old. After that, your dog may show certain behaviours every six months which show that she is in heat. ‘In heat’ relates to your dog’s oestrus cycle which is when your dog can get pregnant. This can last for up to three weeks and you may notice your dog displaying some unusual behaviour such as urinating more frequently, presenting herself to males by lifting her behind and swooshing her tail and she may also become more nervous and anxious. She will also pass blood and discharge which can vary in quantity and will change from blood-red to a watery pink as the days pass.
Find out more about what happens to your dog when she’s in heat.
When should I get my puppy vaccinated?
Your puppy should get their first vaccination at around 8 to 10 weeks old. They should then have a follow-up vaccination 2 to 4 weeks later. But while a full vaccination course generally includes just two vaccines, depending on the age of your pup, your vet may recommend a third vaccination to ensure your pup is fully protected. Your pup will then need a booster vaccination around 12 months after the first vaccine. Until your puppy is fully vaccinated, make sure you keep them off the ground and away from unvaccinated dogs.
Find out more about vaccinating your puppy.