A dog has given birth to one of the largest Labrador litters ever, welcoming a baker’s dozen into the world.
When Beau, a black Labrador descended from a Crufts champion, was five weeks pregnant with her puppies, the vet predicted she may give birth to five or six puppies.
By the time the Labrador was ready to give birth last month, her owner, dog breeder Leah Barrett, thought she may give birth to eight.
Therefore, it came as quite a shock when Beau ended up giving birth to 13 puppies, just two shy of the record believed to have been set by a black Labrador in Scotland in 2014.
According to 32-year-old Ms Barrett, from Allhallows, Kent, the puppies were “flying out” when Beau went into labour.
“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 labour,” Ms Barrett said.
“But after seven were born in just 40 minutes, we were absolutely gobsmacked. They were just flying out.”
During the delivery, one of the puppies became trapped in the birth canal by the mother’s placenta, which had come loose.
By the time Ms Barrett and her sister, Alice, got the puppy out after 40 minutes, it wasn’t breathing or moving.
“We were all panicking, we thought we had lost her. It took about 10 to 15 minutes to get her breathing,” the owner stated, explaining she used suction equipment to suck the fluid out of the puppy’s lungs.
“It’s a good job I’d done my reading on the subject, or she wouldn’t be here now.”
The puppy in question, who is now the biggest in the litter, was named “Hope” in honour of her delivery.
The litter consists of seven boys and six girls, all of which have been named after their distinct personalities.
“Stormy was the runt of the litter so we gave him a strong name to give him a boost,” Ms Barrett said.
“Penelope used to snort a lot so we named her after the film character. Another pup used to howl like she was trying to sing, so we called her Paloma Faith.”
Ms Barrett has been getting up in the middle of the night to feed the runts of the litter, as Beau only has 10 teats for 13 puppies.
The dog breeder added that delivering the huge litter of puppies was the “most beautiful” thing she has ever done.
The Barrett family are selling all but two of the Kennel Club registered puppies for £950 each.
The family can expect to receive approximately £10,000 for the remaining 11 puppies.
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