Neapolitan Mastiff named Shadow gave birth to 21 puppies in Australia; 18 survived
QUEENSLAND, Australia — A record litter of 21 puppies was born at an Australian hospital during the COVID-19 crisis.
Vets performed an emergency Caesarean section on April 20 on a dog named Shadow.
While she missed out on the Guinness Book of World Records title, she broke the record for Australia’s largest litter of puppies.
“Shadow was so flat when she arrived, and we learned from her owner she had delivered three puppies at home already. After four hours of no activity, and a puppy that didn’t make it, her owner brought her into us expecting the worst,” Dr. Patrycja Zimmermann said. “We took radiographs straight after Shadow’s arrival to see if any more puppies were on the way, and made the amazing discovery of 10-plus puppies inside! We quickly checked the fetal heartbeats, and were praying for the best outcome for her.”
When vets opened 4-year-old Shadow’s uterus to perform the emergency Caesarean, they discovered an enormous amount of blood, and with her blood pressure dropping, a life-saving surgery was performed.
The birthing took a team of 10 vets and nurses who removed an additional 18 puppies from the Neapolitan Mastiff — bringing her total litter to 21 puppies.
After surgery, a team of intensive care nurses spent the entire day rotating the puppies for a feed from Shadow as she lay in recovery.
Eighteen puppies from the litter survived, and Shadow is recovering at home.
The world record for a puppy litter is 24. They were born to a Neapolitan Mastiff in 2004.