First Documented Identical Twin Puppies Born in South Africa (Video)
This one’s for the dog-lovers. An Irish wolfhound has given birth to the first documented set of identical twin puppies.
Kurt de Cramer, a vet in South Africa, delivered the babies via cesarean section. He noticed a bump in the mother’s abdomen, but didn’t think much of it.
According to the BBC, de Cramer reportedly performs around 900 c-sections on dogs every year. De Cramer found two living puppies in the same placenta — a first in his 26 years of veterinary practice.
The little ones had two separate umbilical cords, and a reproductive specialist told BBC the puppies had “small differences in the white markings on their paws, chests and the tips of their tails.”
But vets weren’t sure the puppies were actually identical at first — it’s not uncommon for puppies in the same litter to have similarities. Blood work later confirmed what de Cramer had thought. The puppies were identical twins. This might not be the first set of identical twin puppies ever, but it is the first documented case.
But it’s difficult to say whether healthy identical twins in dogs are rare. The only reason this pair is known as identical is because they were born via C-section. A lot of dogs give birth naturally and then eat the placenta of their young.
According to the reproductive specialist on the case, this means many owners and vets are “blissfully unaware” if any identical twins are in a dog’s litter. The Irish wolfhound puppies reportedly have five other siblings. All are healthy and doing well.