By EMILY ALLEN
Proud mum: Romy with her litter of 15 healthy Irish setter newborns born after eight hours of labour
When three-year-old Romy went into labour her owners knew they had a long night ahead of them.
But when she started to give birth at their Coventry home she didn’t stop until an astonishing 15 Irish setter puppies were born.
The amazing feat was almost double the average of a traditional litter of eight or nine and not far off the UK record.
The record in Britain is 24 pups which was set in 2004 in Cambridgeshire beating the previous record of 13.
Romy spent eight hours in labour with just a few hours break before giving birth to the remaining five heaviest puppies.
Tough going: Romy spent eight hours in labour with just a few hours break before giving birth to the remaining five heaviest puppies
The squealing newborns, a healthy 10 girls and five boys, weighed between 275 and 339 grams.
Within just a week they have doubled in size.
Despite not being able to open their eyes they have been gulping milk every two hours of the day.
Ms White, who specialises in breeding guide dogs, said: 'We did a scan when Romy was just four weeks pregnant and we thought we saw eight or nine. So you can imagine our shock when she carried on giving birth to more.
New arrivals: Owner Natasha White with two of the 15 puppies. Despite not being able to open their eyes they have been gulping milk every two hours of the day
'We were in shock when she kept going. We thought ''oh crikey'' how is she going to get the last few out but she did it.'
Exhausted Romy doesn’t have enough milk for all her offspring so Ms Copping and Ms White feed them a milk substitute in a bottle instead.
Ms White, a police officer based at Coventry Central Station, said: 'Between us we’re looking after the puppies 24 hours a day. Natasha does the day shifts and I do the nights because I’m used to doing night shifts for work.
'I’ve never helped a dog give birth - my work doesn’t prepare you for something like this.'
Tiny: The squealing newborns, a healthy 10 girls and five boys, weighed between 275 and 339 grams
'It’s a miracle how she managed to get them out.'
The owners were so excited by the birth they decided to set up their own website, www.rosarenosirishsetters.co.uk, to document their development.
Monday, December 5, 2011
By EMILY ALLEN