An Irish Wolfhound has given birth to the world’s first documented set of identical twin puppies! While identical twins are relatively common among humans and armadillos, they are extremely rare in other animals and, until now, no identical twin canine pups had ever been documented.
Veterinarian Kurt de Cramer was performing a Caesarean section on a pregnant Irish Wolfhound in South Africa’s Rant en Dal Animal Hospital when he noticed that she had an unusual bulging by her uterus, the BBC reported.
He was shocked to discover two fetuses attached with umbilical cords to the same placenta. In 26 years of practice, performing about 900 c-sections each year, this was the first time de Cramer had ever seen identical twin puppies. Bloodwork confirmed they puppies were, in fact, the world’s first documented pair of monozygotic twin puppies with identical DNA.
Today, the twin dogs, Cullen and Romulus, along with their 5 siblings, are doing very well. Although they were slightly smaller than normal at birth, by six weeks of age they had grown to almost as big as the other pups in their litter.
Although Cullen and Romulus are the first documented case of identical twin puppies, that doesn’t mean they’re the first ever. The pair were discovered by chance when they were delivered via c-section. But, most dogs deliver their puppies naturally, then eat the placenta, leaving us unaware – perhaps your own best furry friend has an identical twin somewhere!