After a difficult start and the help of a veterinarian, a rescue dog in Texas gave birth to 20 puppies.
Luna, a Labrador mix, was rescued by Smith County Animal Control in mid-July after they found her on a county road, KETK reported. Officials soon learned that she was pregnant.
At the end of the month, Luna was ready to give birth, but her delivery was marked with difficulty. Her first puppy died and had to be removed from the birth canal, volunteer Lynn Harty wrote in a Facebook post. Luna gave birth to two more puppies before she “stopped.”
Harty says she had to decide whether Luna should be euthanized or receive an expensive C-section.
“Obviously (euthanasia) was not an option for us or her,” she wrote.
With the help of Dr. Roy Wilmeth, Luna went on to give birth to a total of 20 puppies with the help of the C-section, 18 of them surviving, WTHR reported. She lost 24 pounds in the process.
“There really wasn’t a lot of time to kind of think and process how many were coming out,” Wilmeth said, according to the news outlet. “But it seemed like it would just never end.”
In 2004, Tia, a Neopolitan mastiff, gave birth to 24 puppies, the largest litter ever recorded, according to Guinness World Records. Twenty of her puppies survived their first week.
Luna has since been moved into a foster home, Harty wrote.
Not-for-profit Because for Paws is heading up fundraising efforts to cover the cost of Luna’s C-section, KETK reported.