Veterinarian Kurt de Cramer, of South Africa’s Rant en Dal Animal Hospital in Mogale City, was performing a routine C-section on an Irish wolfhound when the pregnant momma was showing signs of distress. Once inside, he saw that the mother had a usual bulge in her uterus resulting in the world’s first set of identical twin canines! While identical twins share the same amniotic sac they have separate umbilical cords and are also called monoamniotic or monozygotic twins.
Monozygotic twins are the result of a single egg being fertilized and two embryos form when the fertilized egg splits. Identical twins in humans are quite rare occurring three times in every 1,000 births. Having identical twin puppies was unheard of until now!
Once the doctor removed a fetus, he saw that two puppies were attached to the same placenta by their umbilical cords. Both puppies were male and identical markings. Cramer immediately suspected the puppies were identical twins.
Cramer then delivered the five other puppies. To be sure the two were identical twins, Cramer too blood from the puppies and tested it. The results showed the same DNA profile, therefore, assuring they were, in fact, they are identical twins!
As far as anyone knows, this is the first documented and confirmed case of identical twins in dogs. The twins have very subtle differences in their markings, but their DNA profiles don’t lie!
Luckily, the litter of puppies was all born healthy!
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