Lurcher bitch Poppy is home and doing well after giving birth to pupiesfor the first time at 12 years old – the equivalent of 60 years old ina human.

Martin Ffrench-Blake, Poppy and trainee vet nurse Katherine Badcock with Gini and Peddoing

Poppy’s puppies, Gini and Peddoing, were helped into the world by vet Rowan Pyzer from Coach House Vets in Newbury, who delivered them by Caesarian section. The procedure was undertaken because Poppy’s cervix was unable to expand normally, due to her age and the fact that she had never given birth before.

Mr Pyzer said: “For a dog to get pregnant, especially for the first time, at the age of 12 is most unusual. Dogs don’t have a menopause in the way that humans do but neither they do come on heat as regularly as they get older and we’d expect the viability of Poppy’s eggs to be very low. Clearly she proved the exception to the rule. The Caesarian went smoothly and both she and the pups are doing very well.”

All three animals are now home with their owner Martin Ffrench-Blake who said he was “surprised and delighted” by their arrival, particularly due to Poppy’s age.

He said: “We were astonished when we realised that Poppy was pregnant. We certainly weren’t expecting this or trying to get her pregnant. In fact, we were quite concerned as we all love Poppy very much and were concerned at the risks posed by the pregnancy for a dog her age.

“Now that they’re all safely here though, we’re delighted and happy that we can continue the family line.”

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