A dog breeder assisting the delivery of a litter of dachshund puppies was surprised when one of them arrived with the amniotic sac still completely intact. The jelly bean pupper was helped out of his case after some quick snaps were taken that give an insight into what puppies look like inside the womb.
During mammalian gestation, developing young are encased within an amniotic sac filled with fluid. The protective bubble cushions the young in the womb enabling the healthy development of their respiratory, digestive, and skeletal systems. In humans, the start of labor is often signaled by “water breaking”, which is the normal rupturing of the amniotic sac before birth.
The same process goes for dogs in that the amniotic sac has usually ruptured before puppies are delivered, but, in rare cases such as Cosmo, it’s possible for them to be born still inside the intact sac. This is known known as caul birth and happens in roughly 1 in 80,000 human births.
Karis Small, a dog breeder from Devon, England, was helping her miniature Dachshund Maggie through labor in early February when Cosmo popped out looking like one of those egg aliens that were such a hit in the mid-90s. After making the discovery, she took a few photos before quickly helping Cosmo out of the sac so he could start breathing properly.
In a litter of puppies, each develops in the amniotic sac with their own placenta, which provides them with oxygenated blood. Once the puppy has been born this blood supply ends and so they’re reliant on being able to breathe on their own to survive. While an “amazing” moment, Karis said Cosmo’s birth could have been dangerous had she not been on hand to help him out.
"It's always such a magical experience watching as the puppies are born but it was extra special seeing Cosmo born still inside the sac,” said Karis in a statement to Kennedy News and Media. "I wanted to quickly get the photos because I knew this was something most people will never get to see. And I wanted to show people what actually goes on being a breeder. People think dogs have their puppies and then you just leave them to it, but we have to be so much more involved.”
Cosmo was born as one of three siblings, all of whom are doing well alongside mum, Maggie.
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