Double the dogs, double the fun

In August, a biological phenomenon occurred. Dogs joined an elite group of animals, formally just including humans and armadillos, that can give birth to identical offspring.

Twins Cullen and Romulus additionally have five other siblings.  Photo credit: Kurt de Cramer via BBC News

Twins Cullen and Romulus additionally have five other siblings.

Photo credit: Kurt de Cramer via BBC News

South African veterinarian Kurt de Cramer was performing a run-of-the-mill caesarean section on an Irish Wolfhound, when he noticed something unusual. Two of the newborn puppies were attached with umbilical cords to the same placenta. De Cramer was first tipped off to the possibility of twins similar coloring and matching gender. As it is with human identical twins, the puppies had striking similarities, yet still having a few subtle and unique differences. While de Cramer immediately suspected the possibility of twins, it would not be confirmed without genetic testing, as this would be the first known case of identical twin puppies in scientific history.

Emphasizing the fact that this is the first recorded case of identical dog twins, the rarity of the situation is relatively unknown for several reasons. DNA tests are not typically performed on newborn puppies and the similarities of the twins would probably have been overlooked if the delivery had not been a C-section, thus alerting de Kramer to the shared placenta.

Another surprising aspect of the birth was the fact that the twins were born both alive and healthy. Other animals have been know to have two fetuses sharing one placenta, however they almost always die within a month of conception. The fact that both puppies were alive was incredible, but also healthy was virtually unheard of.

The twins, named Cullen and Romulus, were only slightly smaller than their siblings at their birth, but have since then grown at a healthy rate and hit benchmark sizes.

Senior Tara Baalbaki, an identical twin herself, would definitely prefer to adopt identical twin puppies.

“I want twins [kids] myself, and if I were to get dogs, I’d want them to be twins just like my kids” Baalbaki said.

Preferably, her dogs would be named Coco and Chanel, inspired by Kendall and Kylie Kardashian’s pups.

Posted on October 14, 2016 .