US Researchers Create World’s First Litter of Puppies through IVF
For the first time in world, a team of veterinarians, scientists and lab workers have successfully bred a litter of puppies using in vitro fertilization (IVF). The team gathered around a surrogate hound and watched her giving birth to seven half-pound puppies.
Dr. Alexander Travis, who runs the lab at the Baker Institute for Animal Health at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in Ithaca, New York, said they gently handled a puppy and cleaned it with a towel. Crying of the puppy was an approval for their success.
Just after the birth, eyes of puppies were closed. They were adorable, cute with smooshed-in faces. Doctors examined them to see if they were normal and were breathing properly.
The puppies born are a mix of beagle, Labrador and cocker spaniel and are now healthy. The puppies were born on July 10, and are now 5-month-olds, Travis said. The lab kept track of the puppies by painting their nails with different color polish. Travis adopted two, still known by their nail polish names, Red and Green.
IVF is the process of fertilizing an egg with sperm outside the body. IVF is widely used to assist human reproduction these days. The first human birth from IVF took place in 1978. So far, the IVF efforts with dogs have been a failure. According to Dr. Pierre Comizzoli, a reproductive physiologist for the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia, said, “The biology of the dog is really, really different than humans”.
The study lead author, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute doctoral fellow Jennifer Nagashima, said IVF technology in dogs could be very beneficial for a variety of things ranging from conserving endangered species to removing deleterious traits from breeds.
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