Red setter day! Romy gives birth to huge litter of 15 puppies after eight hour labour
Almost double traditional litter of eight or nineBy Andy Dolan
When Romy the Irish setter went into labour, her excited owners expected to have their hands full with eight or nine puppies.
So overwhelming is the boisterous brood that owners Natasha White and Alicia Copping, both 28, are working on a 24-hour shift pattern to help three-year-old Romy feed the ten girls and five boys.
Miss White, a qualified vet and dog breeder, said: 'There is a particular greedy one. She wakes up in between feeds screaming for more milk.
'We did a scan when Romy was just four weeks pregnant and we thought we saw eight or nine. So you can imagine our shock when she carried on giving birth to more.'
The average litter size for the breed is nine. The puppies' father, six-year-old Ruben, is also owned by the housemates, from Allesley, Coventry, and they plan to keep one from the litter, which arrived 12 days ago.
The record in Britain is 24 pups which was set in 2004 in Cambridgeshire beating the previous record of 13.
Tough going: Romy spent eight hours in labour with just a few hours break before giving birth to the remaining five heaviest puppies
Ms White, who specialises in breeding guide dogs, said: 'We did a scan when Romy was just four weeks pregnant and we thought we saw eight or nine. So you can imagine our shock when she carried on giving birth to more.
'She was very tired by the end of it. We gave her a walk round the garden after her 10th one. Then after two hours the others came out.