Ten years after a dog was first successfully cloned, scientists have managed to produce the world’s first litter of pups to be born through in vitro fertilization.
In July seven puppies were born through IVF at Cornell University — five beagles and two “bockers,” or beagle-cocker spaniel mixes.
The achievement was not revealed until this week with the release of the research study.
Seems like science would have happened the other way around — that a “test-tube” puppy would have premiered long before we entered the even more science fiction-like era of cloned dogs becoming available on the marketplace.
But, while IVF has been used for decades in other animals, including humans, scientists had never succeeded in using it to produce a newborn pup.
Previous attempts to use IVF in dogs had resulted in very low rates of fertilization, and no live births at all once IVF embryos were transferred to a host.
“Since the mid-1970s, people have been trying to do [IVF] in a dog and have been unsuccessful,” said co-author Alex Travis, associate professor of reproductive biology at the Baker Institute for Animal Health in Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
What made it so difficult were some of the same factors that proved challenging in cloning dogs — females only ovulate once or twice a year, and their eggs are not transparent, making it harder to see the structures inside of the egg.
The Cornell researchers, in a joint project with researchers from the Smithsonian Institution, found that by waiting an extra day for eggs to mature before extracting them, they met with more success.
Adding magnesium to the environment where the sperm and egg met also helped with fertilization, the team found, according to a Cornell press release.
The achievement was revealed this week in a study published online Dec. 9 in the journal Public Library of Science ONE.
The seven surviving puppies (out of 19 embryos) are genetically the offspring of two different fathers (a cocker spaniel and a beagle) and three different beagle mothers, carried by the same beagle surrogate.
Unlike cloning, which involves transferring an existing (or dead) dog’s DNA into a donor egg, IVF involves the creation of a new genome through fertilization. Each each animal has a unique set of DNA.
The researchers say the development will open the door for preserving endangered canid species using assisted reproduction techniques.
It could also enable researchers to eradicate heritable diseases in dogs and facilitate the study of genetic diseases in dogs and humans, they say.
(Photo: Cornell graduate student Jennifer Nagashima and Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute research biologist Nucharin Songsasen — lead author and co-author of the study — walk some of the puppies born through IVF; by Jeffrey MacMillan / Cornell University)
Posted by John Woestendiek December 10th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, assisted, beagles, biology, bockers, cloned, clones, cloning, cocker spaniels, cornell, cornell university, dna, dog, dogs, egg, first, in vitro, in vitro fertilization, ivf, pets, puppies, pups, reproduction, research, science, sperm, study
Some researchers are suggesting that selfish mama dogs may have played a role in the early domestication of the species by keeping the good food to themselves, as opposed to sharing it with their pups.
As a result, the researchers theorize, pups and young dogs ventured out of the wild and into human communities where they didn’t have to compete as hard for food — at least not with their own mothers.
(Being a cartoonist at heart — albeit one who can’t draw — I am picturing a young pup, sneaking away from the home of his domineering mother with one of those sacks on a stick over his shoulder, muttering to himself, “That bitch. That bitch. That greedy bitch!”)
Sure, there may be some substance to this research, but it mostly makes me laugh.
The researchers conducted experiments with feral dogs in India, then theorized that ancestral dogs thousands of years ago must have behaved the same way.
First, they offered low-quality biscuits to mother dogs, and the mother dogs tended to share those with their pups, with no conflicts arising.
Then they brought out the good stuff. Protein-rich meat seemed to make the mother dogs forget their motherly ways, growling at their pups to keep them away, and even grabbing meat from the mouths of their puppies.
The authors, Anindita Bhadra and Manabi Paul of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, say ancestral dogs, once they reached 8 or 9 weeks old, became able to clearly distinguish between protein rich food sources and the un-nourishing filler their mothers were trying to pass off on them.
At that point, the researchers theorize, many young ancestral dogs would set out for farming communities where they had access to what humans threw away. There is evidence also that the earliest farmers fed these dogs, making life among humans even more appealing.
The theory, outlined in the journal Royal Society Open Science, could help to explain the origins of dog domestication and how some ancestral dogs so willingly elected to live with people instead of with their own kind, Discovery reports.
“Ancestral dogs” is kind of a safe term scientists use — just in case dogs didn’t evolve from wolves, but from some other species.
As for why ancestral dog moms turned so selfish when a good cut of meat became available, Bhadra said, “We feel that the mothers just tend to grab the best resources when available.”
Ancestral mother dogs are not available to respond to those charges, so I will speak for them:
“Hey, you think it’s easy giving birth to 14 kids at once, and then raising them? Alone?
“Yeah, where IS dad? Good question. Haven’t seen him since he knocked me up.
“So, yes, I get a little anxious, a little snippy. But I’ve got to feed the whole lot of them, and protect them. It’s not like I can walk into the Food Lion and get all I need. You have no idea how tired I am. And yes, I get hungry, too. If I am not nourished, how do you expect me to nourish all of them? Go research that, why don’t you?”
(Photo: From Lovethesepics.com)
Posted by John Woestendiek December 9th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ancestral dogs, animals, dog, dogs, domesticated, domestication, feeding, food, greedy, humans, mothers, pets, puppies, pups, research, science, selfish, study, wolf, wolves
I’ve heard of dogs taking on the traits of their owner, and vice versa, but this timing is a little surreal.
No sooner had Kami Klingbeil gone into labor than her goldendoodle Delia gave birth to nine puppies.
Delia was supposed to give birth first, and was two days past her expected delivery date.
But after Klingbeil left for the hospital, Delia delivered nine purebred goldendoodles (even though they’re black, not gold.)
“We had no idea it was going to happen,” Klingbeil told Inside Edition.
Initially she joked with a photographer friend who had taken photos at the hospital that they should do a shoot for all the newborns in the family.
Six days later, it wasn’t a joke anymore, and Teresa Raczynski held a photo session with the pups and the infant, named Brydon.
“He loved it…he was hating the pictures but then we started putting the puppies on top of him and he loved cuddling them,” Klingbeil said.
The pups appeared to like it too. “They liked his warmth and he liked theirs,” she said.
The photographer shared the results of the photoshoot on her Park Avenue Photography Facebook page.
Klingbeil said she and her husband plan to keep one of the puppies.
The other eight already have homes waiting, but Klingbeil hopes to hold reunions, at six months and a year, to get all the pups and her baby together for more additional photo shoots.
(Photo: From the Facebook page of Teresa Raczynski, Park Avenue Photography)
Posted by John Woestendiek September 15th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, birth, born, child, dog, dogs, family, goldendoodle, infant, kami klingbeil, park avenue photography, pets, photographer, photos, puppies, pups, same day, teresa raczyinski
Those who think this website contains too much distressing dog news (which it does, because the world does) might want to skip this story.
“Beyond the human imagination,” is how the sheriff of Parker County, Texas, described it.
But, obviously, it wasn’t — at least not for the human who shot and killed a mother dog and then left her body in a crate with her nursing puppies.
Sheriff Larry Fowler said yesterday an arrest has been made in connection with the incident, which came to light when a school bus driver found the crated animals Wednesday morning in Springtown.
The mother dog had an apparent gunshot wound to the head and was found in in the crate with 10 puppies that were less than two weeks old, according to Fox News
“These puppies were left defenseless and still nursing on their deceased mother,” the sheriff said.
He added, “Parker County does not have an animal problem. We have a people problem. It’s hard to imagine that someone would be so cruel as to execute any animal. But to kill a dog with nursing babies and leave such a gory picture is beyond human imagination.”
On its Facebook page, the Sheriff’s Office reported the arrest over the weekend of Tammy Green Douglas.
Douglas, 44, was jailed early Sunday morning on charges of animal cruelty, but freed after posting $3,000 bond Sunday afternoon, according to a press release issued last night.
The dead dog was described as a four-year-old brown heeler-shepherd mix named Aowa. She’d been shot with a 9 mm handgun, while in the crate, the sheriff’s office said, and the puppies were later placed inside with her.
Investigators were led to Douglas by a tipster who showed them a text message she allegedly sent: “I did what I did and I would do it again — if need be.”
According to an affidavit filed in connection with the case, Douglas acted out of revenge because Aowa had killed another dog that got too close to the litter, KVUE reported.
The 10 puppies were taken to the Angels & Outlaws Second Chance Bully Ranch.
The organization reports on its Facebook page that the puppies have been placed with two surrogate pit bulls who will help nurse them until they can be put up for adoption.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 2nd, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, abuse, angels & outlaws, angels & outlaws second chance bully ranch, angels and outlaws, animal cruelty, animals, arrest, corpse, crated, cruelty to animals, dead, dog, dogs, dumped, investigation, killed, larry fowler, left, mother, news, nursing, parker county, pets, puppies, pups, sheriff, shot, tammy green douglas, texas
A Toledo man stuffed six English bulldog puppies and their mother into a piece of luggage and abandoned them next to a trash bin — apparently not realizing that the canvas suitcase had a tag on it bearing his contact information.
The bag of pups — three males, three females and their mother — was dropped off behind a city business. They were picked up April 4 by the Lucas County Dog Warden’s office, according to the Toledo Blade.
On Tuesday, two counts of abandonment Tuesday were filed against Howard Davis, who lives about a quarter mile from where the dogs were dropped.
Gene Boros, a Toledo Area Humane Society cruelty officer who questioned Davis, said the man told him he had not abandoned the dogs and had given them to someone in Michigan. Boros said Davis appeared to be in the process of moving out of his home.
Passers-by initially found the dogs and unzipped the bag to give them air, said Julie Lyle, Lucas County dog warden.
“There are witnesses who said that the female is indeed Mr. Davis’ dog and that he had been trying to sell puppies,” said John Dinon, executive director of the Toledo Area Humane Society.
Davis was to be charged with two counts of either first-degree or second-degree misdemeanor abandonment. Davis will be issued a citation and given a court date, but he was not arrested, Dinon said.
The dogs were transferred to the Humane Society, where the pups and their mother, now named Maddie, are reported to be doing well.
They will be going to a foster home by the end of the week and won’t be available for adoption for at least four weeks — possibly longer since they are part of a criminal case.
(Photo: THE BLADE / DAVE ZAPOTOSKY)
Posted by John Woestendiek April 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, animal cruelty, animals, bulldog, charged, cruelty to animals, dogs, identification, luggage, mother, ohio, pets, puppies, pups, stupid, suitcase, toledo
A rescued dog in eastern Missouri adopted an orphaned baby raccoon as her own after losing one of her puppies during labor.
The dog, named Sasha, had been surrendered to a shelter with what was suspected of being a tumor.
But after she was rescued by a group in St. Peters called SNUGGLE (Special Needs Under Gentle Guided Love Everyday) ultrasound tests showed the lump was two soon-to-be-born pups.
Only one of the puppies survived.
Around then, a baby raccoon who’d been found under a carport was brought to the same veterinarian.
“We started off bottle feeding it and just couldn’t keep up with its needs,” veterinarian Dr. Kelly Hogan said. So they offered Sasha the job. Both Sasha and her pup accepted the raccoon as one of their own.
“Even when he started making little raccoon kind of noises, she didn’t have a problem with it,” Hogan said. “And she loves him. She’s protective of him now.”
Eventually, the raccoon will be transferred to a wildlife rescue group and then released into the wild.
As SNUGGLE’s Sharon Maag sees it, Sasha — having been rescued herself — is returning the favor.
“We saved her life, and she saved the raccoon’s life … It’s the circle of life. I think that’s the way it goes.”
Posted by John Woestendiek May 13th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, birth, dog, dogs, interspecies, kelly hogan, missouri, mother, motherless, nurses, nursing, ofallon, orphaned, pets, puppies, pups, raccoon, rescue, returning the favor, sasha, sharon maag, shelter, snuggle, veterinarian, veterinary
And one kitten.
Esperanza, as she’s been named (Spanish for “Hope”), was found on a central Alberta reserve by Criss Gerwing, who runs a small animal rescue group. The dog, a white shepherd mix, led Gerwing to her pups, and a kitten that, somehow, ended up nestled in with the rest of the litter.
“I cried because she was in such bad condition with her leg, but she was obviously nursing her puppies and this kitten,” Gerwing said.
The Winnipeg Free Press reports that Gerwing took all the animals to the Edmonton Humane Society, where veterinarians thought they’d have to amputate the mother dog’s bad leg. But a local veterinarian, Dr. Milton Ness, saying she was “a special soul” volunteered to perform surgery to save her leg.
“She is such a sweet, sweet dog,” Shawna Randolph at the humane society said. “She has such a wonderful personality.”
Posted by John Woestendiek December 21st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alberta, canada, car, cat, criss gerwing, dog nursing cat, dr. milton ness, edmonton, edmonton humane society, esmerelda, injury, interspecies, kitten, leg, litter, mother, news, nursing, ohmidog!, puppies, pups, rescue, saved, shelter, struck, surgery