Chihuahua aims at Guinness Book of Records with biggest litter

Chihuahua Coco has confounded experts by having 10 puppies – a feat which may earn her a place in the Guinness Book of Records.

Owners Dawn and Bill Slater were told to expect five new arrivals, which is a big litter for the world’s smallest breed of dog.

Then 13 days ago Coco surprised everyone by giving birth to 10 puppies in three hours. Staff at the Guinness Book of Records say it’s unheard of. The largest litter on record for any dog is 24, but the creation of a standalone category for chihuahuas is now being considered.

Coco’s pups were the size of mice when they were born and the smallest weighed in at only 70 grams not much more than two packets of crisps.

Dawn and Bill, who run Silloth market in Carlisle, are still slightly stunned.

Bill, 52, explained: “When she had the fifth we thought that was it, we started to relax and were making sure they were all warm and comfortable. Then she started again. When we got to the ninth he wasn’t well, his bag had burst and we were trying to revive him. We thought this is impossible, when’s it going to stop, when the 10th came out.”

The Slaters have four pet chihuahas – the other three are called Benji, Bambi and Princess. They had decided to let Coco breed with Benji, keeping Bambi and Princess out of his way while they were in season.

But Benji was quicker than anyone realised and just two days after Coco had her pups, Bambi delivered a surprise of her own and gave birth to another three.

Also living with Dawn and Bill are their two daughters, son and grandson.

Their bungalow is now home to 17 chihuahas, a collie-terrier cross, two cats, four adults, a teenager and a seven-week-old baby.

The couple admits it’s been hard work but they have the situation firmly under control. Dawn explained: “We’ve been taking turns staying up with them then sleeping through the day.

“Coco has only got eight teats so we’ve been having to take the bigger ones off to let the smaller ones on.”

Coco’s litter is being kept in the master bedroom and Bambi’s brood are camped out in daughter Shakira’s room.

They have to be looked after separately otherwise their mums get confused when they hear whimpers.

Not yet able to walk, the puppies ‘swim’ across the boxes Bill specially made for them – which have heating pads underneath.

Although the Slaters are smitten with the tiny chihuahuas, they’re trying not to get too attached because it will soon be time to find them new homes.

Until then they’ll keep juggling their usual market job with doggy day-care.

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