April 23 (UPI) -- An Australian animal hospital said a dog broke a national record by giving birth a litter of 21 puppies.
Dr. Patrycja Zimmermann, a veterinarian at Animal Emergency Service Underwood in Queensland, said the Neapolitan mastiff had already delivered three puppies at home when she was brought in early Monday morning.
"After four hours of no activity and a puppy that didn't make it, her owner brought her into us expecting the worst," Zimmermann said.
Veterinarians discovered there were still at least 10 puppies waiting to be born, so an emergency Caesarian section was performed to remove the canines.
The veterinarians ended up removing 18 puppies, bringing the litter's total to 21. Zimmermann said 18 of the puppies survived.
The hospital said the "miracle litter" is a new Australian record, beating the previous largest litter of 19 puppies.
The Guinness World Record for largest littler of puppies was set by a Neapolitan mastiff that gave birth to 24 newborns in 2004.