Spaniel-bea­gle pup­pies are first in the world born us­ing IVF

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Spaniel-bea­gle cross-bred pup­pies are the first in the world suc­cess­fully born to a sur­ro­gate mother af­ter years of failed at­tempts.

In vitro fer­til­i­sa­tion (IVF) treat­ment was used, which is sim­i­lar to that used in hu­man fer­til­ity clin­ics.

Past prob­lems with freez­ing the em­bryos were over­come and they were suc­cess­fully im­planted in the dog. The re­sult­ing lit­ter of seven pup­pies has three sets of par­ents.

The ad­vance­ments will now be used to help con­serve en­dan­gered breeds, such as the African wild dog, and could also be used in the study of in­her­ited dis­eases, both in dogs and hu­mans. It opens up the pos­si­bil­ity that genes caus­ing dis­ease in our pets could be iden­ti­fied and fixed.

All but one of the pup­pies so far have been found new homes.

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