A vet has performed a rare caesarean section surgery on a guinea pig.
Vet surgeon Sarah Jane Kenny operated on the tiny pet and delivered six kits despite the risk of using a general anaesthetic.
C-sections on guinea pigs are rarely successful even by the most qualified vets because of their size.
Nugget, a pregnant one-year-old guinea pig, arrived at MyVet Firhouse in Dublin experiencing serious difficulties during labour.
Ms Kenny said: “Nugget was really struggling to progress to stage two of labour, so initially we gave her an injection of oxytocin and calcium.
“Unfortunately, the injections weren’t successful in helping her to move forwards in her labour and safely deliver her kits naturally.
“That was odd because she’d had a previous litter without any issues at all but now there was only one option and the decision was made to perform a C-section.
“The first big challenge was the anaesthetic for a tiny guinea pig, especially a tiny, pregnant guinea pig, as there’s a high risk involved when using a general anaesthetic.
“We placed an IV catheter and pre-medicated Nugget and she was then monitored very closely by my colleague, Shauna Moynihan, who did an excellent job.
“Surgery was another challenge because of Nugget’s small size and lasted around 50 minutes as we worked carefully to safely deliver the six kits.”
Ms Kenny said that Nugget and the babies are now happy and healthy, describing the incident as “very rewarding”.
She added: “The whole team did a brilliant job and took photographs to mark the occasion and we all agreed that the babies were adorable.”