THEY SAY giving birth is the most painful thing you will ever go through.

So spare a thought for three-year old Great Dane Jazz, who has just given birth to an eye-watering 19 pups in an exhausting 15-hour labour at her home in Shrivenham Road.

Owners Claire and Sam Ayre were shocked when the puppies kept on coming after being told by the vets during a five-week scan that Jazz was having “five babies, possibly a few more”.

Claire, 25, who works at Cotswold Wildlife Park, said: “I thought she could have about 10 but not 19 – it’s incredible. We thought it might be a world record but apparently that stands at 23.

“She was pushing for a total of 15 hours so she is absolutely knackered.

“She started to show all the signs that she was going to give birth at about 1am, trying to make a nest and pacing around. I sat with her trying to reassure her and unfortunately her first one was still-born at 7am.

“At about 5pm she stopped pushing and we thought she had finished – she had six puppies by then which we could have coped with easily. But she kept on going until 4am when she delivered her 19th.

“She is a brilliant mum, she’s so maternal – she changed straight away. She won’t go off outside or go and eat because she doesn’t want to leave her babies.

“For the first week I didn’t really get any sleep at all. It’s a full-time job cleaning up after them and I find myself going to work for a rest at the moment.”

One of the puppies was still-born and two died within 48 hours, but the remaining 16 are healthy.

But because Jazz has 10 teets, two of which are inverted, she can only feed eight of her babies at one time, so the remaining eight are fed with Claire’s daughter Matilda’s old baby bottle.

Made up of 10 boys and six girls, weighing between 650g and more than a kilo, the impressive brood are twice the size of the average Great Dane litter and are now looking for new homes, although Claire and her family will be keeping one boy, which they have named Hector.

“I don’t have time to sit down at the moment, but if I do, my cup of tea has gone cold,” said Claire, who has also rescued a greyhound called Sampson.

“I am splitting my time between my daughter and the puppies, but I will be quite sad to see them go – relieved, but sad because I have bonded with them and got to know them.”

Although five of the puppies have already been re-homed, Claire is looking for homes for the remaining 10, which range in price from £600 to £750.

If you think you could rehome a puppy, contact Claire on 07540 994590.