I am an avid dog lover like the rest of you all, my mother and I have three of our own dogs between us, and came to find this forum for some advice because I am in a particularly interesting situation.
First of all, let me introduce myself. I am Artchic, and I help my mom foster dogs of all shapes and sizes. We volunteer for an organization called Animal Adoption League which works out of Charlotte, North Carolina and surrounding counties. On top of our own three dogs, we currently have two fosters, a small white and brown three legged (well three and a half if you count his stubby little nubbin of a back leg) named Happy. He came out of a home that was the subject of a drug bust, and none of the "residents" were very forthcoming with information regarding his missing leg at the time (I imagine they had other things to worry about) so we don't know what happened to it.
Our other foster is a heavily pregnant black lab looking dog I've named Lacy. She was pulled from a local animal shelter (who was about to euthanize her that day) and described as one of three young puppies to the lady going to pick them all up. Well, you can imagine the shock she had when she got there and there was this fully grown adult black lab who was heavily pregnant, instead of a puppy. The lady was a little distressed over the whole situation, and when she went to a this extremely helpful vet's clinic that helps people who save and foster animals, that's were my mother and I came into the story.
We were there with Happy, doing a regular checkup and getting some heartworm medicine for him, when we came across the lady in the lobby. She was beside herself trying to find foster homes for all three dogs. So, Mom and I volunteered to take on Lacy, and see to it that she and her soon to be litter would all be in safe hands and go onto their forever homes when the time came.
So now comes the situation (finally, whew!!). Lacy is heartworm positive, and has a bacterial infection in her eyes and upper respiratory area on top of that so she is always having episodes where she coughs and wheezes. We are giving her a specific type of antibacterial medicine that the vet said is safe to give a pregnant dog. That makes me worry about when she will deliver her puppies. She is also very underweight, at around 61 lbs. Her hips and ribs are visible. I worry that some or all of the unborn puppies won't be alive.
We took her temp this evening, and it was under 100 degrees (around 99 to be exact). She also hasn't eaten anything today at all. I know, from researching, that these are signs that she is about to go into labor. We have a welping area all set up (its actually a child's wading pool with lots of old blankets and towels in it as the lady we got Lacy from told us its one of the easiest to clean and keep the room clean).
Any and all advice about how to help Lacy through labor are welcome. I am checking on her periodically and have a sort of kit set up. It has a package of non latex gloves, a sort of bulb syringe type thing, and lots of spare towels. I also have the emergency vet's number on speed dial just in case we need it, but hopefully we won't.
I also apologize about this long novel of a post. I just had a lot to say I guess.