This section is from the book "The Dogs Of Great Britain, America, And Other Countries. Their Breeding, Training, and Management in Health and Disease", by John Henry Walsh (Stonehenge). Also available from Amazon: The Dogs Of Great Britain, America And Other Countries.
When, says Mr. Youatt, the time of parturition arrives, and there is evident difficulty in producing the foetus, recourse should be had to the ergot of rye, given every hour or half-hour, according to circumstances. If after a certain time, some progress, however little, has been made, the ergot must be continued in smaller doses, of perhaps suspended for a while; but, if all progress is evidently suspended, recourse must be had to th3 hook or the forceps. By gentle but continued manipulation much may be done, especially when the muzzle of the puppy can be brought into the passage. Little force as possible must be used, and the foetus be but little broken. Many a valuable animal is destroyed by the undue application of force. If the animal seems to be losing strength, a small quantity of laudanum and ether may be administered. The patience of bitches in labor is extreme, says Mr. Blaine; and their distress, if not relieved, is most striking and affecting. Their look at such times is particularly expressive and apparently imploring. When the pupping is protracted, and the young ones are evidently dead, the mother may be saved, if none of the puppies have been broken.
In process of time the different puppies may, one after another, be extracted; but when violence has been used at the commencement, or almost at any part of the process, death will surely follow.