It can be difficult to tell whether your dog has a fever or not. Today, our Douglasville veterinarians talk about how to detect a dog's fever, what might be causing it, the symptoms it can cause, and what to do about it.
Normal Temperature VS Fever in Dogs
A dog’s normal body temperature ranges from 101 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, which is significantly higher than yours or mine. (Human body temperature ranges from 97.6 to 99.6 F).
Your puppy has a fever if his or her temperature rises above 103 degrees Fahrenheit. If your puppy's temperature rises above 106 degrees Fahrenheit, he or she is suffering from a severe case of fever and is in danger of serious, potentially fatal complications.
Taking Your Dog's Temperature
Because dogs' body temperatures can rise dramatically when they are excited or stressed, detecting fever in them can be difficult. Furthermore, a dog's temperature can change throughout the day and even at night. As a result, knowing your dog's normal body temperature is crucial. Keep track of your dog's temperature throughout the day for several days to determine this.
Many people believe that if the temperature of your dog's nose is moist and cold, it is normal, but if it is hot and dry, the dog has a fever. This is not, however, a reliable indicator of a fever in your dog.
A digital rectal thermometer is the most accurate way to check your dog's temperature; some pet stores sell thermometers designed specifically for pets. It is recommended that you keep a separate thermometer for your dog and store it with the rest of his supplies.
To begin, use petroleum or a water-soluble lubricant to lubricate the thermometer's tip. Then, carefully lift your dog's tail to the side and insert the thermometer into his rectum, about 1 inch deep. To keep your dog from sitting, enlist the help of a second person if possible. Carefully remove the thermometer after it has registered the temperature.
Causes of Fever in Dogs
Countless conditions could cause your dog to develop a fever. Some of the most common include:
- A bacterial, fungal, or viral infection
- An ear infection
- An infected bite, scratch, or cut
- Tooth infection or abscess
- Urinary tract infection
- Ingestion of poisonous materials, such as toxic plants, human medications, or human foods that are toxic to dogs
A fever of unknown origin, or FUO, is the term used when the cause of a dog's fever is unknown. Fever can be caused by underlying immune system disorders, bone marrow problems, or cancer in these cases.
Signs That Your Dog May Have a Fever
If you notice a significant change in your dog's behavior, it's a sign that he or she is sick. Keep a close eye on your dog and pay attention to any symptoms he or she exhibits. Any of the following symptoms should raise your suspicions and prompt you to take your dog's temperature.
The most common symptoms of a fever in dogs are:
- Red or glassy-looking eyes
- Warm ears and/or nose
- Runny nose
- Decreased energy
- Loss of appetite
How to Reduce Fever in Dogs
If your dog’s fever is 106 F or higher they need to see a vet immediately. Contact the emergency veterinarian nearest you right away.
If your dog has a fever of 103 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, you can help him cool down by using a soaked towel or cloth to apply cool water to his ears and paws and running a fan near him. When your dog's temperature drops below 103 degrees Fahrenheit, stop giving him water. Keep a close eye on your dog to make sure the fever doesn't come back.
Coax your dog into drinking small amounts of water to stay hydrated, but avoid forcing your dog to drink.
It is critical to never administer human medications to your dogs, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. These medications are toxic to dogs and can result in serious injury or death.
If your dog exhibits any other symptoms, such as shivering, panting, and vomiting you should consider taking your dog to the vet.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.