Your Dog Has A Fever

How To Know Your Dog Has A Fever And How To Treat It

Unlike humans, dogs cannot communicate their state of health to their owners. However, you will be able to recognize when something is off. If you want to get to the bottom of what’s making your dog so uncomfortable, one thing you can do is check his temperature to see if he has a fever. This article will help you determine if your dog has a fever and what to do about it.

What Signs Do Dogs Show When They Have Fever?

Always be on the lookout for any of the following warning signs:

  • Red eyes
  • Lethargy/low energy
  • Warm earlobes
  • Warm and dry nose
  • Shivering
  • Appetite loss
  • Coughing
  • Throwing up

Observe your pet’s behavior for any additional changes.

What Causes Fever In Dogs?

It is common for dogs to get fevers due to an immune or inflammatory response. The following factors can help to categorize the causes:

1. Infections

Infections are caused by bacterial exposure. Common infections in dogs include:

  • Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
  • Ear infections
  • Infected wounds and cuts
  • Tick-borne illnesses
  • Infections of internal organs

Antibiotics, which the veterinarian will prescribe, can readily treat most of these infections.

2. Ingesting A Toxic Or Poisonous Substance

If your dog consumes anything toxic, he may develop a fever when the poisons enter his system. Examples of poisonous substances that can harm a dog include:

  • Toxic plants
  • Antifreeze
  • Medications for humans
  • Human meals such as artificial sweeteners

3. Vaccinations

According to research, it is usual for dogs to get a low-grade fever 24–48 hours after receiving a vaccine. That usually is not harmful and resolves itself after a day or two, but keep an eye on the condition.

What Temperature Is Regarded A Fever In Dogs?

The temperature of a dog’s body should remain within the range of  38°C to 39.2°C (100°F to 102.5°). A fever is present when the temperature is higher than 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. A temperature of 40°C (104°F) or more is considered a severe fever, and a veterinarian should be called promptly. However, it is common for a dog’s temperature to rise after strenuous activity, but it should not exceed 40°C.

How To Check The Temperature Of Your Dog

Your Dog Has A Fever

A rectal or ear thermometer is the most reliable way to evaluate your dog’s temperature. There are now digital thermometers designed specifically for dogs. One of them should be in the first-aid kit you keep for your dog. It can take his temperature in around 60 seconds.

Lubricate a rectal thermometer with petroleum jelly or baby oil first. Insert it gently into your dog’s anus and remove it as soon as you obtain a reading. Ear thermometers are a less intrusive method of taking your dog’s temperature that is nonetheless dependable. It detects infrared heat waves released from the region around the eardrum.

The thermometer is inserted deep into the horizontal ear canal to acquire an accurate reading. Ear thermometers are often more expensive, but your dog will appreciate your willingness to spend a few extra dollars. Read all directions thoroughly. A glass thermometer should not be used.

Getting Your Dog’s Fever Under Control

To get a fever of 103 degrees or higher under control, apply cold water over his paws and ears first. You can use a moistened cloth or a cooling vest for your dog. Continue to check his temperature, and when it falls below 103 degrees, you can discontinue the water application.

See if you can get him to drink some water. You must continue to closely watch your dog to ensure that his fever does not return, and you should consider sending him to the clinic if he develops additional symptoms. Remember, it’s better to be cautious than sorry. Please don’t give your dog any human drugs unless your veterinarian gives you a prescription.

When To Take Your Dog To The Vet

When a dog’s temperature hits 103 degrees or above, he is said to have a fever. If it does, it’s time to take it to the vet. A fever of 106 degrees or above can cause internal organ damage and death in a pet, so never wait until it reaches that point. Once at the vet, determining the underlying problem might be complex.

Your veterinarian most likely has a record of your dog’s medical history, including information on immunizations, surgeries, allergies, medicines, and previous illnesses. However, the veterinarian may also want information on any recent physical injuries, intake of plants or other toxins, bug bites, etc. It’s also a good idea to track when you first detected the fever.

Your veterinarian may prescribe regular laboratory tests like urine, blood count, or biochemistry profile after a physical examination. They can provide valuable insight into an underlying disease or illness. In the event of an infection, your dog may be given treatment. Additional testing may be necessary.

In Summary

When you watch your dog suffer, it might cause you a lot of distress. However, you should bear in mind that low-grade fevers can help boost your dog’s immune system, increasing its ability to fight off infection. In addition, they may reduce the ability of bacteria and viruses to replicate inside your dog’s body. Things will get better as long as your dog is treated as soon as possible. 

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