You may have heard that you can determine if your dog has a fever by feeling their nose — cool and moist is fine, hot and dry is bad — but this isn’t true. Dog fever, in fact, is frequently unrecognized or undetected.
Because dogs’ typical core temperature are naturally higher than humans’, it can be difficult to detect fevers in them.
What Is a Dog Fever?
Dogs have a normal body temperature of 101 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas humans have a normal body temperature of 97.6 to 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit. This implies that your dog may appear to you to be feverish even if their temperature is perfectly normal.
Fever is a term that describes a rise in body temperature induced by infection or inflammation. Dog fever is defined as a temperature of more than 103 degrees Fahrenheit, while it can reach 103 degrees Fahrenheit if a dog is overly stimulated or stressed.
The normal body temperature for dogs is 101 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, while the normal body temperature for humans is 97.6 to 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that even if your dog’s temperature is normal, they may appear to be feverish to you.
A rise in body temperature caused by infection or inflammation is referred to as fever. A temperature of more than 103 degrees Fahrenheit is considered canine fever, and it can reach 103 degrees Fahrenheit if a dog is overly stimulated or stressed.
Dog Fever Symptoms
Although there are no definitive signs, the following symptoms in dogs may indicate illness and fever:
- Depressed mood
- Loss of appetite
- Nasal discharge
Taking your dog’s rectal temperature is the only way to know if their body temperature has risen. A digital thermometer made exclusively for rectal use in dogs is suggested by experts. Most thermometers designed for human ears are ineffective in this use.
To take your dog’s temperature, prepare the thermometer with petroleum gel or baby oil beforehand. After that, gently push the thermometer into your dog’s anus for around one inch and wait for the results. The bulk of thermometers sold for this purpose will register in less than 60 seconds.
Causes of Dog Fever
A fever in your dog can be caused by a variety of illnesses and conditions. These are some of them:
- Infection. This can be caused by a variety of things, including bacterial, fungal, and viral infections. Infection can occur anywhere in the body, including the lungs (pneumonia), kidneys (pyelonephritis), brain (encephalitis), and even the skin (skin infection). The symptoms you encounter will be determined by the location of the illness and the underlying reason. Some infections, such as fungal illnesses, can spread to multiple parts of the body at once.
- Vaccination. The combination between the injection and the dog’s immune system causes a low-grade fever that lasts for 24 to 48 hours after vaccination.
- Toxins. Poisonous to dogs chemicals, such as macadamia nuts and some human antidepressants, can cause an increase in body temperature.
When the source of dog fever cannot be determined, it is referred to as “fever of unknown origin,” or FUO. Immune system issues, bone marrow problems, undetected infections, and cancer are the most common causes of dog fever of unknown origin.
Home Care and When to Call the Vet
If your dog’s temperature rises above 103 degrees Fahrenheit, you should contact your veterinarian. Fever above 106 degrees Fahrenheit is a medical emergency that must be treated right away.
If your dog’s temperature rises above 105 degrees Fahrenheit, you can assist them cool down by spray cool water on their fur, especially around the ears and feet. Lower the temperature by using a fan on the damp fur. While you’re doing this, keep an eye on your dog’s rectal temperature and stop cooling once it reaches 103 ° F. It’s important not to lower the temperature too quickly.
If your dog has a fever, make sure they drink little amounts of water frequently to stay hydrated, but don’t force it. Also, never feed your dog human fever-relieving medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, as these can be toxic to dogs and cause serious harm or death.
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