A fever in dogs is characterized by an abnormally high body temperature. A normal body temperature for a dog ranges from 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. A fever in a dog can be caused by various health issues, including infections, autoimmune diseases or vaccination reactions. It is essential to know how to spot a feverish pup and provide necessary care to avoid further complications.
Symptoms of a Feverish Pup
The following are symptoms of a feverish pup:
- Warm Nose: A dog’s nose is a good indicator of his body temperature. If the nose is dry and warm, it may indicate a fever.
- Red or flushed ears and skin: Increased body temperature can cause redness or flushing of the ears and skin.
- Lethargy or Fatigue: A fever causes the body to work harder to fight off infection, causing lethargy or a lack of energy
- Loss of Appetite: Dogs with a fever may lose their appetite, and it is essential to keep them hydrated by providing plenty of water.
- Vomiting and Diarrhea: A dog with a fever may also experience vomiting and diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration.
- Coughing or Sneezing: Dogs with fever may cough or sneeze, indicating a respiratory problem that may require a visit to the vet.
- Shivering or Panting: A dog with a fever may shiver or pant to regulate its body temperature.
What Causes Fever in Dogs
Several factors can cause fever in dogs, including:
- Infections: Viral, bacterial or fungal infections can cause fever in dogs. Infections in the ear, bladder, and respiratory system can also cause fever.
- Injuries: A fever can also be an indication that your dog has an injury that requires medical attention.
- Autoimmune diseases: Lupus, Polymyositis or Rheumatoid arthritis, can cause fever.
- Vaccination reactions: Dogs may experience fever after a vaccination or immunization shot, but it should subside within a day. If it does not subside, consult your vet.
How to Measure a Dog’s Temperature
It is essential to take your dog’s temperature when you suspect he has a fever. You can use a digital or glass thermometer to take your dog’s temperature. Thermometers with a flexible tip or are designed for veterinary use are best.
Steps to take a dog’s temperature:
- Wash the thermometer with warm water and soap, rinse thoroughly and dry.
- Lubricate the end of the thermometer with petroleum jelly, if needed, to ensure a comfortable insertion.
- Hold your dog still, raise its tail and insert the thermometer gently into the rectum, about one inch deep for no longer than a minute.
- Read and record the temperature on the thermometer when you remove it.
When taking a dog’s temperature, remember to relax and soothe your pet to avoid hurting or scaring him.
When to Visit a Veterinarian
When your dog has a fever, it is essential to visit the vet to avoid complications. A veterinarian can advise you on the best treatment options and prescribe medication to alleviate your dog’s symptoms. In severe cases, a vet may recommend hospitalization or surgery.
Additional Symptoms that Require Immediate Treatment Include:
- Sudden paralysis: If your dog suddenly experiences paralysis or difficulty breathing, it is a sign that he requires emergency care.
- Breathing difficulties or wheezing: Dogs may experience breathing difficulty due to an underlying health issue that requires medical attention.
- Seizures: Seizures may be caused by epilepsy, poisoning, or an underlying health condition, and they require emergency action.
Home Remedies for Dog’s Fever
It is essential to ensure that your dog is comfortable and hydrated when he has a fever. Some remedies that can help alleviate your dog’s fever include:
- Hydrate your dog: Provide your dog with plenty of water or electrolyte-rich solutions. Avoid sugary or caffeinated beverages.
- Monitor your dog’s temperature: Keep track of your dog’s temperature to ensure it stays within the normal range. If the fever persists or becomes high, it is essential to seek veterinary care.
- Control the temperature: Keep your dog in a cool and comfortable environment to regulate his body temperature.
- Feed your dog: Offer your dog simple and easy to digest food, such as cooked rice and chicken, to keep him nourished.
- Maintain hygiene: Maintain cleanliness and hygiene to reduce the risk of infection for both you and your dog.
Preventing Fever In Dogs
You can prevent your dog from getting a fever by taking the following precautionary measures:
- Vaccinate your dog: Ensure your dog is up-to-date with vaccination and immunization shots to prevent infections and illnesses.
- Maintain hygiene: Keep your dog clean and groomed to avoid bacterial or fungal infections.
- Keep your dog away from toxic substances: Keep toxic substances such as medicines, cleaning products, and pesticides out of a dog’s reach to avoid illnesses.
- Diet and exercise: A balanced diet and regular exercise can help keep your dog healthy and reduces the risk of infection or illness.
It is essential to know how to spot a feverish pup to identify health issues before they escalate. A dog’s fever may indicate an underlying health issue that requires medical attention. At home remedies such as hydration, temperature control, and hygiene can help alleviate your dog’s symptoms. You can prevent your dog from getting a fever by maintaining a clean, healthy and toxin-free environment, exercising and offering a balanced diet.
Most Common Questions and Answers
- Q: How can I tell if my dog has a fever without a thermometer?
- A: You can tell if your dog has a fever by feeling its ears, nose or belly. A warm nose, red ears or a warm belly may indicate a fever.
- Q: How long does a fever last for a dog?
- A: The duration of a fever in dogs depends on the underlying cause. A fever caused by a wound or injury usually lasts for one to two days, while a fever caused by an infection or inflammation may last longer.
- Q: When should I seek veterinary care for my feverish dog?
- A: You should seek veterinary care if your dog’s fever persists for more than two days, has additional symptoms or becomes high.
- Vetstreet: Signs your Dog has a Fever and What to Do About It. https://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/signs-your-dog-has-a-fever-and-what-to-do-about-it
- The Spruce Pets: How to Take Your Dog’s Temperature. https://www.thesprucepets.com/how-to-take-your-dogs-temperature-1117325
- PetMD: Autoimmune System Diseases in Dogs. https://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/endocrine/c_dg_autoimmune_disorders