What temperature indicates a fever in dogs?
A dog’s normal body temperature ranges from 101° to 102.5° Fahrenheit, which is significantly higher than humans whose body temperature ranges from 97.6° to 99.6° F.
A temperature of more than 103° F is considered a dog fever. When temperatures reach 106° F, serious and fatal complications can occur.
How should I take my dog's temperature?
Sometimes excitement can be mistaken for fever as your dog's temperature can also rise when they are playing or happy. Also, a dog’s temperature can vary throughout the day and sometimes at night. Therefore, it is important to understand your dog’s healthy temperature. You can determine this by noting your dog's temperature at various times of the day, for several days.
While it is a common belief that a cold, wet nose is an accurate method of determining that your dog is hydrated and healthy, that is actually not the case.
A rectal thermometer will be able to provide you with the fastest and most accurate temperature reading. Some pet stores carry thermometers made just for pets. It is recommended that you keep a separate thermometer just for your dog and store it where you keep your dog’s supplies.
Start by lubricating the tip of the thermometer with petroleum or water-soluble lubricant. Then lift your dog’s tail up and to the side and carefully insert the thermometer about 1 inch into your dog’s rectum. If possible, have a second person assist you by holding under the dog’s hind legs to prevent your dog from sitting. Once the thermometer temperature has registered you can carefully remove the thermometer.
What are some causes of fever in dogs?
A variety of illnesses and conditions may cause a fever in your dog. These 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
In some cases, a dog’s fever cannot be readily determined. This is often referred to as a fever of unknown origin or FUO. In these cases, a fever could be caused by underlying disorders of the immune system, bone marrow problems, or cancer.
What are some fever symptoms to watch for?
You should be able to tell that something is not quite right with your pup based on their behavior. Any combination of the following symptoms is a good indication that you should check 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
What can I do to help treat a fever in my dog?
If your dog’s fever is 106° F or higher, immediately take your dog to a local veterinary emergency clinic.
If your dog has a fever, of 103° F or more, you can help to cool your dog’s body temperature by applying cool water with a soaked towel or cloth to your dog's ears and paws and running a fan near your dog. Stop applying the water when your dog’s temperature drops below 103° F. Continue to monitor your dog closely to ensure that the fever doesn’t return.
You should do what you can to help your dog stay hydrated but never force them to drink water. if they don't want to.
It is important to never give your dog human medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. These medications can be poisonous to your dog and cause 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 veterinarian.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding people or pets. Always follow your doctor's advice regarding asthma or other allergy symptoms.