Detect Dog fever and what to do

It is always a good idea to have a dog as a pet. Not only are they fun, friendly and full of life, they are also extremely loyal animals. There comes a time when even the most lively dog starts moping around.

When you notice that all the life has gone out of your dog and you can’t even get it to have its treats, it’s a sign that something is wrong. Unlike sick children who can tell exactly how they feel, dogs have no way of expressing their feelings. At least not in a way you’ll understand. It can be very challenging for you to deal with a sick pet because you can never seem to figure out what’s wrong.

It has often been said that to find out if your dog has a fever, you simply have to feel his nose. Apparently, a hot and dry nose signifies fever while a cool and wet nose means all is well. There are a lot of things wrong with this theory, and one of them is this – The body temperature of dogs runs from 99.5 to 102.5 Fahrenheit which is hotter than the body temperature of humans. For this reason, you cannot diagnose a fever from a hot and dry nose. Frankly, it would be a bit surprised if your dog didn’t feel a bit warm to the touch.

By now you must be wondering how you can find out if your pet has dog fever and what to do in such a situation. Below, we will explain the causes of fever in dogs, how it can be identified and the suitable treatment.

What Is a Dog Fever?

As we’ve mentioned earlier, the normal body temperature of dogs is considerably higher than that of humans. Once you understand this fact, you’ll never make the mistake of assuming that your dog has a fever when he or she is perfectly fine. When the word ‘fever’ is used, it usually describes a rise in body temperature. Elevated body temperature can be as a result of infection or inflammation or hyperthermia. Hyperthermia or heat stroke is an increase in body temperature which occurs when a dog has been exposed to strenuous exercise in hot external temperatures or humid conditions. When a dog has a body temperature which exceeds 103 degrees Fahrenheit, such a dog has a fever and if left untreated, can lead to fatal complications.

What are the causes of dog fever?

Just as the human body develops a fever while it tries to fight off infections, one major cause of dog fever is an infection. Infections are usually caused by bacteria and fungi, and these infections can spring up anywhere in the body. You can identify the part of the body where the infection is focused on the symptoms. However, some infections can affect several parts of the body simultaneously.

Although infections and inflammations are one of the most popular causes of fever, there are other causes that should be discussed. When a dog consumes poisonous substances, it can result in elevated body temperature. It is also common for dogs to develop a fever a few hours after receiving the vaccination. This depends on the dog’s immune system and most times; the fever only lasts for a few hours after the injection.

These are some of the known causes of fever, but it can sometimes be difficult for one to determine the actual cause of dog fever.

Symptoms of dog fever

Although it can be difficult to readily determine the causes of dog fever, you should be worried once you notice any of the following signs.

  • Loss of appetite
  • Coughing
  • Lack of interest in usual activities
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Shivering
  • Nasal discharge
  • A runny nose
  • Depression

It is important for you to recognize these symptoms in your dog. It should be noted that there is just one accurate way to determine if your pet has dog fever and this is by checking his or her body temperature.

How to check your dog’s body temperature

To check your dog’s rectal temperature, you need to have a thermometer which is specially designed for dogs. It wouldn’t do for you to share your family thermometer with your dog, would it?

First, you have to coat the thermometer with baby oil, petroleum gel or any water-based lubricant. Then slowly insert the thermometer not more than one inch into your dog’s rectum. Be sure to lift the tail up to the side to prevent your dog from sitting. It won’t take more than a minute for the results to register.

It is very important for you to know your dog’s normal body temperature. With this knowledge, it becomes easy for you to recognize anything different from the norm. It also helps to keep track of your dog’s respiratory rate and healthy pulse. Knowledge of these vital signs are tools which can help you identify potential illnesses.

Best dog thermometers

It is a very bad idea to use a normal thermometer to check your dog’s temperature because there’s always room for error. As a dog owner, it is very necessary for you to have a pet thermometer with which you can take your dog’s temperature. Not all thermometers will give you an accurate reading. If you want a thermometer which will give you an accurate temperature reading within a few seconds, you should go for one of these two.

  • Advanced Monitors Pet-Temp Ear Thermometer.
  • Intu-MedPet Digital Vet Thermometer.

What to do when your dog has a fever

If your dog has a temperature of 103 degrees Fahrenheit, you can apply cool water to his fur to help with the fever. Monitor your dog’s temperature as you do this and stop when it reaches the normal body temperature.

Do not attempt to treat the fever with aspirin or similar human medications. Call your veterinarian if the cooling procedure fails as the dog fever must be treated promptly to avoid any fatal complications.