A dog fever is a symptom, rather than an illness. It is the body’s normal defense against an infection or inflammation in their body. Know everything about fever and how to manage it is important to keep your companion healthy and well.
Dog Fever: What You Need To Know
What Is A Fever?
A fever happens when the body’s temperature soar higher than normal. There are many possible causes of a fever, and the most common one is an infection. An infection occurs when a pathogen or a disease-causing microorganism enters the body and causes mayhem. When the immune system detects this foreign body, it releases antibodies and immune cells. In some cases, dog fever may be a result of environmental factors, like exercising under the scorching sun.
Normal Dog Temperature
Just like in humans, dogs have a range wherein their body temperature is considered normal or not. A normal body temperature for dogs is about 101 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. When the body temperature goes beyond this range, a dog fever is suspected.
Causes Of Dog Fever
A fever can be caused by a broad spectrum of factors, including the two most common causes – infection and inflammation. The main causes of dog fever include:
- Ear infection
- Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
- Infected bite or wound
- Infected or abscessed tooth
- Infection of an organ like the lungs and kidneys
- Ongoing infection either caused by a virus or bacterium
When a dog has ingested poisonous substance or chemicals, it may also cause fever. The most common poisons include toxic plants, human drugs or medications, human foods that are considered toxic to dogs and antifreeze.
Symptoms Of Dog Fever
Although there are no definite symptoms, dog fever may be suspected if your dog shows the following manifestations:
- Elevated body temperature
- Rapid heart rate and increased respiratory rate
- Decreased appetite
- Decreased body fluids or dehydration
- Shivering or chills
- Depressed mood
- Nasal discharge
Measuring Dog Fever
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There are many ways to gauge a dog’s temperature – either manually or through the use of a thermometer. Though the most accurate way is through a thermometer, some pet owners do not have this apparatus at home. For those who want to take the temperature manually, you can feel your dog’s temperature by the use of the back of your hand. Touch and feel the areas such as the dog’s paws, ears, groin or armpits.
If they are warmer to touch, they might have a fever. However, using a thermometer is easier, faster and more accurate. There are many types of thermometers available today – digital, ear and rectal thermometers.
Treating Dog Fever
You can help bring the temperature of your dog down by applying cool water to their fur, particularly around the foot and ear areas. You can also use a fan to keep his body cool. However, make sure you monitor the dog’s temperature every four hours and if it does not decrease, you can bring them to a veterinarian for further evaluation and treatment.
Moreover, let your dog drink lots of fluids when they have a fever to prevent dehydration, which is life-threatening for dogs. The veterinary doctor may also prescribe medicines that can lower the temperature. Do not give your dog any human medicine for a fever because these might be toxic and may lead to dangerous complications. The doctor will also run tests and assess the root cause of the elevated body temperature.
Here’s how to lower dog fever at home by the Veterinary Network:
A dog fever may mean that there are an underlying cause and illness. It’s important to know the root cause of the fever first, by letting an expert check on your dog. This way you will prevent the progression of the illness to more serious conditions.
Do you know how to lower your dog’s fever? Let us know in the comments section below.