Dogs have an average temperature in their body adequate for the proper functioning of their body. The normal temperature of a dog can rise and indicate that it has a fever, to warn us of a problem in its health. It is a mechanism very similar to that of humans in reality.
Fever in a dog can be very dangerous, so raising it too high will cause brain damage or even death. And it affects puppies and young dogs faster, so we must exercise extreme caution. From Dogsis.com we are going to explain how to know if our dog has a fever and how to act.
Index of contents
- 1 Symptoms that a dog has a fever
- 2 How to know if our dog has a fever?
- 3 How to take a dog’s temperature to see if it has a fever
- 4 How to act if our dog has a fever
- 5 How to Lower a Dog’s Fever: Home Remedies
- 6 Causes why a dog may have a fever
Symptoms that a dog has a fever
The normal temperature of a dog is about thirty-eight – thirty-nine and a half degrees (38º to 39.5º centigrade). The puppies though have a slightly lower temperature, from thirty-four and a half to thirty-six degrees (34.5º – 36º). But when they are one month old, their temperature stabilizes at around thirty-seven degrees (37º). From that temperature on, a dog is considered to have a fever.
How to know if our dog has a fever?
Very simply, a dog with a fever usually shows these symptoms:
- Strange shine in their eyes, as if they were watery or with tears
- Abnormally hot and / or dry nose
- Muscle spasms or tremors
- Strange behavior and / or apathy
- Sometimes her gums turn whitish
Any of these symptoms may indicate that a dog’s normal temperature has risen above what can be considered normal, causing a fever.
It is usually due to infection or disease, although a heatstroke or simple stress can also cause it. It is important measure our dog’s temperature to make sure and take the appropriate measures.
How to take a dog’s temperature to see if it has a fever
The process to take a dog’s temperature is very similar to that of humans, with the difference that we will put the thermometer in the anus (in the ass). It is important to have the help of a second person to prevent our dog from moving while we take the temperature, since it could be damaged.
While a person is holding the dog and keeping it relaxed, we will gently lift its tail to insert the tip of the thermometer into its anus. It is not necessary to put more than one or two centimeters, since thermometers take the temperature at its tip.
To avoid damaging it with the thermometer, we can moisten the tip with a little petroleum jelly or water, so that it enters more gently through your anus. It is completely normal for the dog feel uncomfortable and try to move, but we must keep it that way until the thermometer marks the temperature.
Digital thermometers warn us with a beep, while conventional thermometers must remain inserted for at least two minutes to correctly measure the dog’s temperature.
On the other hand, there are special thermometers to take the temperature in your ears, which although economically speaking are more expensive, are also less invasive for the dog.
How to act if our dog has a fever
First of all we must assess the severity of the situation, for this we will be guided by the temperature of our dog using a thermometer rectally.
If you are not going to stay calm @ the best thing is that you go directly to a vet, or failing that, let yourself be guided by these tips:
- Puppies with fever: Call / urgently go to the vet.
- Young dogs with fever (6 to 12 months): Call the vet and ask for advice based on your temperature.
- Adult dogs with 39.5º to 40º: High fever that requires veterinary attention, it is recommended to call the vet in advance.
- Adult dogs with more than 40.5º: Extremely dangerous fever that requires urgent veterinary attention. But you should lower the temperature sooner, since you cannot move with so much fever.
How you see fever is an indication that something is wrong with our dog’s body, so it is important to take it very seriously and go to a veterinaryn in most cases.
We must leave near the dog a bowl of clean fresh water so you can hydrate, if you don’t want to drink and your fever is very high we can try to help you with a syringe or spoon, but without forcing you.
How to Lower a Dog’s Fever: Home Remedies
Obviously we should not give our dog any type of medication that our vet has not indicated, even if it is by phone. In cases where the fever is extremely high we must reduce it before going to a veterinary center, for this we can use some of these homemade tricks to lower its temperature.
These home remedies are only applicable to young and adult dogs, they should not be applied to puppies without the supervision of a veterinaryn.
- Wet a towel with cold water, drain it and put it on our dog for a few minutes. Wet again with cold water and repeat the process for about ten minutes. Take the temperature again to assess if it has dropped and obviously dry our dog.
- Place ice packs between your hind legs and on your head for about two to three minutes and rest. Repeat the process two or three times and take your temperature again to assess.
- In super extreme cases and always under the consent of our vetPut the dog in cold water (not frozen) and keep it there for about two or three minutes. Take your temperature again and assess.
With these homemade tricks the fever usually drops, but that does not mean that the problem has been solved. We must go to a veterinaryn to locate the origin of the fever and give us adequate treatment.
Causes why a dog may have a fever
The fever may be caused by a virus or bacteria that is making our dog sick. Although there are many other reasons why a dog may have a fever:
- During vaccination, vaccines sometimes cause fever.
- During medication treatment, some medications can cau
se a fever.
- In the moments before giving birth, pregnant bitches can increase their temperature how symptom of impending labor.
- By heat stroke
There are many more factors that can cause fever in a dog, but these are the most common.