Fever in Dogs - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

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The fever in dogs or canine fever consists of an increase in body temperature above normal values, which are located between 38 and 39ºC, due, for example, to infection or inflammation. There are different causes that cause fever and we can easily measure it with the use of a digital thermometer..

Next, in this AnimalWised article we will explain everything you need to know about Fever in Dogs, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment to apply to lower it. Of course, if you suspect that your dog may have a fever, we recommend you go to your trusted veterinarian to discover the cause that is causing it and the treatment indicated according to your specific case..

You may also be interested in: Fever in cats - Causes, symptoms and how to lower it Index
  1. What temperature is considered a fever in dogs?
  2. Causes of fever in dogs
  3. Symptoms of fever in dogs
  4. How to take a dog's temperature correctly?
  5. When a dog's temperature is low, is it a sign of fever??
  6. Treatment for fever in dogs
  7. Home remedies for fever in dogs
  8. Preventing fever in dogs

What temperature is considered a fever in dogs?

Fever is an excellent body defense mechanism. By increasing body temperature, the immune system seeks to destroy the pathogen. Therefore, it is a reaction of the immune system that is very beneficial for the dog when faced with a disease..

The normal temperature of a dog

The body temperature of an adult dog is between 38 and 39ºC [1] (Degrees Celsius) which may vary depending on the circumstances. However, when exceeding 39ºC we will consider that the body temperature of the dog is too high and, therefore, that it suffers from fever. From 41ºC we will meet before a veterinary emergency.

It is common to observe irregularities in the temperature of the dog when we are faced with a puppy, a young dog, bitches about to give birth and even in very old dogs. In any case, if we observe that our dog is not able to regulate the temperature correctly and it has risen significantly, it will be indicated to go to the specialist to notify him of the possibility of an increase in canine fever.

Causes of fever in dogs

exist many different causes that can cause canine fever, not only those that we will show you below, therefore, we emphasize the importance of visiting the veterinarian, since the specialist is the only figure that can make a truthful diagnosis. However, we will show you the most frequent.

Some of the causes of fever in dogs, whether they are adults or puppies they are:

  • Infections
  • Inflammation
  • Internal parasites
  • External parasites
  • Post-vaccination reactions
  • Poisoning
  • Heatstroke
  • Insolation
  • Other diseases

Symptoms of fever in dogs

Although there are several signs that may suggest that a dog has a fever, the only truthful way to ensure it is by introducing a rectal thermometer. Even so, we will show you some signs that usually accompany this syndrome.

The most common symptoms of fever in dogs are:

  • Hot nose
  • Dry nose
  • Apathy
  • Sadness
  • Tremors
  • Runny nose
  • Vomiting
  • Anorexy
  • Diarrhea
  • Discomfort
  • Aggressiveness
  • Dream

Now you know some of the most frequent manifestations that usually accompany fever. However, remember that fever itself is not a disease, but one more symptom of a possible pathology. Next we will explain how to take a dog's temperature with the use of a thermometer step by step:

How to take a dog's temperature correctly?

The most accurate and accurate way to take a dog's temperature is by using a thermometer and insert it into your rectal area. But before you start you should be clear about some considerations.

Taking a dog's temperature step by step

  1. Choose a digital thermometer or a safe material to take its temperature.
  2. Relax your dog with caresses and voice, to prevent him from moving and hurting himself.
  3. If it is not possible, ask someone else for help and hold it.
  4. Smear the thermometer with lubricant or petroleum jelly, to make it less uncomfortable.
  5. Insert the thermometer at least 2 centimeters inside the anus.
  6. Wait for the time indicated by the thermometer.
  7. If it doesn't have a timer, wait at least a couple of minutes before taking it out.
  8. Once the temperature is taken, remove the thermometer and wash it with ethyl alcohol to disinfect it properly.

After measuring the dog's temperature, you can easily identify if it has a fever or not. Remember that from 39ºC or more is considered that a dog has a fever and that after 41ºC we are facing a veterinary emergency.

When a dog's temperature is low, is it a sign of fever??

It may happen that, occasionally and due to a drop in the temperature of the environment, the dog's body temperature is below 38ºC, however, when we notice that it is below 37ºC and even 35ºC, we are faced with a case of hypothermia.

We would also observe some frequent symptoms of hypothermia in dogs, such as tremors, muscle stiffness, slow breathing, lethargy and difficulty finding the pulse of the animal. It will be essential to call our veterinarian to tell us how to proceed from that moment to warm the dog taking into account the body temperature it shows.

In cases of severe hypothermia it may be necessary hospitalization of the animal, to be able to carry out an emergency treatment while it is under observation. Intravenous injection of fluids or the use of enemas, for example.

Treatment for fever in dogs

You are probably wondering how to lower a fever in a dog, however, you should know that the veterinarian is the only specialist trained to apply a treatment in case of fever in the dog, since a diagnosis is required that indicates the underlying cause that is causing your body temperature to rise in the dog. The treatment to apply it will depend directly on the pathology that the animal suffers and the use of antibiotics or fluid therapy may be necessary.

Fever in dogs, ¿how to lower it?

Even if we are in a serious situation, it is very important to bear in mind that we should never self-medicate our dog. There are many banned human medications for dogs, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, that could be fatal or cause serious damage to your body.

The best thing to do is to go directly to the veterinary center or make an emergency call to receive the advice of the specialist, who will guide us depending on the symptoms that the dog presents..

Home remedies for fever in dogs

If you are facing an emergency and you cannot go to the vet, you can apply some remedies and tricks to try to lower the temperature slightly. Nevertheless, before and after applying them it is essential to contact the veterinarian, Even by phone, who will tell you if these tips are correct according to your specific case. Do not forget that fever can be a symptom of many pathologies, some of them very serious, which, if not treated in time, put the animal's life at risk..

¿How to lower a dog's fever?

Some tips to lower fever in dogs are:

  • Slightly dampen a sponge or towel and cool with it certain areas of the dog's body, such as the abdomen, groin or armpits. Check his body temperature every 15 minutes to see what effects this process has on the dog and if it manages to lower his temperature. Of course, it is not advisable for the dog to be wet for a long time, since it could cause an excessive drop in its body temperature, causing hypothermia. Have a dry towel handy to dry it off. It will also be essential that you have a hairdryer and a blanket on hand to cover it if that happens.
  • Keep your dog well hydrated at all times. It may be interesting to bring the drinker closer to him and even administer water directly into his mouth with the help of a syringe without a needle, always in small quantities. If your dog does not accept it, you can try to stimulate him with homemade chicken broth (without onion, garlic or salt) or with very warm wet food.

Throughout the process, you should take its temperature and pay attention to all the symptoms that the animal presents in order to provide your veterinarian with all possible information about the clinical picture. Do not forget to treat him with affection and be close to encourage him, as it will help him feel more secure and relaxed, essential in any disease process.

If after 4 or 6 hours his condition does not improve, you should go to the emergency vet.

Preventing fever in dogs

Although it is not always possible to prevent our partner from suffering from a pathology, some basic preventive medicine tips can help you prevent certain diseases.

¿How to avoid fever in dogs?

We offer you some tips:

  • Veterinary check-ups every 6 - 12 months: many diseases could be prevented and treated more effectively if they were caught early. Preventive medicine can save us a great deal of money and time by detecting a disease early.
  • Vaccination: it is essential to follow the dog's vaccination schedule. Without them, your best friend could be susceptible to any life-threatening illness, such as distemper or parvovirus..
  • Deworming: there are many external and internal parasites that can cause diseases in our dog. To avoid this, you should deworm your dog on a regular basis, as directed by the vet. There is a wide variety of products on the market and many are quite inexpensive.
  • ToxicityIdentifying which are toxic plants for dogs as well as toxic foods for dogs will be essential to avoid possible poisoning. Find out properly and if you are not sure, only offer a food already prepared for dogs.
  • Cold and heat: the environmental temperature is very important for the dogs, it depends on it that they do not suffer from heat stroke, a cold or hypothermia. We will prevent it from being outside for a long time if the temperatures are very low or excessively high and we will take precautions to avoid exposing it excessively.

The constant care and affection of an owner are the best remedy to avoid a cold or the appearance of any disease, such as fever in dogs. Even so, sometimes it will be inevitable that our dog suffers from certain diseases, but by following these tips we can minimize the risk.

This article is merely informative, at AnimalWised.com we do not have the power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the vet in the event that it presents any type of condition or discomfort.

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