Fevers in dogs are not a normal occurrence, and in some cases it may be something very mild, but it could also be the first sign of something very wrong with your dog.
If your dog becomes very lethargic, will not eat or drink, or starts to hide for no apparent reason, the chances are they are running a fever.
Although it may seem like a very small matter to you, any type of a fever in your dog should be treated very seriously.
Fevers in dogs are technically defined as a high body temperature that is the result of internal controls within your pets systems.
When your dog does develop a fever, their brain sends a signal to the immune system letting it know that there is some type of trouble.
It is sensing an invasion of some type, usually from a bacteria or a virus, although is some cases it may be much more serious.
Once this signal is sent, your dog’s immune system starts to heat up their body in a defensive mode, as most invaders will not survive in hot environments.
In most cases, it is very effective and they are destroyed.
However, it can also make your dog very ill as a result.
If your dog’s temperature rises above 103.5 degrees and they start to vomit or become very weak, it has become an emergency and they need immediate medical attention.
Fevers in dogs are the result of their normal temperature range being breached.
The normal range for their temperature should be between 100.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, or 37 to 38 degrees Celsius.
It is very helpful to understand how to take your dog’s temperature, as feeling the ears, nose, or head is extremely unreliable.
You have to determine your dog’s internal temperature to be certain. There are two ways to do this; either with a rectal or oral reading, or with an ear reading.
Testing for fevers in dogs is most commonly done with an oral or rectal thermometer that is mercury based or digital.
That is the easy part, finding the right thermometer; the hard part is actually getting your dog to allow you to take it.
Some dogs seem to have absolutely no problem with, while others will treat it almost like an act of war and they want no part of it.
If this happens, you will need to get someone else to assist you as you will have to hold them down.
If you are using the mercury form, you will need to make sure that you shake it three to four times to get the temperature down to 94 degrees Fahrenheit, or 34.4 degrees Celsius.
After this is completed, you will need to lubricate it with Vaseline or KY jelly.
This is critical, as otherwise it will be very difficult to take their temperature.
Than take your dog, or have the person assisting you, and hold their head and the front part of their body in a bear hug type of hold so they cannot move.
Lift their tail and insert the thermometer very slowly and carefully into their rectum.
The rectum is located just below the base of their tail.
Insert it about one inch and hold it there for at least two minutes if it is a mercury form. If it is a digital form, it will beep when it is done reading.
The ear form is actually much easier, but there are also a few helpful hints with this form. The normal ear temperature in your dog is between 100 and 103 degrees Fahrenheit or 37.8 and 39.4 degrees Celsius.
This type of thermometer works by measuring perhaps the most important of your dog’s temperature, their brain blood temperature.
These thermometers are specially made for dogs or cats and have a longer arm that allows you to place it deep into their ear.
You simply place it in their ear canal, where it will work by reading the infrared heat that radiates from your dog’s ear drum.
Almost all of these forms of thermometers are digital and much faster.
Fevers in dogs will show you several initial symptoms. The first is usually a very gradual lethargy that is building in your dog as the temperature grows.
They may also become extremely irritable simply because they do not feel well, which is using followed by your dog totally quitting both eating and drinking.
But there is one symptom that is much clearer as several of early symptoms could be a lot of different things happening.
For whatever reason, fevers make your dog suddenly want to hide.
This is very unusual for any dog, as they are very interested in anything that happens.
If this does occur, check their body very carefully, as they may be developing an abscess, which is swelling, or a lump, which is a tumor.
These are very series symptoms if you do find them.
When your dog develops a fever, it should be treated very seriously, as their system has reacted to something that it feels is not normal.
You should treat it the same way as their system does, as it could be some type of an infection that is developing in your dog.
It could be the early warning signs of viral infections such as parvovirus, distemper, or adenovirus, or it may be one of several fungal infections, such as aspergillosis.
Fevers in dogs may also be caused by aspiration pneumonia, enteritis, or mastitis, which is a mammary gland infection.
However, it does not end there. It may also be the result of rickettsial or parasitic infections. This fever in your dog may also be the result of an inflammatory infection of some kind.
This would include pancreatitis, which is inflammation of your dog’s pancreas, pancreatitis, which is inflammation of their fat tissues, or panosteitis, which is inflammation of their long bones in their body.
Or, it may be an immune mediated disease that is causing the fever in your dog. The list of these includes IMHA, immune mediated hemolytic anemia, or ITP, immune mediated thrombocytopenia.
However, it may also be the first warning sign that you have that your dog is developing rheumatoid arthritis.
Fevers in dogs may also be the result of drug reaction to a recently administered drug such as tetracycline or several other antibiotics.
It may also be a toxic reaction to slug bait; or worst yet, the first sign that your dog may have tumors and cancer is now affecting their body.
Fevers in dogs at first may should like it is something very simple like a cold or just a minor form of infection.
However, in most cases, it is the beginning of something much more serious.
Understanding how what to watch for, how to take your dog’s temperature, and then reacting quickly may go a long way in your dog’s overall health.