How do I know if my dog has a fever ?

How do I know if my dog has a fever?

Puppies and dogs can get sick and develop various symptoms such as fever. Unfortunately, our dog can’t alert us to whether or not he has a fever. However, in both humans and pets, fever, which is an abnormal rise in body temperature, is a symptom of illness. It should not be ignored!

Can a dog have a fever? How to measure a puppy’s temperature? How to treat fever in dogs? Find all the information to know if your dog has a fever as well as the solutions to treat it and relieve your pet as soon as possible.

1- What can cause a fever in my dog ?

A dog’s fever can have various causes, ranging from a simple heat stroke to a viral or bacterial infection, as well as possible inflammatory reactions of the body, parasite infestation, etc.

If your pet has been out in the sun for too long, either during a walk or during exercise, it is natural for its body temperature to rise. Dogs do not have the same capacity to sweat and ventilate as humans. This means that their bodies will store heat for a while and then expel it by panting.

The origin of this abnormal temperature can also come from an illness. Infectious causes are often caused by viruses, bacteria and parasites. Infections such as parvovirus, piroplasmosis, pneumonia, canine influenza, abscesses and urinary tract infections can cause fever in dogs. The canine fever is in this case a bodily reaction of the puppy or the dog to fight the pathology.

In addition, if the dog often walks outside, envenomations can cause fever: insect bites or stings, envenomation by contact or ingestion of processionary caterpillars, etc.

Indeed, dogs have the annoying habit of wanting to put everything in their mouth, especially outside the house. It is therefore possible that the fever is a reaction to the inflammation and infection caused by contact with the stinging hairs of a pine processionary caterpillar. Especially in the spring with the appearance of these dangerous caterpillars.

2- What are the signs that your dog has a fever ?

A dog’s normal body temperature is between 38°C and 39°C. A fever can be said to exist when the temperature is above 39°C. When the animal’s body temperature reaches 40°C, it means that the condition is serious.

Like us, it is difficult to identify a slight rise in temperature. But a high fever will have consequences on your pet’s behavior: less appetite, not in good spirits, tired, less cuddly, … These are signs related to changes in canine attitudes that should alert you. Of course, these signs are not specific to an excessive body temperature in dogs.

The symptoms that should alert you and allow you to notice a fever in your dog are numerous :

* The condition of his nose. If your dog’s nose is both warm and dry to the touch, it confirms a fever.
* Unusual feverishness. If you notice a change in his behavior: trembling, laziness or lack of energy, fatigue, panting, etc.
* Change in eating habits: loss of appetite, usually accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea.
* Cloudy and glassy eyes.
* Abnormally warm paws and ears to the touch.

3- How to take a dog’s temperature ?

If the fever indicates that the animal suffers from an illness, it does not however make it possible to know if the latter is serious or not. Taking the temperature is therefore essential to evaluate the seriousness of his condition.

Unfortunately, the only way to check your dog’s temperature is rectally. The rectal temperature is the most reliable. A moment of discomfort, certainly, but it is necessary for the well-being of your pet.

To easily insert the tip of the thermometer into your pet’s anus, you can use Vaseline. Your pet will not feel any pain or discomfort, making it easier to measure its temperature. The objective is not to traumatize the animal.

You must therefore take a digital thermometer that you will insert, with the help of another person who will hold the animal, in its rectum. Wait for the thermometer to beep before removing it. Do not hesitate to repeat the operation to check that the temperature does not rise again, because some thermometers are less reliable than others.

Consequently, there is only one reliable way to be sure whether your dog has a fever or not: you must take his temperature with a thermometer. This is a way to assess his internal temperature. Where to buy a dog thermometer?

The technique of touching the ears, the nose or any other anatomical part of the dog will not give you reliable results. You can use an ear thermometer, which is less reliable than a rectal thermometer but preferable if the animal is recalcitrant to this examination.

My dog has a fever, what precautions should I take?

You have seen the different signs on your dog, you have taken his temperature and you now know that your dog has a fever. You must take him to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Only the veterinarian will be able to determine the exact cause of the fever. He will then be able to prescribe an appropriate treatment.

While waiting for your appointment, you can however relieve your pet, and bring him more comfort: give him water and make sure he drinks enough, then soak a clean cloth with water and pass this fresh cloth on his face, give him more attention and caresses.

Indeed, fever can cause dehydration in the animal. It is therefore advisable to check that your puppy or dog is properly hydrated while waiting for a visit to the veterinarian.


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