Symptoms of dog fever

Before diving into the symptoms of dog fever, let’s get acquainted with some essential facts. A fever, in simple terms, is an elevated body temperature that exceeds the normal range. For dogs, a normal body temperature ranges between 99.5°F to 102.5°F (37.5°C to 39.2°C). Anything above this range indicates a fever.

  1. Elevated Temperature: The most apparent sign of fever in dogs is an elevated body temperature. You can measure your dog’s temperature using a digital rectal thermometer. Make sure to use a pet-specific thermometer and lubricate it with a bit of petroleum jelly for comfort. Gently insert the thermometer into your dog’s rectum and hold it in place for about a minute. If the reading exceeds 102.5°F (39.2°C), it’s a clear indication of fever.
  2. Lethargy: A feverish dog often becomes lethargic and loses interest in their usual activities. You might notice your furry friend spending more time resting or sleeping and showing less enthusiasm for playtime or walks.
  3. Loss of Appetite: Fever can suppress a dog’s appetite. If your dog is suddenly disinterested in food or treats, it could be due to an underlying fever.

Symptoms of Dog Fever: Shivering or Panting

Symptoms of Dog Fever may change depending on the cause of the fever, your dog might shiver as their body tries to regulate the elevated temperature. Conversely, some dogs might pant excessively when they have a fever.

Warm, Dry Nose: Contrary to the common myth, a warm, dry nose is not a reliable indicator of a dog’s health. Dogs can have a warm nose for various reasons, and it might not necessarily signify a fever. It’s essential to consider other symptoms and consult a veterinarian for a definitive diagnosis.

Coughing and Sneezing: In some cases, fever might be accompanied by respiratory symptoms like coughing or sneezing. These symptoms can be indicative of an underlying infection.

Dehydration: Symptoms of Dog Fever Fever can lead to increased water loss through panting and elevated body temperature. Keep an eye out for signs of dehydration, such as dry gums, sunken eyes, or excessive thirst.

Symptoms of Dog Fever: When to Seek Veterinary Care

If you perceive any of the above mentioned Symptoms of Dog Fever, it’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian promptly. Additionally, seek immediate medical attention if you observe severe symptoms such as seizures, difficulty breathing, or loss of consciousness. These signs may indicate a more severe underlying condition requiring urgent intervention.

The Challenge of Detecting Symptoms of Dog Fever

Identifying a fever in your dog can be challenging because canine body temperatures can vary throughout the day and, in some cases, due to excitement or stress. To accurately gauge symptoms of dog fever it’s essential to establish their baseline by measuring it at different times and on various days.

One common misconception is that a dog’s nose can indicate their body temperature. A cold, wet nose is not a reliable indicator of a fever. Instead, a dog’s normal body temperature is between 99.5°F to 102.5°F (37.5°C to 39.2°C). Anything above this range indicates a fever.

Taking Your Dog’s Temperature

To determine if your dog has a fever, the most reliable method is to use a digital thermometer designed for rectal use. Many pet stores carry thermometers specifically made for pets. It’s essential to designate a thermometer solely for your dog’s use and store it with their supplies.

Here’s how to take your dog’s temperature:

  1. Lubricate the tip of the thermometer with petroleum jelly or a water-soluble lubricant.
  2. Gently lift your dog’s tail up and to the side.
  3. Carefully insert the lubricated thermometer about one inch into your dog’s rectum.
  4. If possible, have a second person assist you by holding your dog’s hind legs to prevent them from sitting.
  5. Once the thermometer registers the temperature, remove it carefully.

Common Causes of Dog Fevers

Understanding the potential symptoms of dog fever is essential for providing appropriate care. Some common causes of dog fevers include:

  1. Infections: Bacterial, viral, or fungal infections can lead to fever. Examples include kennel cough, parvovirus, or urinary tract infections.
  2. Inflammatory Conditions: Autoimmune diseases and inflammatory conditions such as arthritis can trigger fever.
  3. Toxicity: Ingesting toxic substances, plants, or medications can result in fever as the body tries to eliminate the toxin.
  4. Heat Stroke: Dogs can suffer from heatstroke in hot weather, leading to dangerously high body temperatures.

Foreign bodies may cause symptoms of dog fever

Ingesting objects that cannot be digested or passed can cause fever.

In some cases, a fever in dogs cannot be attributed to a specific cause, often referred to as a “fever of unknown origin” (FUO). These cases may be related to immune system disorders, bone marrow issues, or even cancer.

Other Symptoms of a Dog Fever

Detecting a change in your dog’s behavior is often the first sign of a fever. Be attentive to your pet’s symptoms, as they can vary. Common signs of a fever in dogs include:

  1. Red or Glassy Eyes: The eyes may appear red or glassy.
  2. Warm Ears and Nose: Your dog’s ears and nose may feel warm.
  3. Shivering: Some dogs shiver as their bodies attempt to regulate temperature.
  4. Panting: Excessive panting can be a symptom.
  5. Runny Nose: A fever may cause a runny nose.
  6. Decreased Energy: Your dog might become lethargic.
  7. Loss of Appetite: A fever can suppress appetite.
  8. Coughing: Some fevers are accompanied by a cough.
  9. Vomiting: In certain cases, vomiting may occur.

Caring for symptoms of dog fever

Immediate action is necessary if your dog’s fever reaches 106°F or higher. Take your pet to a local veterinary emergency clinic without delay.

For fevers of 103°F or more, you can help lower your dog’s temperature:

  1. Apply cool water with a soaked towel or cloth to your dog’s ears and paws.
  2. Use a fan to assist in cooling. Cease water application when the temperature drops below 103°F.
  3. Encourage your dog to drink small amounts of water to stay hydrated, but don’t force them.

Crucially, never administer human medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to threat symptoms of dog fever as they can be toxic and even fatal.

Should your dog exhibit additional symptoms like shivering, panting, or vomiting, consider consulting your veterinarian for professional care and guidance.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *