If your dog has a fever, there are a few things you can do to make them feel better.
A fever is when the body’s temperature rises above normal due to an infection.
The human body normally maintains its internal temperature at about 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius).
A fever occurs when the body’s temperature rises and remains elevated for several hours.
In dogs, the usual range of normal body temperatures is 101 to 102.5 F (38 to 39 C).
Fever in dogs is often accompanied by symptoms such as increased heart rate, restlessness, excessive sweating, panting, decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, sensitivity to light and sound, and occasionally seizures.
There are many causes of canine fevers.
Some of these include viruses, bacteria, parasites, fungi, and autoimmune diseases.
The most common cause of febrile illness in dogs is bacterial infections.
Viral illnesses account for less than 10% of all cases of canine fever.
Other causes include allergies, poisoning, trauma, cancer, and kidney problems.
Causes of Dog Fevers
There are many causes of fevers in dogs.
The most common is an infection with bacteria, viruses, parasites, or yeast.
Other possible causes include the following:
- Parvovirus (can be hereditary)
- Feline distemper
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
- Kidney disease
- Heart disease
How to Take Your Dog’s Temperature
When your dog is sick, it’s important to take their temperature, otherwise you won’t know if they have a fever.
This will help you determine what kind of treatment you need to use on your dog and whether or not you should keep them at home or bring them to the vet.
You can use any thermometer that you would normally use to check your own body temperature.
The most common types of thermometers used for pets include rectal, oral, and ear thermometers.
Rectal thermometers are usually placed in your dog’s rear end.
They can be inserted into the rectum with a lubricant (e.g., petroleum jelly) so that they don’t hurt your dog.
Oral thermometers are small tubes that go into your dog’s mouth.
They’re less invasive than rectal thermometers, but still require sedation for your pet.
Ear thermometers are small probes that are inserted into your dog’s ears.
They tend to be the least painful method of taking a dog’s temperature.
While all three of these methods are accurate, some people believe that using an oral thermometer doesn’t always provide a good reading because it can get stuck in your dog’s throat.
In addition, it may not be as accurate as other forms of thermometry.
Before you decide which method you want to use, consider how much pain your dog might experience with each one.
Sedating your pet before inserting a thermometer could prevent further discomfort during the procedure.
If your dog has a history of allergies or sensitivity to anesthesia, you may want to avoid this option altogether.
On the other hand, if you’re willing to subject your dog to a little bit of discomfort to ensure accuracy, then you may choose oral thermometry.
The following sections will discuss why dogs get fevers, how to take your dog’s temperature, and how to tell if your dog has a fever.
Signs That Your Dog May Have a Fever
A fever is when the body’s temperature rises above normal levels, usually because of an infection.
It happens when the immune system fights off the bacteria or virus that caused it.
The symptoms of a fever include:
- Runny nose
- Redness around the eyes
- Hot and dry skin
- Dry mouth
- Lethargy (lethargic)
- Rapid heartbeat
- Frequent panting
The best way to know if your dog has a fever is by taking their temperature.
However, this is not always possible.
So, what other signs should you look for?
How to Comfort a Dog with a Fever
There are several signs that will let you know if your dog has a fever.
These include increased thirst and urination, lethargy, excessive panting, and an increase in sensitivity to touch.
In addition, they may have a change in appetite, such as eating less food than usual or refusing to eat at all.
To comfort a dog with a fever, first try offering them something cool to lick.
This can be anything from ice chips to wet towels.
However, it is important not to overdo this because you could actually cause them to get dehydrated.
It is also important to avoid giving your dog any medications unless prescribed by your veterinarian.
You should also make sure that they have plenty of water to drink.
This is especially true during the daytime since they will need to stay hydrated so that they don’t become overheated.
As for when you should see the vet, it depends on the type of fever your dog is having.
The most common types are canine influenza, canine parvovirus, and kennel cough.
However, each case is different, so talk to your vet about what might be best for your particular pet.
Here are three ways to help your dog feel better after they’ve had a fever.
- Give Them Ice Chips to Lick
- Put a Cool, Damp Cloth on Their Head
- Offer Them a Bath
When to See the Vet
If your dog is acting lethargic and appears to be in pain, it’s a good idea to bring them to the vet right away.
The vet will examine your pet and may recommend an antibiotic if they find any signs of infection.
You can give them a cool bath, put a cool, damp cloth on their head, or offer them ice chips to lick.
If they’re not feeling well enough to eat anything, then you could try giving them some broth from a gravy boat, but it’s best to avoid this if possible.
It’s also very important that you don’t overdo it and use too much cooling method, because that can lead to dehydration and even kidney failure in dogs.
So, be sure to take it easy when trying to comfort your furry friend!
Do not force your dog to drink water if he doesn’t want to.
In fact, if your dog is having trouble drinking, you should hold his mouth open with one hand while the other gently pours the water into it.
This way, you will prevent him from gagging and choking on the water.