A dogs tongue is covered in many small blood vessels that help to regulate the dogs body temperature.
If a dog is panting heavily, their tongue will appear hot and dry.
It can also be red or blue and may have a white coating on it.
This article explains what a fever in dogs is, how to take your dog’s temperature, what causes a fever in dogs, and how to treat a fever in dogs.
The average human has a temperature of about 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius).
A normal temperature for a dog is between 100.4 and 103.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 to 39 degrees Celsius).
Dogs with a fever are usually very uncomfortable and may seem lethargic.
They may have a pale gums and tongue, which is an indication of dehydration.
Their eyes may be sunken, they may be restless, and they may not want to eat or drink, even though they are thirsty.
The skin around their eyes and nose may be dry or reddened, and they may have a low-grade fever.
Dogs that suffer from chronic ear infections may also develop a fever as well as other symptoms such as excessive scratching at the ears, sneezing, coughing, and nasal discharge.
If you notice any of these signs in your dog, see your vet immediately.
Your veterinarian will do a physical exam and determine whether your dog has a fever.
If your dog does have a fever, your veterinarian will prescribe medication to lower your dogs temperature so that they can feel better.
What is a fever in dogs?
Fever is an increase in body temperature above normal levels.
The best way to tell if your dog has a fever is by looking at its skin and mucous membranes.
Skin temperatures are usually taken with a thermometer placed under the dog’s tail.
The oral cavity is not as good as the rectal temperature when measuring a dog’s core temperature.
However, there are many other signs that indicate that your dog is experiencing a fever, such as increased heart rate, loss of appetite, vomiting, excessive thirst, restlessness, and increased breathing effort.
These symptoms are similar to those experienced during human fevers, but there are some differences between the two species.
For example, humans sweat more easily than dogs do and we tend to vomit more often.
How to measure a dog’s temperature
If you suspect that your dog is suffering from a fever, you should immediately take his or her temperature.
You should use a digital thermometer for this purpose.
Do not use a mercury thermometer because it could cause harm to your dog.
Digital thermometers come in both clip-on and needle types.
Clip-on models are easier to use than needle ones.
Be sure to read the instructions carefully before using a needle type thermometer.
These are designed to penetrate through the dog’s skin and into its bloodstream.
Read this article to learn about common mistakes made while taking your dog’s temperature.
What are the causes of a fever in dogs?
Fever is defined as an elevated body temperature above normal.
Some people think that the only cause of a fever is infection, but this isn’t true.
There are other reasons that a dog could develop a fever.
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- Heat stroke
- Kidney disease
- Malignant tumor
- Heart disease
- Cushing’s syndrome (a condition where the adrenal glands overproduce cortisol)
- Toxins from eating poisonous plants
- Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
- Dogs with cancer
Most cases of fever in dogs are caused by one of these diseases.
However, there are some rarer causes of fever like heat exhaustion, which can happen after exercise in hot weather.
The most common symptoms of a fever in dogs include:
- Redness around the eyes
- Rapid breathing
- Labored breathing
- Excessive drooling
- Lethargy (lethargic means lazy)
How do you take your dog’s temperature?
To check your dogs temperature, first wash your hands with warm water and soap then apply a clean cotton ball or tissue paper to your dogs nose.
Gently place your finger over the cotton ball or tissue paper so it covers the tip of your dogs nose.
You want to make sure that the cotton ball or tissue paper doesnt touch the roof of your dogs mouth as this could cause infection.
Your dog should not move their head while you take their temperature.
Hold the cotton ball or tissue paper firmly against the tip of their nose for at least 10 seconds to get an accurate reading.
Once you have taken your dogs temperature, remove the cotton ball or tissue paper from their nose and wash your hand again.
If your dog has a fever, they may experience shivering, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, excessive thirst, and/or increased urination.
Your vet will need to examine your dog to see if there are any other signs of illness that require treatment.
How do you treat a fever in dogs?
If there is any sign of illness, including a fever, consult with your veterinarian immediately.
They can help determine if there are underlying medical conditions causing the fever, such as an infection or cancer.
Your veterinarian can also provide guidance on when it is safe to resume normal activities.
You can help your dog feel better by giving them plenty of fluids and rest.
If your dog is very thirsty, give them water frequently so they don’t become dehydrated.
This will make your dog less likely to get sicker.
If your dog has a fever, try to keep them indoors and away from other animals.
This way, they won’t spread germs to others.
If you notice that your dog is not eating properly, this could be a symptom of a serious condition like kidney disease.
Make sure to contact your vet immediately if you notice these symptoms.
You can use cool cloths to apply a wet washcloth or cold compress to your dog’s nose to bring down their temperature.
You can also rub ice packs over your dog’s gums to reduce inflammation.
When treating a fever in dogs, avoid using medications that contain aspirin or ibuprofen unless your veterinarian specifically recommends them.
When should you see a vet for a fever in dogs?
In general, you need to see a veterinarian if your dog has an elevated temperature (105 degrees Fahrenheit or 40 degrees Celsius) for more than 24 hours or if they are lethargic or vomiting.
You should always call your veterinarian immediately if your dog shows any signs of discomfort, such as excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, listlessness, or diarrhea.
If your dog is exhibiting one or more of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian right away.
They can perform a physical exam to determine whether there is another underlying condition causing the fever.
If a problem isn’t found, your veterinarian may prescribe medication to reduce your dog’s fever.
You should also give your dog plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
If your dog does not drink enough water, he may get dehydrated which could lead to kidney failure.
Keep your dog hydrated by giving them warm water with electrolytes added to it.
There are several different signs of a fever in dogs.
The most common sign is a change in behavior.
A dog who normally is very active will become lethargic and less responsive to commands.
They may also refuse to eat or drink.
Another sign is loss of appetite.
This is often accompanied by a lack of energy and an increase in sleeping.
You may notice your dog has a runny nose and eyes as well.
If your dog has any of these symptoms, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.
Your veterinarian will examine your pet, perform tests, and prescribe medication if necessary.