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Dog Fever: Most Important Information For Dog Owner

Dog Fever is a common presenting sign of many infectious, metabolic, immune-mediated, and neoplastic disease processes manifested by increased body temperature. In general, Fever is due to transient viral or bacterial infections, which resolve spontaneously or respond to appropriate therapy. Dogs Fever is very difficult to detect due to their average body temperature is naturally higher than in humans.

What is Dog Fever?


Dog Fever is an elevation of core body temperature above the critical temperature level, generally maintained by your pets. The average body temperature of humans is between 97.6° to 99.6° F, compared to 101° and 102.5° F for dogs. In normal conditions, your dog may also feel feverish. The temperature of more than 103° F is considered your dog suffering from fever, and the dogs are very stressed or excited.  

Causes of Fever in Dogs

When your dog’s temperature rises or grater than 103.5° F, it is semantically different from the definition of fever. This condition is referred to as hyperthermia or heat stroke. Hyperthermia is an increase in core body temperature above normal of that species. When your pet’s temperature reaches 106 F, then you think it is severe and fatal complications. 

Why Would a Dog Have a Fever?


There are many causes of fever in dogs. Some inflammation or infection can lead to high temperatures in your dogs. The significant causes of illness are:

  • Bacterial, viral, and fungal diseases or infections.
  • Urogenital infection.
  • Various types of abscesses.
  • Drug reactions or dog allergies.
  • Immune-mediated disorders e.g., neoplasia.
  • Orthopedic problems associated with pain.
  • An infected bite, cut, or scratch.
  • Pyothorax and Lung infection or kidney infection.
  • Ingestion of poisonous or toxic materials e.g., antifreeze, poisonous plants, human medication, human foods that are toxic to dogs.
  • Vaccination.
  • Inflammation.
  • Tick-borne illness.

Clinical Signs of Dog fever

The Signs of Fever in Dogs


The most important thing is that when your dog is suffering from fever, the first sign is behavior change. Other signs include:

  • Inappetence.
  • Dullness.
  • Disinclination to move.
  • Lethargy and weight loss.
  • Shivering.
  • Vomiting.
  • Coughing.
  • Nasal discharge.
  • Red eyes.
  • Dry nose.
  • Warm ears.
  • Increased respiratory rate.
  • Rapid heart rate.
  • Panting heavily.

Happy Dogs

How do you take a dog’s temperature with a thermometer?


There are two types of thermometer available in the market: standard clinical thermometer and Infra-Red (IR) thermometer. You can take the temperature by a clinical thermometer by inserting it into a dog’s mouth or anus for 60 seconds. You can read the actual internal temperature by this method, and this the best approach. By an IR thermometer, you can hold it on the forehead and click on the trigger. The thermometer will show you the external temperature of your dog by a digital display.

How to take Dog Temperature

Diagnosis of Dog Fever


Dog Fever requires repeated clinical and laboratory examinations to elucidate the location and nature of the disease. A preliminary detection is based on history and clinical study. The critical aspects of history are included- age, sex, breed, vaccination status, previous illness or recent operations, recent trauma or evidence of pain, drug administration, last response to antibiotics, duration and periodicity of clinical signs, shifting leg lameness, geographical location or travel history, exposure to infectious agents, exposure to ticks, and diet.

Diagnosis of Fever

In clinical examination, your vet performs a careful clinical analysis. Your experts examine for lymphadenopathy, enlargement of the liver spleen or kidney, petechial or ecchymotic hemorrhage, cardiac murmurs, localized pain, ulcerative or vesicular skin lesions or oral ulcers, joint pain, rectal examination, retinal detachment or hemorrhage, anterior uveitis.

When presuming is no response, then you should be needed a therapeutic trial. You should have to need specific diagnostic tests. Diagnosis can not be established after extensive investigation. In this condition, you may require specialty practitioners. The laboratory diagnostic tests include: 

    • Blood culture.
    • Bone marrow aspiration.
    • Multiple joint aspirates.
    • Electrocardiography.
    • Echocardiography.
    • Immunodiagnostic screening tests for Rheumatoid factor.
    • Antinuclear antibodies.
    • Serology (Toxoplasmosis, neosporosis, borreliosis, ehrlichiosis, leishmaniasis, brucellosis, aspergillosis, and other systemic mycoses).
    • Neutrophil function tests.
    • Exploratory laparotomy.
    • Tissue biopsy. 
    • Therapeutic trial.

What do you give a dog for a fever?


The beneficial effects of dog fever often outweigh the adverse effects. The primary management of febrile pets is to identify and treat the primary disease. Mild to moderate illnesses ( increase in body temperature less than 103 F) are rarely fatal. You can give antipyretic drugs to reduce the fever if the causes are not established.

  • Most antipyretic drugs are used in dogs, including salicylates. 
  • Acetaminophen, dipyrone, and flunixin meglumine are inhibitors of prostaglandin in the synthesis that act centrally to lower the thermoregulatory set point. 
  • Acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) has the lowest expense and toxicity of conventional non-steroidal analgesia antipyretic agents. 
  • The toxic effect of salicylates includes vomiting, gastric ulceration, acid-base imbalance, and CNS disturbance.
  • The antipyretic activity of acetaminophen in dogs is equal to that of aspirin. 
  • The drug is hepatotoxic at high doses and is contraindicated in severe liver disease. 
  • Dipyrone has potent antipyretic in dogs. It is recommended for short term therapy because prolonged administration of this drug may cause bone marrow suppression.
  • Flunixin meglumine, one of the prostaglandin synthesis inhibitors currently licensed for use in your dogs, has more potent antipyretic properties than aspirin. Still, its use has been associated with similar GI side effects. 

Cute Dogs

If any infectious disease diagnosed for fever, you need an antibiotic therapy parenterally. If there is a presence of coughing or sneezing, you need an antihistaminic treatment. After the confirmatory diagnosis of the causes of fever, the procedure will follow based on the causal agent. Supportive therapy includes vitamin C supplement as anti-stress, normal saline for dehydration, and liquid food for inappetence can be given.  

Final Advice on Dog Fever  


As a dog owner, you may face this problem frequently. Fever is a pervasive problem in dogs. You need not be panic at the very outset. First, take the temperature and give him a rest and cold environment, Reduce stress and anxiety, and give him/her saline water to drink. In severe cases, call your vet and take expert advice from him. As a dog owner, you can learn a few first aid techniques and apply them immediately. The above article must help you yo save your dog during an emergency. 

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