What is Dog Fever?

Dog fever is a condition in which a dog has an elevated body temperature of 101ºF or higher.

If you suspect your dog may have this condition, it’s important to take them to the vet as soon as possible for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Relevant information and tests such as bacterial cultures, fungal cultures, vaccination history, ear infection exam, viral infection examination, and urine analysis are all essential in figuring out the root cause of your dog’s fever.

The vet will also ask about recent illnesses or any changes in the health status of your dog, such as:

  • Fevers of unknown origin (FUO)
  • Abnormal levels of white blood cells or lymphocytes
  • Weight loss/gain changes (anorexia)
  • Sudden onset vomiting/diarrhea episodes (gastroenteritis)

In effect, your veterinarian will be able to use these tests to figure out what might be wrong with your dog before administering antibiotics for bacterial infections or antifungals for fungal infections.

You should also consult your vet if you notice any sudden change in appetite or weight loss. These can be indicators of underlying problems like urinary tract infections, immune system issues, or other serious conditions. We must monitor our pets’ temperatures regularly to make sure they’re healthy.

What is a Dog’s Normal Temperature?

A normal, healthy temperature in dogs ranges between 101.0 to 102.5°F (38.3 to 39.2°C). If you take your dog’s temperature and it’s above this range, you should take your dog to the vet.

There are exceptions for some dogs that may be older or have certain health conditions.

As with humans, fevers are one of our dogs’ body’s ways of fighting infection. The increased body temperature allows our pets to quickly kill germs that enter their body.

That being said, if left untreated, a fever can potentially lead to organ failure in dogs. It is important to visit the veterinarian as soon as possible if your dog has a fever or symptoms such as loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, shaking chills, and high-grade fever over 101 degrees Fahrenheit.

If your pet does not have any other symptoms but just has a high fever make sure you keep him hydrated with cool water throughout the day and night time.

How do you Take a Dog’s Temperature?

Your dog’s normal body temperature can be taken by the rectal thermometer or by using a digital thermometer at the animal hospital.

Step 1: Get a thermometer ready

You can use a digital thermometer, but it’s important to note that they’re not all created equal. Digital thermometers are usually more accurate than glass ones, but you also want to make sure that the device you choose has been calibrated properly — otherwise, it won’t be able to give an accurate reading.

Step 2: Get yourself ready

You’ll need to prep your dog for a temperature reading by making sure it’s comfortable and relaxed. This means keeping it in a quiet place where it won’t be disturbed while you take its temperature and making sure it isn’t too hot or too cold.

You’ll also want to avoid handling it too much during this process because extended contact may cause stress or discomfort. Secure your dog in a safe location and make sure it won’t move or wriggle around while you’re taking its temperature.

Step 3: Place the probe under the tongue and hold still.

The probe should rest against the surface of your dog’s tongue with its tip pointing down toward the back of its throat (not into its mouth). Hold it firmly in place for about three seconds before releasing it so it doesn’t slip out of place when your dog moves around during the reading process. This should give you an accurate reading within one to two minutes after placing it in your dog’s mouth.

You can also do the rectal temperature method with petroleum jelly, but many people aren’t comfortable with this, and neither are the dogs.

Taking your dog’s temperature will allow you to determine if he has a fever or not. When looking at a normal body temperature chart, most healthy dogs’ body temperature ranges between 100°F and 102°F (or 37°C-39°C) at rest. A low-grade fever is considered anything above 103°F (or 39.4°C). An animal may have a fungal infection if its temperature reaches above 105 degrees Fahrenheit (or 40 degrees Celsius).

A veterinarian should be consulted with any abnormal temperatures that are higher than 105 degrees Fahrenheit (or 40 degrees Celsius) to verify the cause of this abnormality.

If you are unable to take your dog’s temperature orally or rectally, it is possible to check his temperature with an ear thermometer.

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How do You Know if a Dog Has a Fever?

The symptoms of dog fever are generally the same as those of human fever.

The most common symptoms are:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Shivering
  • Shaking
  • Heavy panting
  • Irritability
  • Aggression
  • Decreased appetite
  • Lethargy (weakness)
  • Diarrhea (frequent bowel movements)
  • Vomiting (throwing up)
  • Lack of energy

If your dog has a fever of unknown origin but you aren’t sure if they’re just hot or not, then it’s best to ask a veterinarian for help. You can also take your dog’s temperature at home to see if their fever is getting worse with time by using a digital thermometer.

What Causes Fever in Dogs?

Common causes of fever in dogs include:

  • Bacterial or viral infections such as parvovirus (parvo): These infections are usually very contagious and often require antibiotics to treat them effectively
  • Canine distemper virus
  • Infectious canine hepatitis virus
  • Leptospirosis
  • Bordetella Bronchiseptica (kennel cough)
  • Canine Adenovirus Type 2 (CAV-2)
  • Inflammation
  • Certain medications can increase the temperature
  • Injuries
  • Wounds

It’s important to get your pet checked out by your veterinarian because the underlying cause of the fever might be life-threatening. If you’re not sure how high your dog’s temperature is, take it rectally with a veterinary thermometer (a DVM will do this if you take your dog in).

A high temperature may indicate an underlying medical condition so make sure you contact your veterinarian right away.

How do You Treat a Dog’s Fever?

The best way to treat a dog’s fever is to cool down its body temperature.

The following home remedies can be used to lower the dog’s temperature, but it is important to consult your veterinarian if you are not sure how severe the fever is.

  1. Give your dog small amounts of water.
  2. When your dog with a fever has to go out, take it for a walk in the evening or early morning hours when there is less sun exposure; keep him/her indoors during midday hours as much as possible.
  3. If the dog has access to air conditioning, make sure it stays inside where the AC is running.
  4. Give your dog ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) at home if you have any on hand, but don’t give aspirin because it can cause problems with bleeding in dogs.

Ask your vet about other human medications that might work better for your dog

When you take your dog to the vet, they’ll go through a history of your dog’s symptoms. They will check to see if your dog is on any medication if it’s allergic to anything, has gone through any recent events that might cause a fever, and do a full physical examination.

Your vet will check for signs of fever in your dog. They will check your dog’s lymph nodes, examine the abdomen to see if there is any swelling and check to see if your dog is experiencing pain in the joints.

Once your vet runs some lab diagnostics, they can use this information to see what the causes of the fever are.

Included in the lab diagnostics will be:

  • Complete blood cell count
  • Urinalysis
  • Biochemistry profile

Based on this data, your vet will decide on the right course of action. They might give your dog intravenous fluids to balance out the hydration. If the cause turns out to be an infection, your vet will prescribe antibiotics.

Can I Treat a Dog With Fever at Home?

Yes, in some cases, you can treat a dog with a fever at home.

As pet parents, treating a dog with a fever at home depends on the root cause of the fever.

  1. First, you should apply some cool water around your dog’s ears and paw areas. You can do this by soaking a towel in cool water. If you notice the fever beginning to drop after doing this, you can stop.
  2. Try to encourage your dog to drink cool water while closely monitoring it for any other symptoms. Ensure to keep the environment cool and calm so your dog’s stress levels remain at ease.
  3. Be sure to take your dog’s temperature periodically. If its fever isn’t reducing after taking proactive measures at home, visit your vet.
  4. Ask your vet what human medicine you can give your dog.

Will a Dog’s Fever Go Away on Its Own?

Yes, once the root cause of the fever is taken care of with the proper treatment, a dog’s fever will go away on its own.

If your dog is experiencing severe distress from high fever levels (like difficulty breathing) or has other complications (like excessive vomiting), call your vet right away to arrange an emergency appointment.

Trying to self-treat at home with alternative methods that may not give you accurate results fast enough isn’t worth risking your dog’s health.

How Long Does a Dog Fever Last?

A dog fever usually only lasts between 24-48 hours. During this time, you should closely monitor your dog’s condition to ensure they aren’t in distress and that the fever is dissipating.

It’s also helpful to point out that certain conditions can cause a longer-lasting fever. With a condition like canine distemper, fevers can last up to ten days.

Canine parvovirus is another virus that can cause lingering symptoms for up to two weeks.

How Can I Prevent Fever in Dogs?

There are a couple of ways to prevent your dog from getting a fever:

1. Keep Them Hydrated

Dogs need water just like humans do, so make sure they are drinking enough water every day. If they don’t drink enough water, their bodies will become dehydrated which can cause a fever or other health problems. You should also give them plenty of fresh water as often as possible to ensure that they stay hydrated.

2. Feed Them Healthy Foods

A poor diet can cause all sorts of health problems in dogs such as obesity and diabetes. Make sure that their diet is balanced with the proper dog food.

3. Vaccination

The best way to prevent fever in your pet is to make sure he’s vaccinated against common diseases. If your pet is already sick, you can help him get better faster by giving him medication and following any instructions from your veterinarian.