Fever in Dogs


Fever in Dogs

Is your dog lethargic or doesn’t have the energy to play with you? There are tons of reasons why dogs sometimes like that, some just simply do not like to play at that moment but most of the time (especially if your dog is playful and very hyper) it can also be the sign your dog is not feeling well and need proper medical attention.

Fever is one of the common health problems your dog can experience. But it can be difficult to detect fevers in dogs because the normal dog’s temperature is naturally higher than in humans.

Fever in Dogs

What is Dog Fever?

Fever can be defined as a higher than normal body temperature in dogs. A dog temperature of at least 103.5 ° F (39.7° C) can be considered a fever.

The normal dog temperature is higher than to human temperature, so it means that your dog may feel feverish to you even though his temperature is completely normal.

Dog Normal TemperatureHuman Normal Temperature
99.5-102.5 Fahrenheit 97.6 to 99.6 Fahrenheit
37.5-39 Celsius 36.44-37.56 Celsius

When a dog temperature is at least 103.5 ° F (39.7° C) it can be considered a fever. The dog temperature can increase if they are very excited or stressed, it can also be resulted by hot external temperatures or excessive exercise in humid conditions, the condition is referred to as hyperthermia or heat stroke. When temperatures reach 106 ° F ( 41.11 ° C) serious and fatal complications can occur.

The cause of the fever is not always obvious. An elevated temperature on at least four occasions over a 14-day period without any obvious cause is referred to as a fever of unknown origin (FUO). Otherwise, fever is considered a healthy biological response to a bacterial or viral threat. Fever is not the disease itself, but a response to the threat of disease. Therefore, it should be remembered that fevers can be beneficial for a sick animal, as it lowers the rapid division of bacteria and enhances the body’s immune system response. However, a fever that is too high or goes on for a prolonged period of time needs medical treatment.

Symptoms of Dog Fever

To Accurately tell if your dog has a fever, Veterinarian recommends using a digital thermometer specifically designed for rectal use in dogs.

To take your dog’s temperature, first coat the thermometer with a lubricant such as petroleum gel or baby oil. Next, gently insert the thermometer about one inch into your dog’s anus and wait for the results. Most thermometers sold for this purpose will take less than 60 seconds to register.

Causes of Dog Fever

A variety of illnesses and conditions may make your dog run a fever. The following is the most common reason:

  • Vaccination
  • Infections (most commonly, bacterial, viral, parasites, and other microorganisms)
  • Various Toxins
  • Sometimes the exact cause can not be determined (e.g., in a fever of unknown origin)

Treatment of Dog Fever

At Home:

If your dog has a temperature above 105 ° F (40.56 ° C), you can help bring his/her body temperature down by applying cool water to his/her fur, especially around the ears and feet. Using a fan on the damp fur will help lower the temperature. Be sure to monitor your dog’s rectal temperature as you do this, and stop the cooling procedure once it reaches 103 ° F (39.44 ° C). Don’t bring down the temperature too fast.

Make sure that your dog drinks small amounts of water on a regular basis to stay hydrated. Never give your dog any human medicines intended to lower fever, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, as they can be poisonous to dogs and cause severe injury

Visit the Vet:

Visit the veterinarian immediately if your dog has a temperature greater than 103 ° F (39.44 ° C), fevers above 106 ° F (41.11 ° C) are emergencies that must be treated promptly.

Dog antibiotics given with fluid therapy are the most commonly prescribed treatment for dogs with fever, but in some cases, surgery may be required to remove the source of the infection that is causing the fever. Your veterinarian will decide whether or not to use drugs for lowering your dog’s body temperature.

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Butler Oh
Butler Oh is a long time dog lover. Dogs are always part of her family since she was young and she grows up as a loving and caring fur parent. She has been part of our team here at ohmylovelypets since 2019 and has provided a lot of great research and information about dogs.


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