How to care for fever in dogs

By July 25 | See Comments

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A persistent misconception continues to run on the subject of whether your dog has fever or not is to feel its nose. As per popular lore, a healthy dog's nose is cool and wet, and fever will manifest itself with the nose being hot and dry. The problem is that fever detection in dogs is not as simple as it seems. One fundamental problem with fever detection in dogs is that canine body temperature is naturally higher compared to humans. Dogs have a body temperature range from 101 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. In humans, it ranges from 97.6 to 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit. If the body temperature of your dog exceeds 103 degrees Fahrenheit, it is said to suffer from fever. Keep in mind that such a temperature can be reached if your dog is stressed or extremely excited.

Causes of fever

Infection and inflammation are common reasons for canine fever. Tick-borne diseases are a major fever source in northern climes. The list of tick-borne diseases includes rickettsia. Lyme disease, and babesiosis and a number of others.The list of other causes includes an infected wound. Auto-immune diseases like Lupus can cause fever without infection. A study published in the 2012 edition of Canadian Veterinary Journal revealed that an overwhelming majority of fever in canines is due to inflammation sans infection. However, it is a cause of worry if fever is accompanied by vomiting and a plethora of digestive distress. This indicates your dog has a virus infection, or a foreign body is lodged in its stomach. The symptoms of fever in dogs include lethargy, shivering, vomiting, nasal discharge, depressed mood, appetite loss, and coughing. Taking the rectal temperature is the definitive way to tell whether your dog has a fever or not.

What to do if your dog has a fever

Call the veterinarian if your best friend has a temperature of more than 103 degrees Fahrenheit. Rush your dog to the hospital if its temperature goes above 106 degrees Fahrenheit. In case the fever is below 105 degrees, then you can cool its temperature by applying cold water to its body, especially around the feet and the ears. Use a fan to further bring down the temperature. Provide your dog with small quantities of water regularly to keep it hydrated. Whatever happens, do not provide human fever medicines like ibuprofen, as they are unsuitable for canines. A dog may die if given human medication.In case your dog seems worse than usual, always consult the veterinarian before giving him any kind of medicine. Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines are strictly prohibited. Do not forget to make an appointment with the veterinarian to determine whether you need to conduct a standard visitor a journey to the ER. Do not try to take the dog's temperature from its rectum by yourself.

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