Fever is one of the most important signs of a health problem in dogs. It can be triggered by urinary problems, infectious diseases or heat stroke. The best way to tell if your dog has a fever is to measure his temperature.
How to measure your dog’s temperature?
To get an accurate result, it is recommended to use a rectal thermometer. This thermometer must be inserted into your pet’s anus. Taking a temperature is an unpleasant operation for the dog. Try to reassure him by stroking him gently. If the animal is agitated, wait until it is calm before taking its temperature. To ensure that everything goes smoothly, enlist the help of another person.
Once your dog is comfortable, moisten the thermometer with petroleum jelly or water and gently insert it into his rectum. Wait a few minutes before removing it. Don’t forget to praise your four-legged friend with treats.
Knowing if the temperature is normal or not
A normal temperature for a dog is between 38 and 39°C. Above that, it’s called a fever. However, fever should not be confused with hyperthermia resulting from heat stroke. Your pet’s temperature rises slightly in hot weather. If your dog’s temperature is high and he’s down, it means he has a health problem. Consider seeking veterinary attention. In most cases, a fever is a sign of a viral, parasitic or bacterial infection.
How can I help my dog’s fever?
If your four-legged friend starts to shake, don’t hesitate to warm him up by covering him with a lighter cloth. Don’t use a microfiber fleece blanket, as this material retains heat. You can massage his back, shoulders and hind legs to stimulate blood circulation. This will also help soothe muscle aches.
Put him in a quiet, well-ventilated area so he can rest. Hydration is very important in case of fever. Leave a bowl of cool water for your pet. You can also cool your pet down. Take a towel soaked in cold water and place it on his face, paws and belly for a few minutes.
We strongly advise against giving your pet a cold bath. This can cause thermal shock. Don’t consider self-medication, as it can make symptoms even worse. Medications such as aspirin may be contraindicated.
Trust your veterinarian
If the fever persists, don’t delay taking your dog to the vet. The veterinarian will perform a general clinical examination to establish an accurate diagnosis. Don’t hesitate to give him all the important information: lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, recent trip, vaccination, allergy, etc.
The treatment is not the same if your pet’s increased temperature is the result of an infection or another disease. X-rays, blood and urine tests can be performed to detect the presence of an abscess or tumor. Once the problem is detected, your veterinarian will prescribe medication. Antibiotics are indicated for bacterial infections.