If your dog is experiencing an infection or a reaction to an infection or illness then they may experience an increase in bodily temperature. This is referred to as a fever. Today, our veterinary internal medicine specialists in Crystal Lake discuss high fevers in dogs, what the signs are, why they happen and what you can do to cool your pup down.
Signs of a High Fever in Dogs
A fever occurs when your dog temperature increases along with an illness or infection. If your dog has a temperature above 103 degrees then we will likely refer to this as a fever or high fever depending on what the actual temperature is.
Sometimes dogs can experince a higher bodily temperature due to heat exposure which we would call hyperthermia or heat stroke. 106 F and above can cause serious, life-threatening complications and require immediate veterinary care with a veterinary internist.
How to tell when a dog is having a fever?
While the signs of fever in dogs are also symptoms that commonly accompany other illnesses they can be difficult to differentiate. Generally, however, the common signs of high fever in dogs are:
- Depressed mood
- Loss of appetite
- Nasal discharge
Why would a dog have a fever?
There are a number of different conditions and illnesses which can cause a fever in dogs including:
- Infection: The main causes of infections are bacterial, fungal, and viral diseases. Infections can occur on any surface of the body as well as in any location internally. Typically, the symptoms displayed with an infection with correlate with the area the infection is taking place. Certain infection shave the ability to infect multiple areas of your pet's body at once.
- Vaccination: Vaccinations interact with yoru dog's immune system which can cause a minor and low-grade fever to occur which should pass in a day or two at most..
- Toxins: Dogs can experince a fever or raised body temperature in the off chance that they have ingested a toxic substance or food.
What is considered a high fever in dogs?
You should reach out to your vet for urgent veterinary care If your dog has a temperature greater than 103 F. Fevers above 106 F are considered an emergency situation and require immediate veterinary care and the assistance of a dog internist.
What is the normal temperature for a dog?
The body temperature of a healthy adult dog normally sits around 101 and 102.5 F, which is slightly warmer than a humans normal body temperature. This means that when we touch our canine companions we may mistake their normal temperature with a fever.
What can you do if your dog has a fever?
If you note that your dog feels warm to the touch or registers a fever on a thermometer then you should apply cool water to them focusing on the ears and paws. You can then turn on a fan in their direction which will cool down your dog with the help of their damp fur. Continue to monitor their temperature using a rectal thermometer and slowly bring down their internal temperature until it hits 103 F.
Always be sure to have clean, fresh and cool water in an accessible area for your dog. While too much water can make them unwell, they will require access at all times to stay hydrated and cool down as needed.
In all cases of a fever you should contact your internal medicine vet in Crystal Lake to schedule an examination.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.