Most of the diseases that humans suffer from can also be sustained by animals in the same way: such is the case with fever.
While fever is easy to diagnose with a thermometer, detecting without one is the hard part. However, it is accompanied by other obvious symptoms that will help in this situation in almost all cases.
What Is a Dog's Normal Temperature?
A dog's average temperature varies by age.
Generally, a puppy is around 39°C, while a healthy adult stays around 38°C. Therefore, it is estimated that if a dog exceeds 39.7°C, it is because it has a fever; moreover, if it exceeds 41°C, it is a severe fever.
To take your pet's temperature, you will need a specialized thermometer for the rectal route. Don't worry, these thermometers do not represent any discomfort for the animal, so you won't have any problem using it.
How Do I Know if My Dog Has a Fever?
The thermometer is the preferred method of determining a fever, but other symptoms also indicate a possible high temperature. Both physical and mood signs can be linked to a fever, so it doesn't hurt to know them.
When a dog has a dry or cracked nose for a long time, it means that it is dehydrated.
This lack of fluids can be caused by many things, one of which is fever. However, do not jump to conclusions. A pet's nose tends to dry out from one minute to the next for trivial reasons, so take note of its duration.
The nose is one of the most important organs for dogs and affects how they experience the world. That's why keeping it in good condition is a priority among dog owners.
Loss of Appetite
Dogs instinctively stop eating when they are sick.
As strange as this behavior may seem to us, it is very common in animals. The dog uses the energy it would otherwise use to digest food to fight, in this case, the fever it is suffering from.
Unfortunately, if his condition does not improve, then not eating becomes a symptom that increases the severity of the fever. A dog with an empty stomach will never recover.
Since cats and dogs cannot sweat, they pant to even out their temperature at the cost of dehydration.
By breathing faster, animals speed up their blood circulation to cool their bodies. But, unfortunately, this method accelerates dehydration, tires your pet and increases his heart rate.
While panting is a natural solution to heat, prolonged panting will only do more harm than good.
This symptom stems from the discomfort caused by fevers and many other illnesses.
It is no surprise that a constantly panting pet eats less than usual and lacks water is tired. That's why a lazy dog is typical after a few days of fever.
Diarrhea and Vomiting
Fever usually occurs due to bacterial infection, so dogs are susceptible to fever from ingesting a toxic compound or plant by mistake.
Dogs will drool, chew and swallow anything they are curious about, something that can sometimes become a problem. When a dog ingests a poisonous object, its stomach is the first organ affected.
This means that the digestive system cannot process food properly and thus results in vomiting and Diarrhea for a while. Such discomfort, fortunately, should not last long.
The body has many defense mechanisms against discomfort: shivering is a widespread reaction in fever cases. When a dog feels very cold, its muscles will contract and relax in the blink of an eye to generate heat.
If your pet is shivering in temperatures that are not too low, it means that it cannot regulate its temperature properly. While pyrexia is one of the possible causes, it can also be anxiety, damaged joints or diseases, such as rabies.
What Do I Do if My Dog Has a Fever?
The best cure for a sick dog is a veterinarian. However, there are some techniques you can employ to make your beloved friend's fever milder.
Refresh His Body
Since dogs do not sweat, it is advisable to use wet towels to cool them down. The best places to wipe them with a wet towel (or pour water on them) are their paws, behind their ears and belly.
Never Use Acetaminophen!
This is a common mistake made by inexperienced caregivers.
Ibuprofen and paracetamol, among other medications, have a specific solution that only works on humans. Unfortunately, this solution does not work for dogs, it can intoxicate them.
Therefore, unless your dog has been previously prescribed it, never use medicine designed for humans. You could make the situation worse!
Keep Your Dog Hydrated
It may sound repetitive, but it is necessary to emphasize water consumption, especially if your pet is sick. A hyperthermic and hyperventilating dog will never restore his body temperature unless he is well hydrated.
However, this does not mean that he should be forced to drink water: more stress will have the opposite effect. It is enough to give him a little push with snacks, congratulations or petting to make him drink water more frequently.
How to tell if your dog has a fever depends on a single tool: a thermometer.
Digital thermometers are the best allies a concerned caregiver can have. While there are many fever symptoms, measuring body temperature is the best way to check for a fever - your dog will thank you!