How To Check If Your Dog Really Has a Fever?

How to check if your dog really has a fever?
The fever is a little different for a dog than for a human.
A fever - a rapid rise in body temperature - can be a frightening sign of all sorts of uncomfortable health conditions, from flu to appendicitis. You can usually have a pretty good idea that a person gets a fever simply by touching the forehead - if it's warmer than usual to touch, you should probably open the thermometer.

But what about your furry friends? Many pet lovers have probably wondered how they can tell if a dog has a fever. Do the symptoms of canine fever resemble that of humans? Can dogs have a fever? These may seem like questions you might want to ask your dog, but we can actually have a pretty good idea of ​​what it means if a dog has a fever.

Can dogs have a fever?

They certainly can. But since a dog's normal body temperature differs slightly from that of a human, the temperature that his body must reach to be considered a "fever" also differs. "It can be difficult to determine if dogs have a fever because their normal body temperature is higher than ours - about 101.5 ° F, give or take a degree," said Dr. Jennifer Coates, Dr. Chewy Vet. expert. A temperature of 102.5 ° F can therefore be considered "at the upper limit of the normal range" for the body temperature of a dog, and any value higher than that which may be worrying. A temperature above 104 ° F can be considered very high.

This does not just mean that temperatures above 102 ° C are fever. Dr. Coates explains why: A veterinarian can determine that a temperature of 102.7 ° F is correlated with a mild fever if a dog sits in a cool room for an extended period of time, she told Reader's Digest. "On the other hand, a dog with a temperature of 102.7 ° F that has trained in the hot sun is probably quite normal."

How to tell if the dog has a fever?

To complicate matters, since dogs have fur, a simple touch will not let you know if they have a fever. In addition, according to Dr. Coates, your dog is likely to have no symptoms of open fever. "Most febrile dogs will be a little lethargic, but of course many other health problems can also cause lethargy," she says. For example, lethargy may be one of the signs that your dog is depressed. Therefore, you want to check the dog's temperature to determine if he has a fever.

For this you need a thermometer. Dr. Coates recommends a digital rectal thermometer like this. It should not be difficult to use "as long as your dog cooperates and you are soft and use a lot of lubricant (Vaseline is acceptable) on the thermometer," she says. A bit nasty, certainly, but it is the most accurate method to know if a dog has a fever. Ear thermometers are also available, but they are not as accurate, Dr. Coates advises.

What to do if your dog has a fever?

If the dog's temperature rises above the maximum safe temperature of 102.5 ° F, what should you do? Unfortunately, you can't do much. "If you suspect your dog has a fever, call your veterinarian for advice," suggests Dr. Coates. Your vet will tell you if it really is a fever and what steps you need to take to bring your puppy to normal temperature. And if the fever is very high, think above 30 ° C, you will take your dog to the vet or pet hospital, because such a high fever can be dangerous. Of course, dogs can have many symptoms of illness that have nothing to do with fever. Discover even quieter signs that your "healthy" dog is really sick.