A dog’s normal body temperature is between 99.5 F to 102.5 F (37.5 c to 39.2 c). A fever is the result of the body fighting an infection. When your dog has a fever that has lasted 4 hours it is important that you promptly take it to your Veterinarian. Your Vet will do a physical on your dog to determine if your dog needs medication or if more tests are required to determine the exact reason for the temperature increase.
Symptoms to alert you of the possibility of a fever are:
*Weakness (your dog is having problems getting up or moving)
*Rapid heart rate (the number of respirations per minute; one respiration equals an inhalation and exhalation)
*Decreased body fluids/dehydration (a medical condition in which the body has lost fluid in excessive amounts)
*Shock (rapid heart rate, panting and bright red color to mucous membranes of the lips/gums/tongue. Later signs that most dog owners observe and lead them to recognize that something wrong with their dog are: pale skin, pale mucous membranes, a drop in body temperature, a slow respiration rate, cold feet and legs, a weak or absent pulse, apathy and unconsciousness.)
*Increased respiratory rate
*Shivering (unusual shivering- not common nervous shivering)
*High body temperature
*There can also be other symptoms depending upon the underlying causes.
Most Usual Cause of Fever:
*Infections (Bacterial, parasites, viral and other microorganisms are the most common reasons)
*Miscellaneous inflammatory conditions
*In some cases the Veterinarian might not find the reason for the fever
It is important that you always monitor your dog when it has a fever. You know your dog and when in doubt, contact your Veterinarian. Write down times when you first noticed unusual behavior etc., dog’s temperature, activities, food ingested and any other information that could play a role in your dog’s health and share the information with your Vet. Should you be able to give the Vet a bowel or urine sample do so as this will also aid in the determining of a diagnosis and cause of the fever.