Fever in dogs - Causes, symptoms and treatment


We all know the fever, we have suffered it sometime. But how is fever in dogs? Sometimes it is not easy to detect the symptoms of diseases in our petsThat is why we have prepared this article to help you detect your dog's fever and know what to do in case he suffers from it.

What is fever in dogs?

As in humans, Fever in dogs is a body's defense mechanism against a pathogen that attacks the body. The normal temperature of a dog is between 38.5 and 39 degrees, everything that exceeds that temperature is considered fever, becoming really dangerous from approximately 41 degrees.

Anyway, keep in mind that there are certain circumstances that can cause a dog's normal basal temperature to vary, such as the period of gestation of bitches, or in puppy dogs, which tells them a little more self-regulating their temperature.

There are lots of conditions and circumstances that can cause fever in dogs, such as:

  • Viral, bacterial or parasitic infections
  • Reactions to vaccines
  • Heatstroke
  • Poisoning
  • Wide variety of diseases

Symptoms of fever in dogs

In addition to the unequivocal increase in body temperature, which you can check with a rectal thermometer, fever produces other symptoms in your dog:

  • Dry nose But not always that they have a dry nose they have a fever! There may be other reasons that cause them to temporarily lose their nose moisture and that should not worry you.
  • Hot nose
  • Sadness
  • General tiredness, apathy
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hypersensitivity, even aggressiveness
  • Runny nose
  • Dream
  • Diarrhea

Does your dog collect some of these signs of fever? You should take his temperature! It could have a temperature too high, or on the contrary, too low (hypothermia). Undoubtedly, either of these two cases will indicate that your dog has a health problem, so it is necessary to go to the veterinarian for a diagnosis.

Treatment of fever in dogs

You should never medicate your dog on your own, medications could seriously harm you! In addition, the fever does not come alone, but it is a symptom of disease, so it is essential to go to consultation, so you will know what happens and you can put the most appropriate treatment.

Therefore, we cannot give a specific treatment. Drugs will depend on what causes fever in dogsIt could be a purely symptomatic treatment in case it was a simple cold, or need anti-inflammatories, antibiotics or other medications if it is a more serious problem.

Does your dog have a fever? That is something is wrong, do not let time pass and act!

The normal temperature of a dog

The body temperature of an adult dog It is between 38 and 39ºC (Celsius degrees) which may vary depending on the circumstances. However, when we exceed 39ºC we will consider that the dog's body temperature is too high and, therefore, that he has a fever. From 41ºC we will face a veterinary emergency.

It is common to observe irregularities in the temperature of the dog when we are faced with a puppy, a young dog, bitches close to giving birth and even in very old dogs. In any case, if we observe that our dog is not able to correctly regulate the temperature and it has increased significantly, it will be indicated to go to the specialist to notify him of the possibility that there has been an increase in canine fever.

Causes of fever in dogs

exist many different causes that can cause canine fever, not only those that we will show you below, therefore, we emphasize the importance of visiting the veterinarian, because the specialist is the only figure that can make a true diagnosis. However, we will show you the most frequent ones.

Some of the causes of fever in dogs, whether adults or puppies are:

Take a dog's temperature step by step

  1. Choose a digital thermometer or a safe material to take its temperature.
  2. Relax your dog with caresses and voice, to prevent it from moving and harming itself.
  3. If this is not possible, ask someone else for help and hold it.
  4. Smear the thermometer with lubricant or petroleum jelly, to make it less uncomfortable.
  5. Enter the thermometer at least 2 centimeters inside the anus.
  6. Wait for the time indicated by the thermometer.
  7. If you don't have a timer, wait at least a couple of minutes before taking it out.
  8. Once the temperature is taken, remove the thermometer and wash it with ethyl alcohol to properly disinfect it.

After measuring the temperature of the dog, you can easily identify if he has a fever or not. Remember that from 39 ° C or more it is considered that a dog has a fever and that from 41 ° C we are faced with a veterinary emergency.

When a dog's temperature is low, is it a symptom of fever?

It may happen that, in a timely manner and due to a decrease in temperature of the environment, the dog's body temperature is below 38 ° C, however, when we notice that it is below 37ºC and even 35ºC, we are facing a case of hypothermia.

We would also observe some frequent symptoms of hypothermia in dogs, such as tremor, muscle stiffness, slow breathing, lethargy and difficulty finding the animal's pulse. It will be essential to call our veterinarian to tell us how to proceed from that moment to warm the dog taking into account the body temperature it shows.

In cases of severe hypothermia it may be necessary hospitalization of the animal, to be able to carry out an emergency treatment while it is under observation. Intravenous fluid injection or the use of enemas, for example, may be necessary.

Treatment for fever in dogs

You are likely to wonder how to lower a dog's fever, however, you should know that the veterinarian is the only specialist trained to apply a treatment in case of fever in the dog, since a diagnosis is required that indicates the underlying cause that is causing the rise in your body temperature in can. The treatment to apply will depend directly on the pathology that the animal suffers and it may be necessary to use antibiotics or fluid therapy.

Fever in dogs, how to lower it?

Although we are facing a serious situation, it is very important to keep in mind that we must never self-medicate our dog. There are many prohibited human medications for dogs, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, which could be fatal or cause serious damage to your body.

The most indicated will be to go directly to the veterinary center or make an emergency call to receive the advice of the specialist, who will guide us depending on the symptoms that the dog presents.

Home remedies for fever in dogs

If you are facing an emergency and cannot go to the vet, you can apply some remedies and tricks to try to lower the temperature slightly. However, before and after applying it is essential to contact the veterinarian, even by telephone, who will tell you if these tips are correct according to your specific case. Do not forget that fever can be a symptom of many pathologies, some of them very serious, that if not treated in time put the life of the animal at risk.

How to lower a dog's fever?

Some tips to lower fever in dogs are:

  • Slightly moisten a sponge or towel and cool with it certain areas of the dog's body, such as the abdomen, the English or the armpits. Check your body temperature every 15 minutes to see what effects this process has on the dog and if it manages to lower its temperature. Of course, it is not advisable that the dog is wet for a long time, as it could cause an excessive drop in its coporal temperature, causing hypothermia. Have a dry towel on hand to dry it. It will also be essential that you have a dryer and a blanket on hand to cover it if that happens.
  • Keep your dog well hydrated at all times. It can be interesting to bring the trough to you and even administer water directly in your mouth with the help of a syringe without a needle, always in small quantities. If your dog does not accept it, you can try to stimulate it with homemade chicken broth (without onion, garlic or salt) or with very warm moist food.

Throughout the process you should take its temperature and pay attention to all the symptoms that the animal presents in order to provide your veterinarian with all possible information about the clinical picture. Do not forget to treat him with love and be close to encourage him, as it will help him feel more secure and relaxed, fundamental in any disease process.

If your condition does not improve after 4 or 6 hours, you should go to the emergency veterinarian.

How to avoid fever in dogs?

We offer you some tips:

  • Veterinary reviews every 6 - 12 months: Many diseases could be prevented and treated more effectively if they were detected in time. Preventive medicine can save us a lot of money and time by detecting a pathology quickly.
  • Vaccination: It is essential to follow the schedule of vaccines of the dog. Without them, your best friend may be susceptible to any disease that puts his life at risk, such as distemper or parvovirus.
  • Deworming: There are many external and internal parasites that can cause diseases in our dog. To avoid this, you should deworm your dog on a regular basis, as directed by the veterinarian. There is a wide variety of products on the market and many are quite economical.
  • Toxicity: Identifying what are toxic plants for dogs as well as toxic foods for dogs will be essential to avoid possible poisoning. Find out properly and if you are not sure, offer only a food already prepared for dogs.
  • Cold and heat: The ambient temperature is very important for dogs, it depends on them not to suffer a heat stroke, a cold or hypothermia. We will avoid being outside for a long time if the temperatures are too low or too high and we will take precautions to avoid exposing it excessively.

The care and constant affection of an owner are the best remedy to avoid a cold or the appearance of any disease, such as fever in dogs. Even so, sometimes it will be inevitable that our dog suffers certain diseases, but by following these tips we can minimize the risk.

This article is purely informative, at we have no power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case he presents any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Fever in dogs - Causes, symptoms and treatment, we recommend that you enter our section of infectious diseases.

As with people, fever in dogs is a clear symptom that something is wrong, that there may be a disease. How should we proceed?

Fever in dogs It appears as a defense mechanism against poisonings, infections, flu or diseases in general. It is an alert system of the organism, declaring a state of emergency, a symptom that unequivocally implies an urgent visit to the veterinarian. It is not always easy to detect a feverish picture in a dog. Some manifestations are: hot and dry nose, tremors, apathy, vomiting and aggressiveness. Also abundant nasal secretion, loss of appetite, diarrhea and hypersensitivity.

To clear up doubts about fever in dogs, a thermometer should be placed in the rectal area. The temperature should not reach 39 ° C. On the other hand, if it exceeds 41 ° C, the situation is quite delicate, with latent risk of death.

Infections, inflammations and sunstroke are among the most common triggers of fever in dogs. The same as the presence of internal or external parasites and heat stroke. As with humans, it is usually a normal reaction after the placement of a vaccine. It is important to keep in mind that puppies, older specimens and female dogs that have had puppies have more difficulty in regulating their temperature.

Fever in dogs: treatments to follow

After the trusted veterinarian has studied the case and determined the origin of the problem, you can order the treatment to follow. Before you can only order palliatives, aimed at maintaining the temperature of the can within the parameters

You can also feed chicken broth to the sick animal, without any condiments. If the temperature does not stop rising, a 10 minute bath with cold water is a good option. But without exceeding this time, since it could generate just the opposite effect.

Once the cause of the problem has been identified, the regime to be applied can be merely symptomatic for cases of colds. While Antibiotics and antibiotics are prescribed in more complex cases, with the presence of infections and other abnormalities.

Paracetamol is not an option.

Not going to the veterinarian in cases of fever in dogs is already irresponsible. But medicating it without consulting the specialist is the worst of ideas. Mainly if you resort to drugs designed for humans, within this group, paracetamol is one of the most harmful. Providing these medicines to dogs can cause poisoning. What combined with the feverish picture, will end up complicating the state of health of the animal.