A pet dogs normal temperature ranges from 99.5 °F to 102 °F, while a puppy has a temperature of 96°F – 97°F at birth, which gradually increases by the fourth week. Any increase in temperature no matter how small needs attention. All animals have a part in their brain that regulates body temperature; it is called the "thermoregulatory center". The cause for the increase in temperature may be chemical compounds called "pyrogens". These are released in the blood, which circulates its way to the brain therefore adjusting the thermoregulatory center settings.
A low grade (103°F) fever in your dog should not go unnoticed, if your pet is still active and lively in spite of the temperature maybe his immune system is working to battle whatever is causing the fever. It is best to put him under observation. There are dogs whose immune system just can't battle the sickness. Often the fever brings about cold reduction, lack of muscle tone and shivering.
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It is best not to wait for your dog to be listless and sulky while running a fever, before your go to the veterinarian. Checking the color of your dogs’ gums is a good indication of blood profusion and adequate oxygen. Healthy pinkish gums indicate proper blood flow and adequate oxygen. Any other color of gums may indicate a fever or other problems. Take note of gum color aside from their vital signs to tell your veterinarian when you bring your dog for treatment. You can also look at your dogs’ eyes to determine their sickness level. If they are cloudy and your dog doesn’t have normal eye problems, your pet may be feeling sick.
Keep your dog comfortable by giving them water or other hydration fluid for dogs. It is best to soothe your dog by giving it a gentle rub when it is shivering. Some dogs would welcome a blanket though some would want to be left on its nook. Bring your pooch to the vet sooner rather than later if the fever cannot be managed by you. You shouldn’t prolong confinement of the dog since your pet dog may suffer more without proper health care. In all cases like this, it is better to be safe then sorry. Sometime a few minutes can be the difference between permanent damage and a quick fix.
As your veterinarian does tests to determine your pet dog's ailment, they will be ruling out several possibilities. The most common origin of fever would be a virus. Viruses are said to be air born, the usual pattern of viral infection will be exposure, incubation and the period of sickness. Sometimes a fever can also be caused by skin inflammations. Harmful ticks or other pests may cause skin inflammations. Ensure your pet has adequate protection from fleas and ticks at all times.
Immunological diseases are known to cause high-grade fevers that cause your pet dog to shiver. Parasites can cause fevers especially those that may cause tissue destruction in the dog (heart worm and tape worm are the most common). Of course genetic make-up and manifestation of congenital disorders should be taken into consideration for the fevers as well.
Until your veterinarian comes up with findings, it is best to keep your pooch in the clinic. While at home, sterilize your dogs’ property: dog bed, dog toy, dog accessories, dog feeder and water bowl. This is an added precaution just in case the sickness is due to your dog being exposed to elements that caused the fever. Proper hygiene care, nutrition and check-ups are ways to prevent and lessen your dog's susceptibility to sickness.
Kelly Marshall writes articles for Oh My Dog Supplies, a site carrying a vast array of pet supplies, including
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Fever in Dogs
Fever in Dogs