If a dog has a fever, this indicates that there is a problem with its health. Because just like with us humans, fever in dogs is a defence mechanism with which the immune system tries to fight pathogens in the body.
However, if it rises too high and lasts too long, not only the actual underlying disease but also the fever itself can become a serious danger to the dog.
In the following, we explain how to detect fever in your dog and when you and your dog should visit a vet.
Normally the body temperature of adult dogs ranges from 37.5 to 39 degrees. In puppies it can be up to 39.5 degrees. If this value is slightly exceeded, we initially speak of an elevated temperature, which can also be caused simply by physical exertion or excitement.
If the body temperature exceeds 40 degrees, your dog has a fever. Above 41 degrees, this is a high fever that can become life-threatening over a longer period of time and lead to organ failure. Above a body temperature of 42 degrees Celsius, the fever represents an acute danger to your dog's life, as the body's own proteins can clot due to the high temperatures.
If your dog has a fever, this is usually accompanied by various symptoms. In most cases, the increased body temperature can already be felt with the bare hand, for example in the armpits, the ears or the inner sides of the thighs.
To check whether your dog actually has a fever and what the exact temperature is, you will need to measure the temperature with a thermometer. Please note that a reliable measurement is not possible in the ears, but only rectally.
This is because measuring body temperature in the ears is often inaccurate, and a result that is two degrees wrong can, in the worst case, cost your dog his life.
Every dog owner should therefore own a suitable clinical thermometer, which is used exclusively for the four-legged friend, and know how to use it correctly. To this end, it is certainly advisable to practice taking the temperature occasionally on a healthy animal and not just to try it when the dog is actually seriously ill.
Fever is not an illness in itself, but merely a symptom triggered by an illness or other health problem.
The possible causes of fever in dogs include viral and bacterial infections. For example, fever can occur in dogs with kennel cough or as a result of infection with Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases.
Other possible causes of fever in dogs include parasites such as giardia, chronic inflammation, poisoning, immune-related diseases such as rheumatism, tumors, and side effects of vaccinations and medication.
If your dog has a fever, you should above all make sure that your four-legged friend gets plenty of rest. So keep your walks together short and avoid excessive romping around.
Also make sure that your dog always has fresh water available. After all, an adequate fluid intake is particularly important for dogs with fever. In addition, damp cloths on the stomach or neck can help to lower the body temperature.
On the other hand, you should avoid cold showers as well as medicines from your own medicine chest. The latter can be fatal for your dog not only in the event of a fever, as the active ingredients they contain are sometimes highly toxic for him.
Basically, a slight fever in dogs is not a bad thing at first. It shows that the immune system is working and is able to react to potential threats.
However, this does not mean that you can always treat your dog's fever at home. Depending on the trigger, it may well be that your dog needs urgent medical attention.
What's more, high fever is a serious threat to your dog's life. This applies not only to puppies or senile animals, but to dogs of all ages.
If your dog's body temperature exceeds 40 degrees Celsius, and you may experience other symptoms of illness, you should definitely see a vet. Your veterinarian can examine your four-legged friend and determine the necessary treatment measures.
How the fever in your dog needs to be treated depends on the cause, as well as its level. For example, if your dog has a high fever, your four-legged friend may be given an injection of a fever-reducing medication.
In the case of a bacterial infection, the veterinarian will normally prescribe suitable antibiotics for your feverish dog, while for dogs with Giardia, the treatment of parasite infestation is again the main focus. Regardless of this, even if treatment is necessary, you should ensure that your dog rests, drinks enough and eats again as soon as possible.
If your dog is suffering from fever, it is important that you support the four-legged friend's immune system. For this reason we recommend a dietary supplement with Bellfor Immune. This easily digestible preparation is available either in the form of tasty treats or as a powder.
Selected ingredients such as insect protein, nettle seed and propolis provide your four-legged friend with valuable nutrients. In this way, Bellfor Immune supports your dog's defences and thus helps to ensure that he will soon overcome his fever.