Have you ever wondered if your pet has a fever?

If you are thinking that anything above 98.6 means that they are ill…think again!  A  dog’s average or normal temperature is between 100.5 and 102.5 degrees.  If you think your dog may be feeling under the weather and suffering from a fever, you’ll want to see your veterinarian as soon as possible.  Although most owners love their pets dearly, they aren’t prepared to take a rectal temperature to make a determination on the presence of a fever.  Those of you who thought that touching your pooch’s nose (feeling it cold or dry to the touch) might be an  indicator are mistaken.

If a pet’s temperature is found to be elevated, you may or may not observe any symptoms in your pet.  Animals who are suffering from a fever may not exhibit significant distress but some animals will hide, fail to eat or refuse to drink.  A fever is an abnormally high body temperature resulting from internal controls (not the weather, vigorous exercise or other external influences).  There are multiple causes of a fever – Infections, inflammation in the body, cancer and reactions to medications.  Your pet’s body resets the internal temperature control of the brain as a potential response to the presence of bacteria or viruses, many of which do not thrive in hot environments.  The brain elevates the internal body temperature in an effort to destroy these invaders.  Your veterinarian is able to utilize various test measures to determine the underlying cause of a fever in your furry friend.  Those tests include a CBC (complete blood count), chemistry, blood spears, urinalysis and radiographs.

If you do have a concern as to the health of your pet, don’t wait to call your veterinarian…and don’t seek to utilize medication meant for humans to treat your pooch.  Leave the diagnosis and treatment to those trained in animal science.

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