As pet owners, we’ve all been in that worrisome situation when our furry friends appear to be battling a fever.
Feeling helpless and uncertain about how to alleviate their discomfort can be distressing.
In this article, we’ll explore the telltale signs of a fever in dogs, how to assess it without a thermometer, and steps you can take to provide quick relief.
Let’s dive in and learn more about caring for your feverish canine companion.
Uncover signs, causes and remedies for fever in dogs. Explore symptoms, prevention strategies and natural support to ensure your pet’s health and comfort.
Identifying and assessing canine fever without a thermometer
You don’t have a thermometer and can’t assess your dog’s temperature, here are all the telltale symptoms of a dog’s fever:
– touch paws and ears with the back of your hand to assess the temperature
– examine his nose: if you notice a discharge or greenish secretions, your dog seems to be suffering from a respiratory infection and certainly has a fever
– examine the groin and armpits with the back of your hand: if you notice that these areas are hot and swollen, your dog has a fever
– examine his gums: if they are not wet and pinkish, your dog has an infection
Recognizing behavioral clues to identify fever
Dogs can display behavioral changes indicative of fever.
Lethargy, poor appetite, unusual fatigue, reluctance for outings, continuous sleeping, labored breathing, isolation tendencies, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are potential signs to watch for.
Understanding fever in dogs
The dog’s body temperature ranges between 37.5°C (99.5°F) and 38.5C (101°F).
His thermoregulatory system adapts his body temperature according to his state of health and activities.
In the event of an anomaly, this control zone increases the temperature in an attempt to counter the damaging effects caused by a viral or bacterial attack.
Fever is a weapon to destroy intruders who cannot survive in a too hot environment.
Symptoms of a feverish dog
Some dogs remain active despite having a fever, revealing a resilient immune response.
Others exhibit lethargy, depression, and appetite loss even with a moderate temperature increase.
Various symptoms, including shivering, runny nose, coughing, and vomiting, can offer insights into a dog’s condition.
Causes of canine fever
Some fevers are idiopathic which means that the origin or the cause is not identified.
Most fevers are of bacterial or viral origin, especially since the dog is very exposed to airborne viruses.
The fever can also be caused by inflammation caused by tick bites or flea bites.
Parasites such as tapeworms or heartworm can damage the heart and cause the temperature to rise.
The main function of the immune system is to spot and destroy the invaders that cause infections.
But a significant rise in temperature can also be caused by its dysregulation and trigger an autoimmune disease.
Preventive measures against canine fever
While viral infections are challenging to prevent, maintaining a healthy environment and minimizing contact with sick dogs can reduce risks.
Tips include disinfecting accessories, ensuring balanced nutrition, and creating a hygienic living space.
Managing fever : Practical steps
A dog suffering from a fever below 40°C (104°F) is not in danger because it gives way naturally without treatment in general.
If your dog is eating normally, the fever can be controlled by sponging his pads and the insides of his ears with a cool alcohol solution diluted in water in equal parts.
Do not give him aspirin or any other human medicine that may be harmful to him.
If the temperature is above 41°C (106°F), the fever becomes dangerous and only the veterinarian can help him.
In the meantime, try to hydrate him by making him drink slowly and in small sips but without forcing him.
A compress of diluted alcohol placed in a damp, cold cloth can be placed on the dog’s head to protect his brain from the deleterious effects of a too-high fever.
If your dog has difficulty urinating or has blood in his urine, if he has a sore or abscess, an urgent visit to your veterinarian is needed.
Natural support for canine fever
Although it is not indicated to give treatment to try to lower the fever, it is a good idea to boost the immune system when it is in high demand.
So, introducing the first symptoms some vitamins and herbs to help fight the infection is more interesting.
Echinacea is the plant of immunity.
But it’s not just immune-stimulating.
It also has antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties.
It can treat respiratory and urinary tract infections as well as skin ulcers and wounds when applied topically.
Prefer an Echinacea purpurea extract (ad) considered the most effective.
The recommended dosage is one drop per lb, 1 to 3 times a day for a period of 7 to 10 days maximum.
Like humans, vitamin C is essential for the immune system due to its antioxidant effects.
It also helps with wound healing and collagen production.
The recommended dosage is 5-10mg per lb 2-3 times a day.
Choose a liposomal vitamin C (ad) for better absorption while avoiding digestive disorders.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight respiratory infections effectively while supporting the immune system.
The recommended dosage is 5-10mg per pound once a day.
Go for vitamin E capsules (ad) and add one to two drops to your dog’s diet.
Caring for your canine companion during fever episodes
In times of canine fever, the signs and symptoms may vary, but your vigilance and proactive measures can make a significant difference.
By recognizing the behavioral cues, understanding the underlying mechanisms of fever, and incorporating natural immune support, you can provide the best care for your furry friend.
Remember that while fever can be concerning, with proper care, attention, and the right resources, your loyal companion can overcome these challenges and return to their happy, healthy self.