Fever in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Fever in Dogs

Fever in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Most common symptoms

Anemia / Coughing / Lethargy / Out of Breath / Poor Appetite / Vomiting

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Rated as serious conditon

49 Veterinary Answers

Most common symptoms

Anemia / Coughing / Lethargy / Out of Breath / Poor Appetite / Vomiting

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Fever in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

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What is Fever?

Fever refers to an abnormally high body temperature. The normal body temperature in dogs is between 101 and 102.5º Fahrenheit (38.3-39.2º Celsius). Temperatures at 103ºF (39.4ºC) or above are considered a fever. High body temperature can be caused by infection, environmental heat, or excessive exercise. A body temperature of 106ºF (41.1ºC) or above can be life-threatening and should be treated as a medical emergency. Pyrexia is more commonly known as fever, and may be mild, like what is seen at the onset of a viral infection (i.e. human cold), or severe, causing seizures or organ shut down. Temperatures above 103F are considered to be a fever, as dogs average between 100.5 - 102.5 degrees.

Symptoms of Fever in Dogs

Although your pet can have a fever with no symptoms, some symptoms are often present with a fever, including:

  • Lethargy
  • Shivering
  • Loss of appetite
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Dehydration
  • Panting
  • Vomiting
  • Coughing
  • Nasal Discharge

Causes of Fever in Dogs

Causes of high temperature in dogs can include:

  • Infection

    – The body is designed to increase in temperature when infection is present. Many bacteria, viruses and fungi are heat sensitive and cannot survive at the higher body temperature.

  • Inflammation/allergic response

    Fever can be associated with these.

  • Toxins

    – Consuming come poison materials may result in fever.

  • Medication

    – Some medications may elevate body temperature

  • Vaccination

    – As with infection, the body’s immune system will often respond to vaccination with a low grade fever. This fever may last up to 48 hours after vaccination.

  • Fever of Unknown Origin

    – Sometimes the cause of fever cannot be determined. This is often the case with immune system abnormalities, blood and bone marrow disorders and cancer.

Diagnosis of Fever in Dogs

In order to determine your pet’s body temperature, you will need a thermometer. Digital thermometers that are specifically designed for rectal use are available at most pet stores. Human thermometers are not designed to measure the higher body temperature of dogs and are not as accurate.

To take rectal temperature, rub a bit of baby oil, vegetable oil or petroleum jelly on the end for lubricant. Gently insert the thermometer one inch into the anus. Wait for the thermometer to signal it is finished reading.

The veterinarian will need a history of the pet’s symptoms, any medications, recent events and any allergies. A physical examination will look for swollen lymph nodes, abdominal swelling, pain in the joints, and other signs of infection or systemic abnormalities.

Laboratory diagnostics that can be useful in determining cause of fever include a complete blood cell count, biochemistry profile and urinalysis. These tests examine the function of the metabolic and endocrine systems and can indicate infections or other causes of elevate body temperature.

Radiographs can identify abnormalities in organ systems, cancer, or infections.

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Treatment of Fever in Dogs

If your pet has a fever greater than 103ºF (39.4ºC) you will need to have a veterinarian examine him. A body temperature at or above 106ºF (41.1ºC) should be considered a medical emergency.

You can help bring your pets temperature down by wiping his paw pads and ears with a cool wet washcloth. You may also wrap ice packs in a towel and place it against his chest and abdomen. A fan to supply cool air is useful as well.

Never treat your dog with human medicines without the instruction of a veterinarian. Aspirin and acetaminophen are toxic to dogs.

Your veterinarian will use the information gathered from the pet’s history, physical examination and diagnostic tests to decide the course of treatment. Intravenous fluids will aid in hydration and electrolyte balance. Antibiotics are prescribed to treat infection. In some cases, additional medications and/or surgery may be required to treat the underlying condition.

Recovery of Fever in Dogs

Be sure to monitor your pet’s temperature at home and report any increase in body temperature or failure of the pet to respond to treatment to your veterinarian. Follow the instructions for treatment and medication administration carefully. Be sure your pet is getting adequate water, food and rest. If possible, keep your pet separate from children and other pets while he rests and recovers.

Never treat fever with human drugs unless directed by your veterinarian. Home treatment for fever can worsen the condition or lead to life-threatening conditions.

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Fever Average Cost

From 205 quotes ranging from $300 - $8,000

Average Cost

$1,000

Fever Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Tori

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Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

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10 Weeks

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Serious condition

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0 found helpful

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Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Fever
Lethargy
Weakness

I have a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon 10 week old puppy. She was an energetic, normal puppy until about 24 hours ago. She woke up and was very lethargic and acted like her legs weren't working well. She collapsed a few times while outside and had to be coaxed to do anything. She has to be carried out to the grass to go to the bathroom. The vet examined her,she has a fever, but no conclusive diagnosis. They put her on antibiotics, but said she is too young for anything else. She's eating and drinking minimally when encouraged. This morning she is weaker than the day before. She won't walk or stand at all. I'm not sure what else to do besides wait it out. Any advice?

Sept. 5, 2018

Tori's Owner

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Rajah

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Yorkshire Terrier

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5 Years

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Moderate condition

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Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Slight Fever, Discharge From Peepee

Hi, I have a little 2.8 lb Yorkie that is running a slight fever but also has discharge coming out of her little peepee area. Would you know what is causing this ? She felt just fine yesterday but when she woke up this morning she wasn't her usual playful self and she has barely ate anything today. She isn't vomiting she will drink water and hold it down and what ever food she has ate she had held it down. This baby girl is my everything and I am so worried about her and will take her to her vet Monday as soon as it opens due that I can't afford emergency help unless it is absolutely the last resort. So if you could help me I would sincerely appreciate it.

July 8, 2018

Rajah's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

You didn’t mention what a slight fever is, remember that dogs have a higher core body temperature than humans so if you’re using the human physiological range her temperature may still be normal. However, if there is a discharge from the vulva it may be due to vaginitis (especially if she is spayed) or may be due to pyometra (if she isn’t spayed or has a uterine stump). Keep an eye on Rajah for the time being and ensure that she is hydrated, but visit your Veterinarian on Monday morning or an Emergency Veterinarian if symptoms progress. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.merckvetmanual.com/special-subjects/reference-guides/normal-rectal-temperature-ranges

July 8, 2018

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Blitz

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canine

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Eight Years

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Serious condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Fever
Lethargy
Shivering
Lost Of Appetite

Hi, Our 8 years old Dog has been vomitting, lost his appetite and lethargic and shivering now for 3 days, When he drinks water he vomits it in a few. was taken to Local Vet today, initially we thought that it might be an infection on the ears since he keeps scratching his ears while a bit crying or irritated at some point of scratching its ears. The initial Diagnosis was a Fever (104F temperature) but Vet said our Dog was still responsive, we had her ears looked at and said was just needed a clean. Right now we were advised to have an alcohol rubbed in to his paws to lower down temp. a capsule was prescribed to lower down his fever. Im a bit reluctant if the advise was enough to have my dog recovered from this fever. Please help what other things we can do to assist the recovery.

June 8, 2018

Blitz's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

Fever isn’t a diagnosis, it is a symptom; for example ‘the high fever was caused by the infection’. Most commonly infections are the most common cause of fever; however other causes including inflammation, allergies, cancer and idiopathic causes; it is important to treat the underlying medical condition in order to help control the fever. Without knowing a specific diagnosis I cannot recommend anything apart from supportive and symptomatic care (fluids etc…). Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

June 9, 2018

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Sammy

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Hound

dog-age-icon

10 Years

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Moderate condition

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0 found helpful

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Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Itchy
Hot Spots
Fever,

My dog Sammy is a 10 year old pointer/hound mix. He recently developed hot spots and he is warm to the touch and his nose is dry (normally cold and wet). We put him in the cone of shame and gave him a bath with hot spot specific shampoo along with the spray that came with it. His spots are little better (except for one on his bottom that he keeps making it bleed by rubbing it on the carpet) and his fever broke yesterday, but he was warm again this morning. We've been giving him benedryl to help with the itching. I recently purchased NuStock that everyone SWEARS by. I applied it last night and now I'm just waiting to see if that makes a difference. He still has a very healthy appetite and drinking plenty of water. Is there any more I can do short of taking him to the vet and spending hundreds and hundreds of $$$. I obviously will if it's necessary. I just need advice!!

May 23, 2018

Sammy's Owner


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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

I'm not sure that you will need to spend hundred's of dollars to help Sammy with these 'hot spots'. He may need antibiotics or other medications - without knowing what is actually going on with him, I can't comment on what might be happening. It would be worth having an examination, so that your veterinarian can recommend treatment that you can work with.

May 23, 2018

I am not sure what happened to your Rottie need more imfo

July 13, 2018

Linda M.


Sammy may need his anal glands expressed if he is rubbing his anus on the rug. Hot spots ate not that unusual nut need antibiotics or a spray to help with the issues depending g on how bad they are. I would take him to a vet clinic as soon ad possible since he must be in a lot of pain and discomfort.

July 13, 2018

Linda M.


Morning i bet my 2 months old Rottweiler on its head. Nw he is not eating anything. Nd he is sad. He is not alowing me to touch his head. What should i do?? Plz help me. Suggest a medicine plz

May 28, 2018

Deekshith A.

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Zoe

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Italian Greyhound

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9 Years

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Moderate condition

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Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Fever, Slightly Lethargic

My 9 year old Italian Greyhound has had a fever of 103-105 on and off for a few weeks. We did blood work came back normal and checked for tick and valley fever all negative. She wa son a steroid and antibiotic for dermatitus which cleared up, but the fever has remained. She is eating and drinking. No cough, or swollen joints. The only thing I did notice was for a couple of days she was walking like she was in pain, but I touched her front legs and she did not whimper. She seems to be walkig better now. If blood work is normal what could other possibilties be, what else can I ask my vet to test for?

May 8, 2018

Zoe's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Fever of unknown origin is a very broad diagnosis, and the possible causes run in the hundreds. If she hasn't had x-rays of her limbs, that might be a good idea, since she seems to be having some discomfort in her legs. Poly arthritis is just one cause of a fever, and that clue may help your veterinarian narrow down the list for her. I hope that she is okay.

May 8, 2018

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Arya

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Hound Dog

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2 Years

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Mild condition

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Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Fever
Lethargy
Panting

My dog is having a fever and is lethargic, she was good on monday but that night my dad yelled and hit her. Something I am not for.Her fever is 103 and she has no other symptoms of anything serious, she has an appetite and is drinking water. She is panting when I wake up but I cover her in an old wet shirt and that seems to get her up. Does anyone know what I could do because I do not think she is seriously sick.

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Cotton

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German Shepherd / Catahoula

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7 Years

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Moderate condition

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pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Fever
Lethargic
Shivering
Sounds Rumbly When He Breathes

My dog stopped eating and was laying around like a lump. Took him to the vet and they can't find anything wrong with his blood work and heart worm test came back negative. Yet when I took him home they said his temperature was 103.3. They gave him antibiotics and a pain medicine since he is having trouble getting around for unknown reasons. It's been two days. Shouldn't he have improved a bit by now? He will eat if you bring it to him, but he does not want to get up off his bed for anything.

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Dozer and Jager

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Beagle

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8 Years

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Moderate condition

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Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Fever,Soars, Loss Of Appetite

I have two beagles. One is 8 yrs old, the other 4. One day, my 8 yr old developed a fever, shaking, lethargic, loss of appetite. The next day it affected my 4 yr old. Both dogs would cry in pain if I touched their back. After about a week of being quite sick, the symptoms began to fade but I noticed my 8 yr old had soars all over his back where it seemed tender to touch them and his fur fell out where the soars were. they were mainly on his lower back, some on his hips and tail and my 4 yr old beagle had them as well although not as bad but his illness was not as bad either. The vets had no idea what caused this. Any ideas anyone ever hear of this?

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Ronin

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Pitbull mix

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6 Months

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Serious condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Fever
Lethargy
Shivering
Wont Eat

Six month old Pit/Rott mix. Three weeks ago he had a back leg amputated due to 9 breaks in the femur (we found him that way). He was fine yesterday during the day, but last night he became lethargic, and then started with 'the shivers'. He ate dinner before this happened, but this morning he won't eat or drink. No diarrhea or vomitting, no coughing or discharge. He might have minor swelling in his remaining back leg and in his stump, but hard to tell. Very lethargic and not his normal self. At the vet his temp was 105.4, he has elevated white blood cell count and slight decrese in liver function, but no other abnormalities. He did try to drink stagnant water in the back yard, so I'm worried it could potentially be Leptospirosis. The vet is running tests and hes there on IV and antibiotics, but I wanted to share the experience and see if there was any additional insight. We've already spent well over 4K on this sweet puppy with all his shots and surgeries, and I'd hate so much to lose this sweet boy so soon after. We did give him a gabapentin last night (left over from surgery), when we thought he might be in pain.

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Saint

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Pit Bull/American bulldog

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10 Years

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Mild condition

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Fever
Lethargy
Loss Of Appetite
Loss Of Appetitej

So my 18-year-old pitbull American bulldog mix was sick for almost 2 weeks straight. He wouldn’t eat and was only drinking about half as much as normal. He was also having trouble passing his bowels and was running fever. I took him to our vet and they did blood test which came back normal except for an elevated white blood cell count. The doctor, with no visual signs of an infection couldn’t really say for sure what type of infection it could be. He is up to date on all of his shots and heartworm medicine. After prescribing him anabiotic‘s and a pain medication I believe for 10 days he was still not acting 100% like normal I made a appointment to take him back to the vet this past Friday. When I got home from work on last Thursday he was back to normalRunning and greeting me at the door again appetite was back and his fever was gone so here we are five days later and he is beginning to show symptoms of a fever and lethargy again I just don’t know what to do I can’t afford another vet visit at the moment I just dont know what to do

Fever Average Cost

From 205 quotes ranging from $300 - $8,000

Average Cost

$1,000

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