An experienced dog owner, and even more so a breeder, knows what the temperature of a dog should be and is familiar with the process of measuring it. However, for a novice or owner whose dog has never been sick before, this moment can cause a lot of questions: starting from in which case the indicators are the norm, and what signs accompany its decrease or increase. How to understand that the dog has a temperature, and how can one confirm his guesses?
Signs of lowering and fever in the dog
If a person feels that he is getting sick, he measures his body temperature. The same must be done if the health of the four-legged friend causes concern. To determine if the dog has a temperature without a thermometer, it is necessary to examine it and feel it. The primary signs of fever in an animal are hot ears and paw pads.
But rely solely on tactile sensations should not be, since the temperature of the dogs is normally higher than human. In addition, if you touch the feet or ears of the pet with frozen or cold hands, the dog’s skin will appear hot in any case. It is recommended to warm them before the event.
Why are paws and ears the most informative for determining the body temperature of an animal? The thing is that in these areas the vessels of the circulatory system are most closely located to the skin. And as you know, fever occurs with an increase in blood temperature. Blood performs the function of transporting oxygen and nutrients to various organs and systems, it is from it that the tissue is heated, and with severe fever it begins to coagulate.
If the owner is worried about the temperature increase in one part of the pet’s body - the limb or the ear, you should feel the second paw or auricle. When only one part of the body turns out to be hot, it means that the inflammatory process was localized in this area. The cause of this may also be a bruise or injury, but in this case we are not talking about increasing the base temperature.
However, such a phenomenon deserves attention, since even insignificant-looking inflammation can cause the excitation of the immune system and the appearance of heat, up to a febrile state.
Dry nose is a sign of fever
Among dog breeders, a common technique for detecting a temperature in a pet is to feel the nose and gums. It is believed that a cool, wet lobe is a sign that the dog is healthy, and if it turns out to be hot and dry, then the dog is definitely sick. However, this statement is not true. For example, a pet’s dry and hot nose can be after a long sleep. But with intoxication or hypothermia, the lobe becomes wet and cold.
Although the nose can be considered as an indicator of the state of the animal, however, like all mucous surfaces. By heating it, it is impossible to detect a slight increase in indicators, only a strong fever. In addition, a dry lobe may be a sign of dehydration. When examining and probing the owner’s dog’s lobe, the following manifestations should alert:
- the presence of copious discharge from the nose;
- discharge of a whitish, yellow or greenish tint;
- serous fluid flows from the nose.
Similar symptoms may indicate a cold or viral illness. It is worth noting that the mucous membrane of the oral, nasal cavity, auricles and eyes are interconnected, so if the dog develops rhinitis, inflammation can spread to closely adjacent areas.
The condition of the mucous membranes
If there is a suspicion of the development of the disease, you can assess the condition of the gums of the four-legged friend. In a healthy dog, their surface is pink, warm and moist. You should also pay attention to the lips and eyes of the animal. The mucous surfaces of the eyelids and gums have a huge number of vessels and arteries. When the blood gets too hot, the mucous membrane turns red, and its temperature also rises.
If the body temperature drops, the mucous membrane becomes colder, becomes whitish, gray or becomes cyanotic. Only by the state of the mucosa to determine if the dog has fever, in most cases, is impossible.
For example, puppies normally have a base temperature that is slightly higher than adults. In some dogs, the temperature may vary depending on the time of day. The study of this issue made it possible to find out that in the evening it can increase by 0.5-1 ° C.
Dog's armpit condition
People most often use a thermometer to measure body temperature, placing it in the armpit. And in dogs, this area is quite sensitive - if you touch the skin in this area or on the inside of the thighs, you can feel the heat.
But in this case, you should not expect 100% of the result, since the increased local temperature may not be associated with a change in the baseline, but be a sign of inflammation of the nodes of the lymphatic system, which are located here. The inflammatory process in the lymph nodes develops with various viral infections, including systemic or autoimmune ones.
Lymph nodes perform an important protective function. When pathological processes are localized in them, they do not allow them to spread to other systems and organs. After infection, the lymphatic system is excited, the level of leukocytes in the blood rises, and they begin to fight against foreign agents. The lymph nodes are actively starting to cleanse the blood.
Lowering body temperature: how to identify and what is dangerous
Most owners are only concerned about the heat generated by the animal. However, a pathological decrease in temperature also carries a danger. A decrease in indicators indicates that the dog is experiencing a breakdown, its blood circulation is slowing down, and the cells are experiencing oxygen starvation. Such processes negatively affect the functions of the whole organism. Typically, body temperature decreases with shock or hypothermia.
Acclimatization is difficult for some animals, for example, during sudden changes in weather conditions during the off-season. If the dog is difficult to move, travel, increase or decrease in atmospheric pressure, you should consult your veterinarian.
Why is the pet trembling
Many owners believe that the dog can tremble only when it freezes. However, tremor also often arises as a reaction of the nervous system to some kind of malfunction. The cause may be an increase or decrease in body temperature, soreness, intoxication, shock or stress, hormonal disorders.
If in hot weather the pet begins to tremble, often breathe, feel weak, and his body becomes hot and his pulse slows, then we are talking about heat stroke. In this case, you must immediately act - remove the dog from the scorching rays and cover with a copiously moistened bedspread or other cloth.
Primary symptoms of heat
Specialists distinguish between two types of indicators of the base temperature - external and internal. External signs are tactile sensations. Often the animal rises in temperature, but the pet itself does not feel these changes. In addition, dogs are too patient and may not show for a long time that they feel bad.
If the owner begins to suspect that everything is not in order with his pet, you should carefully monitor the behavior of the four-legged friend. Most often, physiological disorders are manifested as follows:
- the dog's appetite worsens or she completely refuses food;
- the dog becomes lethargic, weak, lethargic, awkward or clumsy;
- there are violations in the work of the organs of the gastrointestinal tract - vomiting, nausea, diarrhea;
- the pet sleeps longer than usual, tries to hide in a secluded, dark corner.
In a febrile state, when there are no tactile signs, the owner may notice that the pet’s breathing has become very hot. In addition, with fever, the following symptoms may occur:
- shortness of breath, which is a consequence of heart failure;
- intense thirst - the dog drinks a lot, but urination does not increase (this is due to the fact that the body uses moisture to cool the body);
- joint pain - against the background of high temperature, this symptom often bothers representatives of large and giant breeds. You can notice the changes by observing how the dog moves - he begins to take care of himself, avoids sudden movements, rises more slowly than usual, does not go right away, but only stretches his joints.
An increase in temperature also affects the emotional state of the dog. In most cases, she begins to avoid contact with people, behaves quieter than usual, hides from prying eyes. Deterioration of well-being can make a pet apathetic, indifferent, some dogs may show incomprehensible aggression. An attentive owner will immediately note that his ward is uncomfortable and restless.
Common Causes of Rising and Lowering Temperatures
Fever is a natural reaction of the immune system that is excited and begins to fight pathogenic microorganisms or other pathologies. Lowering the temperature is a sign of a breakdown. Much less often, such conditions occur with other changes. For example, a dog’s temperature can drop dramatically when she is suffering from an infectious disease and is recovering.
Infections caused by pathogenic bacteria may develop intoxication. When it occurs, the immune system reacts immediately, trying to neutralize toxic substances. If a dog suffering from an infection rises to critical levels, blood coagulation is possible.
The temperature rises with respiratory infections. In addition, the dog has a runny nose, cough, mucous membranes become inflamed. Often such ailments begin with inflammation of the conjunctiva or other local disease.
Gastrointestinal infections, prolonged digestive upsets and intoxications can also be accompanied by an increase or decrease in body temperature.
High temperature: what to do to the owner
Rising temperatures above 39 ° C can be dangerous for the animal. In this case, the dog requires emergency hospitalization, and if this is not possible, you should get a veterinarian telephone consultation. It is not recommended to bring down the temperature if it has risen slightly - not higher than 39.5 ° C. In such a situation, the immune system should be given the opportunity to cope with the pathology on its own.
At night, the situation is becoming more complicated, since monitoring jumps in indicators is not as easy as monitoring during the day. If a fever occurs in the evening, a dog should be given an antipyretic. Do not give the dog preparations intended for humans, especially for medicines containing acetylsalicylic acid or paracetamol.
The temperature above 39.5 ° C can not be brought down during the day. If the fever does not subside for a longer time, contact your veterinarian.
Watch the video how to measure the temperature in animals
Temperature measurement with a special device
Using a thermometer is the most reliable way to get accurate readings. Dogs can measure the temperature with a mercury or electronic device, injected rectally. The dog is laid on its side, soothe, lubricate the tip of the thermometer with grease and carefully introduced into the anus "on the shoulders". It is most convenient to use a special electronic rectal device, which gives the result in a few minutes.
A mercury thermometer requires a longer fixation of the animal in one position, but not every dog will patiently wait for the readings of the device entering its anal opening. Therefore, this is a less successful option.
Dogs are man’s best friends who are infinitely patient and loyal. But pets often get sick, and they can’t talk about poor health, so only the owner can detect signs of the disease and solve the problem.