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Diagnosis of dog fever

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Posted on June 06 2018

Dog fever is the elevated body temperature that is often a response to internal infection or bacteria. The increase in temperature usually kills certain bacteria present in the body. However, temperatures between 105 and 106 degrees F are considered dangerous, and pet owners should seek immediate medical help. Although owners can detect changes in behavior that include reduced joy, lethargy and depression, dog fever is often not detected until a reading of the rectal temperature is taken.



Taking body temperature in dogs

The normal rectal temperature in healthy animals is between 100.5 and 102.5 degrees F. Although formerly pet owners would touch the nose of the dog to determine body temperature, the most accurate temperature reading is obtained with a rectal thermometer . There are also several newer ear thermometers that provide fast and accurate readings. The normal temperature of the ear in dogs is between 100 and 103 degrees F.

The diagnosis of dog fever

There are several factors that cause fever in pets. The most common cause is associated with a bacterial or viral infection. Internal tumors and immune disorders can also cause an increase in body temperature. To determine the underlying cause of the fever, the veterinarian will perform diagnostic tests that include a complete blood count test. This will detect any abnormalities present in the various components of the blood. In addition, a blood chemistry profile test will determine abnormalities of internal organs. After the evaluation of the blood reports, the pet may have to undergo an X-ray, ultrasound and fine needle aspiration test to rule out underlying health problems.

Other diagnostic tests include:

  • fecal examination
  • Urine analysis
  • Antibody tests
  • Biopsy

The treatment of dog fever

The medication prescribed for fever varies depending on the health problem diagnosed. The veterinarian will also adjust the medication after the initial response to the treatment. Oral medications such as antibiotics need to kill strains of bacteria. Pets that do not respond favorably to antibiotic treatment are subjected to additional diagnostic tests. Pet owners should administer the prescribed medication according to the veterinarian's instructions and avoid abrupt discontinuation of the drugs to prevent relapse. Commonly used antibiotic formulations include Zeniquin, Baytril and Amoxicillin. Penicillin-based medicines are also prescribed to kill susceptible strains of bacteria.

Other treatment options

If the diagnosis reveals tumors or lymphosarcoma, the dog will be administered drugs for chemotherapy and radiotherapy to reduce the progression of the disease. Surgical removal of the tumor may be necessary. Pet owners should avoid using more over-the-counter medications to treat fever, as it is essential to detect the underlying cause of elevated body temperature. Pets that suffer from fever due to a viral infection require care at home and care.

Home care

Dogs must be kept in a warm and comfortable environment and their roaming outdoors is avoided. High quality nutritious foods and water should be available. It is also best to take note of the temperature readings at intervals and seek veterinary help if the pet's condition deteriorates.

Since fever is easily transmitted to domestic animals housed in a boarding regime, it is important to vaccinate dogs regularly to keep infections at bay.

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