What is the dog’s normal temperature?
The dog’s temperature is between 38 and 39 degrees Celsius (° C) with an average of 38,5 ° C or 1 ° C higher than humans.
When the temperature drops below normal we speak of hypothermia, they are particularly worrying when the dog suffers from a disease that causes this hypothermia (such as shock) or if it is a puppy.
The dog’s temperature can rise above normal, we speak of hyperthermia. When the weather is hot or the dog has played a lot, the temperature can be very slightly above 39 ° C without this being a cause for concern. But if your dog has a temperature above 39 ° C and is shot then he probably has a fever. Fever is linked to infectious diseases (infection with bacteria, viruses or parasites). In fact, fever is the body’s defense system against these infectious agents. However, there are hyperthermias that are not related to infectious agents, tumors can, for example, cause an increase in temperature, we speak of malignant hyperthermia.
Heat stroke is a very specific cause of hyperthermia in dogs. When the weather is hot and the dog has been locked in an enclosed and poorly ventilated place (such as a car with a window slightly open) the dog can end up with a very strong hyperthermia, it can reach more than 41 ° C. Dogs of the brachycephalic breed (such as the French Bulldog) can get heatstroke even if it is not very hot, under the effect of stress or too much effort. This hyperthermia can be fatal if the dog is not brought to a veterinarian and cooled in time.
How to take a dog’s temperature?
It is very easy to take by inserting an electronic thermometer rectally. You can use a thermometer intended for adult humans, in pharmacies. If possible take a thermometer that takes quick measurements, dogs are less patient than us. You can take your dog’s temperature as soon as you find him downcast to assess his health.
What to do if your dog’s temperature is abnormal?
First, when you find your dog in heatstroke, panting with a lot of saliva and foam in the mouth, you have to take him out of his oven, ventilate it, remove the saliva from his mouth and cover him with wet towels while taking him to an emergency veterinarian for injections to help him breathe and prevent brain edema that can develop and is usually responsible for the death of the animal. Do not cool it down too quickly by showering it in cold water, just take it quickly to the vet!
If the dog’s temperature is high and the dog is slaughtered, surely he has an infectious disease. Your veterinarian, in addition to his clinical examination, will take your dog’s temperature and may do tests to explain the increase in temperature. In this case, he will probably start with a blood test that he will analyze to measure the number and type of cells in his blood in order to show evidence of an infection. Then he can look for the origin of the infection with a biochemical analysis of the blood, a urine analysis, x-rays or an abdominal ultrasound.
Once the cause has been identified or before having the final diagnosis, your veterinarian can administer an anti-inflammatory and fever reducer to your dog to lower the fever and eliminate any inflammation and associated pain.
He may prescribe antibiotics if he suspects a bacterial cause and will treat the other causes depending on the results with appropriate medication.
In the puppy breastfeeding by its mother or in artificial breastfeeding, its temperature will be measured first if it refuses to drink and suckle. Indeed hypothermia is the main cause of anorexia in puppies. If its temperature is lower than 37 ° C then a hot water bottle will be added under the linens in its nest. You can also use a red UV lamp in a corner of the nest. In both cases the puppies should have room to move away from the source if they are too hot and every precaution should be taken so that they do not burn themselves.
If your adult dog is hypothermic you will also use a hot water bottle wrapped in tissue before taking him quickly to the vet.