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Symptoms of a Dog Fever

A body temperature above 103 degrees F is a fever, but an elevated temperature does not confirm that your dog has an illness. A dog's temperature can vary one or two degrees depending on its emotional state or activity level. If he has no other symptoms and the fever does not persist, there is no need to worry.

However, if your dog has a fever over 105 degrees F, see your vet immediately!

Is your dog's temperature over 106 F? Was your dog left in a hot car or in an unshaded area without water? Is your dog a bulldog (flat faced), old or overweight? Is he panting or collapsed? Is his pulse pounding? Does he have a staring expression? See Home Treatment for heatstroke below. If Home Treatment does not work in 10 minutes, see your vet immediately!

Does your dog have a fever accompanied by any of the following signs?

  • Lack of appetite
  • Coldness and shivering
  • Hot and panting, depression
  • Sad expression
  • Increase in respiration or pulse
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Weight loss
  • Decreased activity
  • Lethargy

If so, and symptoms do not subside on their own, see your vet within 24 hours.

Home Treatment for Heatstroke

Immediately give your dog a cold water bath or shower. Apply ice packs (the kind made for lunch boxes are good) to the head, under the "armpits" and between the thighs. If your dog stops panting and seems less distressed, give him ice cubes to lick or a little water. If you see improvement, continue to check his temperature over the next 12 hours. If, however, there is no improvement within 15 minutes, or his condition worsens and he does not respond to the cold water and ice packs, see your vet immediately!

What to Expect at the Vet

Your vet will give your dog a complete physical and may do blood tests, urine tests or X-rays. If your dog is dehydrated, he may receive subcutaneous fluids. If your vet suspects an infection, antibiotics will be prescribed.

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  • Published:
  • Updated: 7/14/2019: 1:21:24 PM ET