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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Fever View In Dogs

First Aid Condition

First aid health condition




Condition Overview

Fever is an elevated temperature that is generated by the body to fight disease. Normal can and dog body temperature ranges between 99 and 102.5F.


A fever of 104F in dogs and cats that is accompanied by lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, or refusal to eat needs medical attention.


Sickness and injuries can cause the body to produce a fever.


Diagnosis is made by rectal thermometer.


If you can't get a vet appointment for your pet the same day, it is a good idea to give first aid to help him feel more comfortable.

  1. Take your pet's temperature - The only accurate way to tell if your dog or cat has a fever is to take his temperature. Taking the temperature rectally is simple to do. First, have another person steady the front end of your pet, hug his neck, or otherwise distract him from biting. For a bulb thermometer, shake down the mercury until it reads about 96F (degrees). Then lubricate the bulb tip with a lubricant like petroleum jelly. Grasp the base of your pet's tail and lift it to give yourself a clear target. You can steady your pet and keep him from escaping by keeping a firm grip on his tail. This will also keep him from trying to sit down during the procedure which could injure him if the thermometer breaks.

    Insert the lubricated end of the thermometer about halfway into your pets rectum and hold it in place for 3 minutes. Remove the thermometer, wipe it clean with a tissue, and read the silver column of mercury. Once you have finished, be sure to clean the thermometer with alcohol to avoid spreading disease.
  2. Get to the vet immediately if body temperature is above 105F - If the temperature is over 107F, mix rubbing alcohol 50/50 with water and spray or dab the solution on the armpits, groin, the insides of the ear flaps, and the pads of his feet on your way to the vet. As it evaporates, it will cool your pet. The footpads and ears carry lots of blood vessels near the surface, so cooling the blood can help to cool off the whole body.


There is no prevention for a fever.


Please contact your veterinarian if you have questions regarding this condition.

Show Sources & Contributors +


The First Aid Companion for Dogs And Cats

Publisher: Rodale Inc, 2001

Website: http://www.rodalebooks.com/

Authors: Amy D. Shojai, Shane Bateman DVM

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