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March 30th

My Dog Has a Fever, What Can I Do?

My Dog Has a Fever, What Can I Do?

It can be scary when your dog has a fever. Many people don’t know what they can do to keep their dog comfortable and make the fever go down.

You may also wonder what’s actually causing your puppy’s high temperature. Most fevers in dogs are signs of a mild illness, and usually will go away with time. But there are some fevers that can be a symptom of a more serious medical issue that needs immediate attention.

Here, we’ll discuss some of the main causes of fevers in dogs. And if you have any more questions, never hesitate to call your vet.

1. Bacterial or viral illness

This tends to be the most common cause of fever in dogs. As the bacteria and viruses infect cells, your dog’s immune system tries to fight off the invaders. This leads to an increase in body temperature.

There’s a huge range of different viruses and bacteria that can cause a fever in your dog. Common ones are parvovirus, herpesvirus, and canine distemper. These can vary in severity a great deal, from mild to life threatening.

Fever is often accompanied by other symptoms such as diarrhea or vomiting, runny nose, or red eyes. If your dog has any of these symptoms as well as a fever, you should play it safe and head to the vet.

2. Regional infection

In some cases, infections in one part of the body can cause a fever. This is because the infection may spread, which can lead to an immune response throughout the whole body.

Dogs who play outside may get a variety of scratches and bug bites. In some cases, these small injuries can get infected. If the infection doesn’t heal, it can spread and cause more serious health issues.

If you think that your dog’s fever may be related to an infection somewhere on their skin, it’s important that you get them to the vet as soon as possible. Infections that spread can be quite serious. Your dog will need a course of antibiotics, which can help treat the infection and eventually bring the fever down.

And if you notice a swollen or red area on your dog’s skin, try to treat it as soon as possible. This will prevent it from spreading and causing a much more serious blood infection, which can be life threatening.

3. Auto-immune issue

Auto-immune diseases occur when your dog’s immune system is not working properly, and begins to attack healthy cells. This immune response can cause a fever.

Auto-immune disorders tend to come with a wide range of other symptoms. Common ones include swelling and pain around the joints, pale gums, and  hair loss, as well as bruising that doesn’t appears without any contact.

These are serious health issues, so you’ll need to contact your vet immediately to see what medical options you have. Auto immune disorders can sometimes also be linked to diet, so you’ll want to check your dog’s food to make sure there aren’t any unwanted ingredients.

4. Seizures

This may surprise some dog owners, but seizures can be another cause of high fevers. This is because seizures cause the muscles in the body to contract very quickly and intensely. When muscles are active, they produce a lot of heat.

In cases of severe seizures, the muscle contractions can lead to a rapidly increasing body temperature.

If you notice that your dog is exhibiting the symptoms of a seizure, you need to get them to the vet as quickly as possible. The high body temperature can be extremely dangerous, and cause serious damage to your dog’s organs.

5. Cancer

Cancer is another potential cause of a fever, especially in older dogs.

Fever can be caused by a wide variety of different cancers, including lymphoma, bone cancer, and skin tumors. This is usually a result of the immune system attacking the cancer cells, leading to an increased body temperature.

If your dog’s fever is caused by cancer, there may be other symptoms, such as loss of weight, weakness, and visible tumors on the skin. You’ll want to get them to the vet as soon as possible, as the fever could be a sign of a secondary illness caused by the cancer.

Relax…

Many dog owners begin to panic when their puppy has a fever. Their mind may begin to assume the worst. Although this reaction is understandable, usually there is nothing to worry about.

In most cases a fever is simply a sign of a bacterial or viral infection, and will heal on its own in a matter of days. Try to keep your dog comfortable and get them plenty of water, and they should recover in no time.

You should, however, look out for other symptoms that could indicate a more serious medical issue. And if the fever is not improving after a day or so, you should contact your vet. It’s just a phone call, and it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your puppy.

Don’t have the dream dog to worry over yet? Head over to our puppy finder to find the perfect companion.

About Uptown Staff

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