Puppy Fevers

by Perfect Puppy Care on January 4, 2011

Dogs have a higher body temperature than humans.

It is important to note that a puppy’s body temperature may not be the same as an adult dog’s. It is often lower than the temperature of an adult dog. Newborn puppies come in to the world with a temperature of 94 to 97 degrees Fahrenheit or 27.7 to 39.2 degrees Celsius. By the time a puppy reaches four weeks of age, his or temperature will rise to 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 37.7 degrees Celsius.

The average normal body temperature for a healthy adult dog is 101.3 degrees Fahrenheit or 38.5 degrees Celsius. However, dogs’ body temperatures can range from 100 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit or 37.7 to 39.2 degrees Celsius.

You might ask why it is important to know what a puppy’s body temperature is. A puppy’s body temperature can tell you a lot about their state of health.

Diagnosing a puppy’s fever is not always an easy task because they do not always show symptoms. However, it is usually easier to tell if a puppy is running a fever than an adult dog because puppies tend to become less playful when their temperature is spiked.

Other symptoms of fever include a dog’s avoidance of contact with people, behavioral changes, excessive panting, lack of appetite or thirst, increased thirst, lethargy and lumps or swelling.

Fevers are usually an indication of other health issues, so it is very important to take your puppy to the veterinarian for a check up if his or her body temperature is above normal.

Infections are a common cause of fever in puppies. An infected wound, an insect bite, internal parasites, an abscessed tooth are all common causes of fever in dogs. Cancer, immune system disorders, lumps and tumors and organ diseases are also causes of fever in puppies and adult dogs. Occasionally, a puppy can run a fever that stems from an unknown origin, making it more difficult for a veterinarian to treat.

It is important to take immediate action if your puppy is running a fever. Failure to do so could lead to serious illness and even death.

Whenever you notice that your puppy is “off” or not acting like his or herself, you should ascertain the body temperature. The best way to establish a puppy’s temperature is to take it with a rectal thermometer. Modern digital models are the safest to use because they do not contain mercury, which is poisonous to dogs, and often record an accurate temperature faster.

Please note, you should only attempt this process if you’ve been shown how to do so by a qualified professional. The following process is for educational purposes only, not practical application.

Begin by coating the end of the rectal thermometer with petroleum jelly or KY jelly. Gently inserted the end into puppy’s rectum with a slight twisting motion. Insert one to three inches (one for smaller dogs and three for larger breeds) and leave in place for the length of time suggested by the manufacturer.

The best treatment for a puppy’s fever depends on the cause of the symptom. That’s why it is best to get a puppy with spiked body temperature to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Failure to act immediately can very easily lead to more serious problems.

Previous post:

Next post: