We commonly have clients concerned their pet may be running a fever. Many people report that patient has "warm ears" or "feels warm". They often are concerned if "the nose is wet" or dry or warm or cold.

Understanding Fever in pets is much simpler than all those worries. Dogs and cats have a normal body temperature of between 101.5 - 102.5 F. And the very best way to determine if they have a fever is with a little lube or Vaseline and a rectal thermometer. Because they normally run temperatures 3 - 4 degrees higher than you and I, they will often "feel warm". If they have recently licked their nose, it will be cool and wet, if they have not - it will be warm and dry. The condition of their nose has absolutely nothing to do with any correlation to their body temperature.

Pets should never be given over the counter medications for "fever". While hman Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories are rarely used for very specific diseases in pets, they have very narrow dose ranges outside of which they are TOXIC! Tylenol is particularly toxic to cats. Additionally, there is no reported safe dose of Motrin, Naproxen or Aleve that can be used as they are toxic at any amount.

Treating pets with fevers is best approached by treating the cause of the fever rather than the fever itself. The underlying disease does not go away by treating the fever so it should be identified starting with a comprehensive physical to look for localized evidence of disease and blood work or radiographs to get a bird's eye view of those things on the inside of the body that cannot be seen from without. While fevers are often associated with infections, they can also be caused by auto-immune disease, neoplasia or cancer, inflammation , or bone injuries.

Don't let fevers get you "hot under the collar", call our office today and let one of our experienced caring doctors help you find a lasting solution.


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