Putting the thermometer on the dog: how to do it right
Putting the thermometer on the dog is a necessary operation to take its temperature, and it is likely that it will have to be used several times during the animal’s life. When the dog is sick, the vet may instruct us to monitor its temperature and putting the thermometer on it can become a difficult task if certain guidelines are not followed.
A healthy, well-fed adult dog has a temperature around 38 degrees, yet a puppy has a higher body temperature, which can reach almost 39 degrees.
To take the dog’s body temperature, a fast-reading thermometer and unbreakable material are necessary. There are certain situations, such as having a female in heat nearby, going on a trip, or exercising, that can alter the normal and usual temperature of the dog. Body parts have different temperatures, so rectal temperature is the most representative of the inside of the body and also the most stable.
The body temperature of all warm-blooded animals is regulated by the hypothalamus, which is the region of the brain that forms the lower part of the thalamus and regulates blood circulation, urine secretion, and appetite, which are influencing factors. in body temperature.
Symptoms of fever
The temperature can vary throughout the day, which is normal. In the morning, it is usually lower and at night higher. The sudden rise in body temperature is usually preceded by a shivering. Other symptoms can be: some confusion, incoordination, panting, increased heart rate, as well as constipation, followed by diarrhea.
Good use of the thermometer
To take the dog’s body temperature, you need a fast-reading thermometer and unbreakable material. Rectal temperature is the most reliable, so you have to insert the tip of the thermometer through the anal opening, for which you can use a little petroleum jelly.
It is likely that the animal is not very cooperative and help is needed to hold it, so that it remains standing, which is the appropriate position to take the temperature. The thermometer must be in place for thirty seconds or until the acoustic signal sounds. Afterwards, the thermometer must be disinfected with a cotton swab soaked in alcohol and the result, the time and the day when the temperature was taken, note down.
In the case of females, the temperature can also be taken through the opening of the vagina. If the body temperature has to be monitored for several days, it is advisable to place the thermometer every six or eight hours and always before the meal, so that the variations produced by the digestive process do not mask the results.
The danger of heat
Body temperature is determined by heat production and loss. The production of body heat is the result, among other things, of basic metabolic processes, assimilation of food, muscular activity or the secretion of certain hormones. Heat is lost by irradiation, conduction and evaporation of water through the respiratory tract and the skin.
A serious pathology associated with body temperature is heat stroke, which consists of an increase in the body temperature of the dog that exceeds the tolerable limits for its organism. Heatstroke puts the dog’s life at serious risk, since its body temperature can reach 42 degrees. The severity of heatstroke depends on the temperature and how long it has lasted.
Dogs that suffer from heat stroke present symptoms such as: panting, tachycardia, high temperature, congested mucous membranes, vomiting, diarrhea and, on some occasions, shock or loss of consciousness. Taking some first measures before going to the vet as soon as possible helps stabilize the dog’s situation. For example: place him in a cool and ventilated place, bathe him with cold water and, if he is conscious, give him small amounts of cool water to drink.
The danger of excess cold
Excess heat and a rise in body temperature are not recommended for the health of the dog, but neither is excess cold.
Dogs need protection against cold temperatures. Especially certain breeds, which due to their scarce fur and small size, have less protection against the cold.
In fact, there are certain diseases associated with cold, such as kennel cough or infectious tracheo bronchitis, which the dog can contract in the fall or winter. It is caused by a virus and is a minor disease, but difficult to cure. Its symptoms are: cough, high fever, vomiting and mucus.
On the other hand, joint diseases, such as osteoarthritis, are more likely to manifest themselves during times when the weather is cold and humid. The dog is more likely to get sick in winter, and especially at advanced ages. That is why it is advisable to keep the vaccination schedule up to date, so that the animal is protected.