What Is Parvo Virus: Dog Fever Symptoms And Cold Paws On Dogs
Fever is often associated with Parvo, but this is one of the symptoms of Parvo that is not always present.
In fact, in our experience, very few dogs develop any noticeable fever at all.
So, what is the temperature of a fever, and at what point should you become concerned?
Most dogs have a temperature in the range 100.5 Fahrenheit to 102.5 Fahrenheit (which is 38 – 39.2 Celsius).
When your dog has Parvo, you may find a slightly elevated temperature, but we would only get concerned if it got up to 104 or higher – something that has only happened to a handful of dogs out of the 5,559 that we have helped treat so far.
How do you measure a dog’s temperature?
Well, the most reliable method is using a rectal thermometer, although you may find some significant resistance to taking his temperature this way – even if he is weakened by Parvo. (And if you do try this at home, try not to get a glass thermometer, because you definitely don’t want that breaking inside of him and causing additional problems!)
You can also get thermometers that can be used on a dog’s ear, but these are not that accurate.
A third way is to take his temperature from his underarm, but that too is not always accurate, and it’s recommended that you add one degree to whatever reading you get.
The one thing that is definitely not a reliable indicator is a dog’s nose – a cold, wet nose is more a guarantee that your dog is healthy than a warm, dry one is that he is sick. One of our dogs has had a warm, dry nose for most of her life, but that doesn’t mean she’s ill.
As many dogs age their noses become dry, but that does not mean they are sick per se – this is usually not an issue. This just means you cannot rely on the cold wet nose test.
Fever can actually be quite hard to detect in dogs, unless you do take their temperature, as many dog fever symptoms are the same as those of Parvo, such as vomiting, depression, loss of appetite and lethargy.
So, as with most Parvo symptoms, any one of them taken independently could be caused by almost anything, but when you see several of the classic signs of Parvo together (e.g. lack of appetite and lethargy and depression and vomiting and foul-smelling diarrhea and dehydration), then it’s best to assume that it is Parvo and deal with it at once – if you wait to find out, you could be too late to save your dog.
But in our experience, fever is one of the last things you should be worrying about – the symptoms that cause the greatest problems are with Parvo dogs vomiting, and cold paws on dogs.
This latter symptom is something we see a lot more frequently than fevers, and it’s much more dangerous too.
This typically happens because of the sudden loss of appetite in dogs that have Parvo.
When a dog’s not eating, its blood sugar levels drop, and these can reach dangerously low levels (in some cases, very quickly indeed), especially with particularly young and/or tiny dogs.
It is this hypoglycemia, as it’s called, that causes your dog to feel cold, and although you could take his temperature (anything less than 99 F, or 37.2C is of concern), the easiest way to tell if your dog is too cold is to feel his paws.
Gently put his paw in your hand, specifically feel the pads. Do this for all of them. This is a simple technique but it is a really nice indicator.
If they feel cold, or even cool, to the touch, then that’s a definite warning sign that he needs nutrients, and fast. If you let this go too far, it is really tough to recover from this situation.
We know this technique is far from scientific, but thousands of our customers have found it reliable enough for their needs.
The good news is that our Parvo Treatment Guide (which is included with all purchases of any of our Parvo Treatment Kits) includes simple home remedies that will address this issue quickly and easily.