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July 02, 2019

It works in kids so can you ‘feel’ if your pet has a fever?

It works in kids so can you ‘feel’ if your pet has a fever?
Dr. Chris Brown
by DR. CHRIS BROWN

It’s a skill every human parent prides themselves on. Pressing the back of their hand or their wrist against a child’s forehead to find out if they’re running a fever or catching a chill. But does it work with pets?

Well, the answer is no…and yes. Let me explain. Our pet’s run hot. Very hot. In fact, their ‘normal’ body temperature is almost a full 2 degrees higher than ours. Amazingly, a temperature of 39.2 is actually considered completely normal. As a result, most of the time if you touch your wrist to their skin (between their front or back legs) they’ll feel warm whether they are or not making a fever a hard one to pick. But you can use this test to detect hypothermia. Because of their high ‘normal’ body temperature, if you touch them (back of wrist to their bare skin) and they feel cold, there’s a good chance they are…

Oh and if they’re looking at you strangely while you put your wrist between their legs, just remind them of exactly how the vet takes their temperature. That should immediately encourage them to cooperate!

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