Dealing with Your Pets Temperature the Right and Proper WayAuthor: Tony Cooper
One of the most important things you can do is to prepare a natural first aid kit for your pet. The last thing you want to do in a crisis is frantically look around for things you need to administer your pet first aid care. Your first aid kit should contain everything you could need in a medical emergency and should be well organized and easy to carry if you travel with your dog.
No pet first aid kit should be without a thermometer. A pet's temperature can tell you a lot about your pet's health. You should take your dog's temperature as soon as you notice any signs of ill health such as lack of appetite, diarrhea or vomiting. Dogs with a high fever are usually lethargic and listless. Taking your pet's temperature will alert you to any existing fever and you should immediately make sure your pet doesn't become dehydrated. Dehydration can be fatal in a relatively short time. Taking your dog's temperature will also be helpful when consulting with your vet as it will give him important information about your pet's condition.
A heating pad is another useful and important thing to stock in your first aid kit. Heat therapy can be very beneficial in pain management as well as reviving your pet if it goes into shock. When buying a heating pad for your dog make sure you get one specifically designed for dogs otherwise he may end up chewing it and harming himself. Microwaveable towels are also a good item to have in your first aid kit, they can be very useful for using as a warm wrap over painful limbs or to keep your dog warm during stress or shock.
Pedialyte solution is a must have in any self respecting first aid kid. Pedialyte is an electrolyte solution that can help revive a dehydrated dog, Gatorade can be used when there's no pedialyte solution available. This solution can be safely given to any dog suffering from dehydration or shock and it can literally save your dog's life. Your first aid kit should also include bandage, gauze and a disinfectant for surface wounds. Antibiotic cream is always handy to have as well.
Karo syrup is invaluable in reviving a dog quickly due to its high sugar content and should be included in your kit. You should also keep some hydrogen peroxide for inducing vomiting if need be, but please bear in mind that you should only do this if specifically directed by your vet. Activated charcoal is a good item to keep close to hand as it can help absorb toxins if your dog ingests poisons, again this is only to be done under the specific supervision of your vet as different poisonous substances require different treatments.
A well prepared first aid kit is something you really should put some time and consideration in, you don't want to find yourself faced with an emergency and find yourself badly prepared, better safe than sorry!
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How to Know Your Dogs Body Temperature
By Caroline Sanchez
Like humans, a dog's normal body temperature should stay within a certain range. A temperature too high or too low could indicate something serious and you should take your dog to a veterinarian. The normal body temperature for dogs ranges between 99.5� to 102.5�F. It would be a good idea to learn how to take your dog's temperature when he's not sick so that you'll both get the hang of it before you have to do it in an emergency situation or when the dog isn't feeling well.
The first thing you need to know about taking your dog's temperature is that you're not going to stick the thermometer in his mouth and get him to stand there and wait until the it beeps and gives a readout. It doesn't work that way. In case you haven't figured it out yet, that means that you have to take your dog's temperature rectally. Therein lies the second thing that you need to do, which is enlist the aid of a friend to help you while you perform this procedure.
Okay, here are the tools you're going to need:
1. A friend
2. A rectal thermometer that you don't ever plan to use again for family members
3. Petroleum jelly
4. Rubbing Alcohol
5. Cotton Ball or Tissue
6. String (to tie to the end of the rectal thermometer in case it slips in too far)
First, get your friend to hold the dog still. Both the dog and the friend should be in a standing position. Clean off the rectal thermometer with alcohol and the cotton ball or tissue. Do not use a thermometer that is not labeled for rectal use. You might want to specifically label the thermometer FOR DOG USE ONLY so that it doesn't accidentally get used otherwise. There are also inexpensive pet digital thermometers that you can buy that are easier to read. Apply petroleum jelly to the tip of the rectal thermometer. Have your friend grasp your dog's tail, lifting it up while you gently use a twisting motion inserting the thermometer into the dog's rectum about 1 inch deep. If the thermometer gets encased in fecal matter, your reading may not be accurate. Retain your grip on the thermometer and wait 2 minutes for a mercury thermometer or until the digital thermometer beeps. Slowly remove the thermometer and review the readout. After determining the temperature, shake down the thermometer (if it is mercury) or shut it off (if digital) and clean it with alcohol after every use.
You're probably wishing that I had mentioned this first, but there are now ear thermometers. Unfortunately, because they're relatively new to the market, they tend to be somewhat expensive and they aren't considered as accurate. Additionally, because dogs' ears vary to breed, they aren't always as easy to use on all dogs. It's said that most puppies respond well to use of an ear thermometer.
By learning to check your dog's temperature, you could determine if there is a health issue or reason for concern and then contact your veterinarian if you feel there are any problems.