At some point your four legged companion may become ill and by determining wether or not he has a fever or becomes hypothermic is by taking your pet’s temperature.
The procedure is relatively easy if you have a suitable thermometer, you can learn how to take your pet’s temperature properly which can help determine if immediate veterinary care is needed.
For a dog’s normal rectal temperature is approximately 38.3-38.7°C (102.5 – 101.6°F).
For a cat’s normal rectal temperature is approximately 38 – 38.5°C (100.4 – 101.3°F).
For your rabbit’s normal rectal temperature is approximately 38 – 38.5°C (100.4 – 101.3°F).
For your guinea pig’s normal rectal temperature is approximately 38-39°C (101.5 – 102.2°F).
If your pet has a high or low temperature this may indicate a trip to your veterinarian, depending on other symptoms, as temperatures may raise or fall if stressed, on warm/cold days or any health conditions.
Feeling the ears, nose or head is not considered a reliable method; you have to determine your pet’s internal temperature to find out for certain. This is done using a rectal thermometer, either digital or mercury.
Instructions for Rectal Temperatures:
It may seem uncomfortable for your pet as they may not be used to it, an assistant would make it easier by holding your pet.
If using a mercury thermometer, remember to shake it with a quick flick of the wrist until the mercury is below 94 degrees.
Or if using a digital thermometer turn on and shake it so it can reset its self. Then lubricate the thermometer with petroleum jelly, KY jelly or other water-based lubricant.
Taking your dog’s temperature have your helper hold the head and front part of the body by tightly hugging your dog and then lift the tail.
For your cat have your helper gently hold your cat’s side by placing your arm around and stroke his head, then lift the tail.
For your rabbit or guinea pig have your helper gently cradle him on his back in your arms or lap.
Insert the thermometer slowly and carefully into the rectum, located just below the base of the tail. Insert the thermometer about 1 inch and slightly tilt to the side so it can touch the rectal wall and then and hold in place – two minutes for mercury thermometers or until the digital thermometer beeps usually 1 minute.
Remove the thermometer, read the temperature and clean.
Please seek veterinary assistance in an emergency.
Next time your pet is at a veterinary practice ask the veterinary surgeon or nurse to show you how to take your pets temperature.