How To Take Your Pet's TemperatureGive a bath · Give cat meds · Give dog meds · Take a temperature · Related articles
Normal rectal temperatureNormal rectal temperature for adult dogs and cats is 100-102° F or 37.7-38.8°C.
Normal rectal temperature for newborn puppies and kittens is 96° F or 35.5°C.
Why take the temperature?A pet’s temperature should be taken if you suspect
Equipment Used To Take Your Pet's Temperature:
ThermometerThermometers can be glass or plastic. Plastic has the advantage of not breaking, but glass has the advantage of being easier to clean. Plastic thermometers usually have a digital readout. If using a plastic digital thermometer, find one that is sealed and waterproof so that it is easily cleaned. It’s ok to use a human thermometer for your pet, but designate it as a pet-only thermometer, especially if you are planning to use it as a rectal thermometer.
Rubbing alcoholRubbing alcohol (isopropyl) kills bacteria and many viruses. Rubbing alcohol of 50-70% is a better disinfectant than 90% alcohol.
Rubbing alcohol doesn’t kill bacterial spores, such as clostridial spores, which may be present in feces. Nor does alcohol kill all viruses. For example, parvovirus that affects dogs (but not cats) is not killed by alcohol. If you suspect a pet has parvovirus, use bleach to clean the thermometer. Finally, alcohol doesn’t disinfect through clumps of fecal matter, so wipe the thermometer clean before putting it in alcohol.
Plastic sleeve to cover thermometerPlastic thermometer sleeves are easy to use because they’re slick and you won’t need lubrication. Also, they decrease the time needed to clean equipment.
TreatsKeep your pet’s mouth engaged while taking a rectal temperature. Give your pet a treat or spread peanut butter, cream cheese, or braunswager on a spoon so your pet takes time licking it off while you work. Or, spread the treat along the refrigerator door so your pet stands and licks.
How to take a Rectal Temperature
Practice taking rectal temperature so that you’re familiar with your pet’s baseline temperature and so that the technique is second nature in case of emergency.
Cleaning a rectal thermometer after taking rectal temperatureRinse fecal matter off with cool water and wipe with flushable paper. When the thermometer is clean, immerse the end that contacted the pet in rubbing alcohol for several minutes. If you’ve used a plastic sleeve, it’s still recommended to clean the thermometer with alcohol.
Wash your hands with soap and water.
Why the reading may be inaccurateRectal thermometer was
When to contact your veterinarian
If the thermometer breaks within your pet, contact the veterinary clinic immediately.
|This information is for educational purposes only and is intended to be a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise and professional judgment of your veterinarian. The information is NOT to be used for diagnosis or treatment of your pet. You should always consult your own veterinarian for specific advice concerning the treatment of your pet.
The information about medications is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, allergic reactions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for your pet. It is not a substitute for a veterinary exam, and it does not replace the need for services provided by your veterinarian.
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