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Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2808
Experience:  DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
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I have a 3 lb yorkie, his temp seems to fluctuate often (started thus past week), to the p

Customer Question

I have a 3 lb yorkie, his temp seems to fluctuate often (started thus past week), to the point tht he has fever but then it will go back down quickly. It was happening mostly in the evenings and I thought maybe it was due to being in and outside thru the day. I took him to the vet (our vet clinic but different vet, our's wasn't in). She gave him a shot of of dexamethasone I think 0.15 mg. He hasn't been very lively since. Just wondering if it is the shot causing it. He has no other medical conditions except has had a low specific gravity on a few urine tests. He is 4 yrs old
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
I'm Dr. Jo and I'm here to help you with your question about Bear. I'm so sorry he isn't doing well, but glad you're looking for the information you need.
You may join the conversation at any time by typing in what you want to say then clicking REPLY. That way we can chat back and forth until you're satisfied with the information I've provided and are happy to give me a positive rating.
Can you please start by telling me the range of temperatures you've been seeing with him?
Rest assured, as well, that fevers do indeed commonly follow cyclical patterns of highs and lows.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It has been high 101- low 102s
his norm is around 100 and at times has been 99, but yesterday at 12:00 noon it was 100.8, at 3:00 101.2, last night around 10:00 it was 101.5. I'm taking it now, will get rite back with u
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It is 98.8 now
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
U there?
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the reply. A couple of thoughts for you...
I wouldn't expect a dexamethasone shot to cause a decrease in activity under these circumstances. My suspicion is that either a) this is something unrelated, or b) it's just a normal variation for him.
Another important point is that it's totally normal for an individual dog's temperature to range anywhere from 99 to 102.5. A dog isn't considered to have a fever until it's up over 103. Most dogs with bona fide fevers have temps over 104.
I hope to offer you some peace of mind by letting you know that these temperatures are not at all alarming. At least you don't have to worry about that.
That only leaves the decrease in activity to worry about. As far as that is concerned, as long as there are no other signs along with it like:
-decreased appetite
-labored breathing
-pale gums
-severe bleeding
-severe weakness and collapse
-severe abdominal distension or discomfort
-intractable seizures
I would think it's okay to give him a little more time to see if he recovers on his own.
I also hope to offer you some reassurance by explaining that dexamethasone doesn't last for very long. The shot he received would have been completely out of his system within twelve hours after it was given.
Does this help to address your concerns?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
K, when his temp is very much over 100, his body, ears, paw pads are hot. Along with a dry warm nose
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
Correct. At anything much over 100 degrees he will feel warm to you because your body temperature is cooler than that. Rest assured when a dog has a fever (which is over 103), he'll feel REALLY hot to you or me.
Please rest assured anything under 103 is absolutely not a fever.
Also, it's an old wives tail about dog's noses always being cold and wet. Under normal circumstances a healthy dog's nose will vary from being cold and wet to warm and dry.
Based on everything you've said so far, I don't see anything alarming going on with your dog. I hope that helps you feel a little better about this.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok thank you, ***** ***** me tht no blood work was done. I was comforted tht his specific gravity was good cause his vet had been concerned in the past cause it was low. Just don't want to take a chance of ignoring signs that shouldn't be ignored.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
I totally agree. I'd always much prefer to have owners who are conscientious and observant with their pets than ones who let things go way too far.
If you're still worried in the morning, give your vet a call and say you'd feel better about having some basic diagnostic tests done like blood work and a urinalysis. That never hurts and might help. I'd be especially interested in having it done because the treatment you received (a single shot of dexamethasone) isn't really indicated for anything. I don't have the foggiest idea what your vet thought he was treating with that because there isn't anything a single shot of dexamethasone will fix.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
Is there anything else I may help you with today?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok, his regular vet has never given him tht so I wasn't familiar with it . I was told it was for a fever. After the shot I asked, so tht is used for a fever? Then was told well it's for inflammation so if he has any inflammation it will help the fever. ??? Thank you
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
Yes, it is an anti-inflammatory, but it is rarely used in the modern practice of veterinary medicine under circumstances like you described. Perhaps there was a misunderstanding between you and the vet in regards ***** ***** the diagnosis was and the reason for the treatment. Unfortunately, I am unable to know what transpired between you and the vet so I can't offer much clarification.
As much as I hate to admit it, it may be the case that the vet just wanted to give your dog a shot of something that would be relatively harmless to make you feel better and not worry. Sometimes that's part of how medicine is practiced. Please don't take offense at my mention of that. That is not my intent.
I also want to clarify that #1: You have not given me any reason to think your dog has had a fever, and...
#2: If a dog has a fever, a good veterinarian will pursue the cause of the fever and prescribe treatment accordingly. No vet with current training would simply "...give a shot to treat a fever." It doesn't work that way.
I know it's risky business to judge a situation without the whole story, but based on what you're telling me, I'm not sure you had the greatest experience with this vet.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
Is there anything else I can help you with this evening?
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
Please rest assured I am here to help.
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Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
I'm just checking in to ask how things are going with Bear. I hope he's doing better and that you've found a vet to address your concerns about him.
I also see you haven't accepted my answer yet. Please let me know what else I can do to help you be satisfied with the information I've provided.