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Hello, I'm Dr Gary. I've been practicing veterinary medicine since 2007. I look forward to helping with your questions/ concerns.
I would agree that it sounds like an infection that is present. This could be in the mouth (tooth root infection), between the toes on the skin or somewhere else that we may just not find.
If there is a fever (> 103 F), then I would want to use an antibiotic. The exam may find the source of fever, but many times we don't actually find it. A lot of the time we're just treating with antibiotics for the most likely source.
The shivering is a common sign with fevers in dogs. We often times see that trembling and lethargy. It will typically improve and resolve once antibiotics are started and the fever breaks.
I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.
We gauge dehydration by the gums- see if they're dry/ tacky. We also pull up the scruff and see how quickly the skin snaps back down. In really dehydrated dogs, we'll feel thready pulses and there will be a high heart rate.
A normal heart rate is 80-120 beats per minute. Up to 140 in small breed dogs. > 160 is pretty high. > 180 is serious.