Canine Fever | Fever in Dogs

Canine Fever | Fever in Dogs
The term fever in dogs refers to a syndrome of malaise (or nonspecific systemic clinical signs) and pyrexia (or hyperthermia). Dog fever constitutes a protective physiologic response to both infectious and noninfectious causes of inflammation that enhances the host's ability to eliminate a noxious agent.

A variety of stimuli, including bacteria, endotoxins, viruses, immune complexes, activated complement, and necrotic tissue, trigger the release of endogenous pyrogens by the phagocytic system (mainly the mononuclear cells, or macrophages). These endogenous pyrogens include interleukin-1, tumor necrosis factor, and interleukin-6, among others. They activate the preoptic nucleus of the hypothalamus, raising the set point of the thermostat by generating heat (through muscle contraction and shivering) and conserving heat (through vasoconstriction).

In humans, several patterns of fever have been associated with specific disorders; however, this does not apear to be the case in dogs with fever. In people with continuous fever, the pyrexia is maintained for several days or weeks; this type of fever is associated with bacterial endocarditis, central nervous system lesions, tuberculosis, and some malignancies. In people with intermittent fever, the body temperature decreases to normal but rises again for periods of 1 to 2 days; this is seen in brucellosis and some malignancies. In remittent fever the temperature varies markedly each day but is always above normal (i.e., 39.2 degrees Celsius); this type of fever is associated with bacterial infections. The term relapsing fever is used to refer to febrile periods that alternate with variable periods of normal body temperature, as seen in humans with malaria.

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