You are here:

Ask the Veterinarian/Fever in Pets.


Dear Dr Anand

Can we check and measure the Body Temperature in Pets viz dog, cat, Horse etc?.

Similar to Human Body Temperature exceeding 104 Fahrenheit could be fatal, What will be the Temperature for the pets which if it exceeds could be fatal for them?.


Hi Prashant,

Definitely we do measure the temperatures in animals also. Commonly we measure the rectal temperature in animals, whereas in humans we can take oral, rectal or under the armpit readings.Mind you, fever or Pyrexea is not a disease and is only a symptom of a disease. Fever is   evinced because of the bodily reaction or our immune mechanism acting against a foreign body, that could be a micro organism or even chemicals etc and could be exogenous or endogenous

As you said beyond a certain temperature it can be fatal to animals  also.

There are diurnal temperature variations in animals based on the environment. For example camels go hyperthermic during day and hypothermic during night to tide over summer,when water is it can be 40.5 degree C in daytime, down to 34.5 degree C at night.

         Rectal Temperature of Animals & Birds.

Animals          C          F

Foal during the first few days  Up to 39.3          Up to 102.7

Foal to the 4th year          37.5 - 38.5          99.5 -101.3

Horse,Adult          37.5 - 38.5          99.5-101.3

Horse, over 5 years          37.5 - 38.5          99.5 - 100.4

Ass          37.5 - 38.5          99.5-101.3

Mules          38.8 - 39.0          101.8-102.2

Calf, young          38.5 - 40.5          101.3-104.9

Young cattle up to 1 year     38.5 - 40.0          101.3-104.0

Cattle over 1 year          37.5 - 39.5          99.5 - 101.5

Buffalo          37.5 - 39.0          99.5 - 102.2

Came          l35.5 - 38.6          95.0-101.5

Lamb (sheep)          38.5 - 40.5          101.3-104.9

Sheep over 1 year          38.5 - 40.0          101.3-104.0

Kid (goat)          38.5-41.0          101.3-105.8

Goat, Adult          38.5 - 40.5          101.3-104.9

Piglet          39.0 - 40.5          101.2-104.9

Pig, Adult          38.0 - 40.0          100.4-104.0

Dog          37.5 - 39.0          99.5 -102.2

Cat          38.0 - 39.5          100.4-103.1

Rabbit          38.5 - 39.5          101.3 - 103.1

Guinea pig          37.8 - 39.5          100.0-103.1

Mink          39.7 - 0.8          103.5-105.4

Rhesus monkey       37.5 - 38.5          99.5-101.3

Domestic Fowl         40.5 - 43.0          104.9-109.4

Pegion          41.0 - 44.1          105.8 - 111.4

Pegion          average  41.8          average 107.2

Duck          average 40.7          average 105.3

Other Aquatic Birds    average 42.2          average 108.0

Fever is an important feature for the diagnosis of disease in domestic animals. The body temperature of animals, which is taken rectally, is different from one species to another. For example, a horse is said to have a fever above 101 F (38.3 C). In species that allow the body to have a wide range of "normal" temperatures, such as camels, it is sometimes difficult to determine a febrile stage. So probably you are aware now that various factors affects the body temperature of an animal.

The normal body temperature in humans is 98.6F.The body temperature of above 104F is likely to be fatal due to the damage done to enzymes in critical biochemical pathways (e.g. respiratory enzymes).
Generally in animals( except birds) if the fever exceeds 107F there is significant risk of permanent organ damage and that can be fatal.  

Ask the Veterinarian

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Dr S Bindu Anand


Large and Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, Farm Management,Preventive medicine


A Senior Veterinary Surgeon with more than 25 years experience in the field of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry. Mixed animal Practice that will utilize my skills in medicine and surgery, public health, client relations, and developing relationships within the community, such as humane society

Veterinary Consultant with Department of Animal Resources,Ministry of Environment,State of Qatar (Present). Animal Husbandry Department, Government of Kerala, India. Oakland's Park, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom. Severnside Veterinary Center, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom. Saud Bahwan Group, Sultanate of Oman. Trivandrum Regional Co-operative Milk Producers Union,Kerala,India.

BVSc & AH (Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry) 1990. College of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, Mannuthy, Thrissur, Kerala, India under Kerala Agricultural University. Certificates Of Accomplishments- Equine Nutrition- University of Edinburgh Principles of Public Health-University of California, Irvine. AIDS- Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. General Environmental Health EPHOC-Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. Food Protection-EPHOC-Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. Zoonoses:University of Minnesota-School of Public Health online. Food Safety:University of Minnesota-School of Public Health online. Occupational Safety and Health-EPHOC-Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. Rabies Educator Certified -Global Alliance for Rabies Control. Animal Handler & Vaccinator Educator Certified -Global Alliance for Rabies Control. Wildlife Conservation-United for Wildlife

©2016 All rights reserved.