Can dogs take tylenol?
I'll try and explain it as I understand it...
The reason this isn't something you should be giving your dog is because it is potentially dangerous to do so. I've seen it recommended as a treatment for vomiting in a number of books and online, but I can find very few references to it.
It's only recommended as a treatment for vomiting in the rarest of circumstances - when it is causing other problems. For example, if a dog has taken something like a sleeping pill, it's recommended to try giving them a paracetamol when they vomit. But a paracetamol is generally not going to cause any problems, so if you don't need to treat them for anything else then giving them a paracetamol is perfectly safe.
I guess if you're going to be using tylenol then you might as well use it on yourself (as it will be easier to control your dosage!)
In theory, it shouldn't be a problem but obviously there's no guarantees so be careful, make sure you double check with your vet first. If you're giving it orally you want to make sure that the dose is the same that the bottle says (you can be dosing with an oral syringe and a spoon for this).
I'm currently researching this myself because my vet is suggesting tylenol but I can find no evidence that it is safe for dogs. I have done a bit of research and found no evidence of it being anything other than a pain killer for dogs.
If you are a vet, you can't really comment on their quality because you weren't the prescribing vet. But I would say a dog with a high fever would be an indicator of something else going on, so I would recommend it as a last resort treatment only. It's generally not necessary for a dog that is only suffering from fever.
This link has lots of information, but the main thing is don't exceed the recommended dosage!
There are other alternatives that work just as well, but a vet can give the appropriate advice in that case. For me, though, it's the cost factor (it's an over-the-counter product) that makes me reluctant to prescribe it (it's usually a prescription).
The main thing to look for in a dog with a fever is whether their bowels have been normal. If they've been constipated or have had diarrhea, a fever might indicate a GI upset or infection that might need looking into. If the dog is not eating or has not defecated in a while, a fever might be something more serious than just a minor illness. It is a good idea to check with the vet to see if they might recommend a blood panel and other things they might ask to rule out other causes of fever.
The main thing to consider here is whether the cause of the fever is something more than just infection. If you do a search online for "canine fever", a lot of dogs are listed as having fever because the dogs are simply sick. If this is your case, it might be because your dog has a cold, something else like kidney or liver disease or pancreatitis. The vet will have more information and will want to know more about your dog to help rule out possible causes, but if it is something you don't want to deal with, I would suggest keeping your dog at home.
We've had a lot of dogs in our home for many years and a large percentage of them never seem to actually have colds (no fever, no discharge) but they have just been sniffling and seem to have a runny nose. Is there any test for something like that?
The two main things to look at are the heart rate and respiration rate. Dogs with a runny nose will often have a slower heart rate. You can use a stethoscope to do a pulse check to confirm this.
If the pet is having trouble breathing, he will have increased respiration rates. Dogs with colds often have increased respiration rates. We've also had to watch out for a small subset of dogs who when they are ill, they get really hot, panting and it takes several attempts to get enough air into their lungs for a breath and they will do that all day long. These dogs look miserable, but are actually healthy. If you've ever seen a dog with heat exhaustion from overexertion or just sitting in the heat for several hours, they can look and act exactly like this. If you are concerned you can check for a fever and if it is there you should probably take your dog to the vet.
In other words, there are a lot of symptoms, is there anything I should be watching out for?
The main thing is to watch your pet carefully to be sure he is healthy. I've seen both cats and dogs that have very runny noses that turn into something more and you might notice a change in the pet's behavior or weight gain. If your pet seems to have an increased heart rate or increased respiration rate I'd recommend seeing the vet.
One thing to keep in mind is that if your dog does have a cold and it is serious enough to cause coughing, it is possible for it to spread. So if you notice he seems to be getting worse over the course of a day, you may want to take him in for a checkup.
If your dog is not eating and drinking and breathing properly and the vet says that is because they have had the sniffles they may need some extra fluids. They are probably not dehydrated because their stomach is empty, however sometimes they may be hungry. I don't think you will ever know if your dog is hungry or dehydrated without the vet.
As for the body temperature I don't think it is much more than a few degrees up or down from normal. For my dogs it can jump 10 degrees or more from normal to show an infection and they need to be taken to the vet for a full check up. My vet has given me some antibiotics and pain meds for my dogs with minor infections that were just slightly high. It just means that the dog feels run down.