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  • Author or Editor: Justin C. Mathis x
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Abstract

OBJECTIVE To compare axillary and rectal temperature measurements obtained with a digital thermometer for Beagles in a temperature- and humidity-controlled environment.

ANIMALS 26 healthy Beagles (17 sexually intact males and 9 sexually intact females).

PROCEDURES Dogs were maintained in a temperature- and humidity-controlled environment for 56 days before rectal and axillary temperatures were measured. Axillary and rectal temperatures were obtained in triplicate for each dog by use of a single commercially available manufacturer-calibrated digital thermometer.

RESULTS Mean rectal and axillary temperatures of Beagles maintained in a temperature- and humidity-controlled environment were significantly different, with a median ± SD difference of 1.4° ± 0.15°C (range, 0.7° to 2.1°C). Mean rectal and axillary temperatures were 38.7°C (range, 37.6° to 39.5°C) and 37.2°C (range, 36.6° to 38.3°C), respectively.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results of this study indicated that the historical reference of a 0.55°C gradient between rectal and axillary temperatures that has been clinically used for veterinary patients was inaccurate for healthy Beagles in a temperature- and humidity-controlled environment. Rectal and axillary temperatures can be measured in veterinary patients. Reliable interpretation of axillary temperatures may accommodate patient comfort and reduce patient anxiety when serial measurement of temperatures is necessary. Further clinical studies will be needed.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research