Dog Warm Between the Shoulder Blades? 5 Possible Causes!

The telltale signs of fever in dogs are something all pet owners are familiar with. But what if only certain parts of the dog’s body are warm to the touch. For example, what if a dog is warm between the shoulder blades? 

Dog warm between shoulder blades – what does it mean? A dog that is warm between the shoulder blades is not a normal situation and definitely requires further investigation. There are several possible reasons, including poor blood circulation, inflammation, and infection. 

In this article, we will talk about the reasons dogs get warm between the shoulder blades. We will review each reason separately and give possible solutions. We will also give tips on when it is time to call the vet. 

Why Is My Dogs Back Hot Between Their Shoulder Blades?

Well, there are many reasons dogs can be warm or even hot between their shoulder blades. Some reasons are perfectly normal and expected, while others are indicative of more severe underlying issues. Here is a list of the potential reasons why dogs may get warm between the shoulders. 

Reason number 1: Laying against warm objects 

The first and simplest reason why a dog might be hot between its shoulder blades is laying on or against warm surfaces. Some dogs are more cold-sensitive than others and in constant search of heat sources. 

Therefore, it is not uncommon for dogs to lay against heater vents or too close to the fireplace. Luckily, this is easy to spot and differentiate from the other causes on this list. All you need to do is observe your dog’s behavior to see where it sits and whether there is a nearby heating source. 

Keep in mind that standing too close to such sources can be hazardous as the dog’s fur can get damaged, leaving the skin exposed to burns. Make sure the ambient temperature is pleasant but do not allow the dog to lay so close to heat sources. 

Reason number 2: Vaccination reaction 

This is a relatively benign scenario as well. Namely, vaccines are a regular part of dog care, and based on the vet’s practice; it is possible for the vaccines to be applied between the shoulder blades. Some more sensitive dogs are likely to develop local reactions after being injected. 

In such cases, the local reaction manifests with inflammation. Local warmth is one of the signs of inflammation. The injection site will also be painful to the touch, and the dog might be feeling unwell – lethargic and depressed.

If your dog is having a bad local reaction to the previously received vaccination, you need to let the vet know. In most cases, the issue resolves within a few days. However, you need to be careful not to touch the painful site. 

Reason number 3: Poor blood circulation

Poor blood circulation is the next reason on the list, and this is, in fact, a pathological issue. In dogs with poor blood circulation, the blood gets redirected to specific body areas. 

Common reasons for this are heart issues which result in irregular blood pumping. Which areas will get supplied with blood and warm and which will be less supplied and cold varies, but because of the dog’s anatomy, the area between the shoulder blades is usually warm. 

A dog with a heart problem will show additional signs and symptoms such as exercise intolerance, panting, trouble running, and pale or bluish gums. Heart problems are life-threatening and require immediate veterinary attention and, if possible adequate treatment. 

Reason number 4: Inflammatory response

Another reason a dog might be getting warm between the shoulder blades are inflammations. Inflammations can occur due to an array of reasons, including allergies, injuries such as hot spots, the presence of fleas and external parasites, etc. 

In such cases, the inflammation can be localized between the blades or more distributed and affects other body areas as well. Also, based on the exact underlying cause, the dog will be manifesting additional worrisome signs and symptoms. 

A dog with inflammation anywhere on the body requires veterinary attention. The exact treatment will depend on the type of underlying problem. 

Reason number 5: Infections 

When talking about infections, we usually refer to systemic infections that will make the dog’s body temperature rise and develop a fever. A dog with increased body temperature will feel warm to the touch, not just between the shoulder blades but in general. It will also be lethargic, with decreased appetite, and disinterested in everyday activities. 

Finding the cause of the infection is paramount. The treatment usually entails antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications. However, which antibiotic will be best depends on the causative agent. 

Should I Be Worried if My Dog Is Warm on Its Back?

Yes, excess warmth between the dog’s shoulder blades is a red flag and a cause of concern. This situation is not considered normal and should be carefully evaluated. 

Considering the range of potential culprits, it is best to seek professional veterinary help early on. The vet will establish the underlying reason and suggest potential solutions and treatment. 

What Should I Do if My Dog Is Warm Between Their Shoulder Blades?

As noted, if your dog is warm between the shoulder blades, it is best advised to call your trusted veterinarian. However, before calling the vet, you should evaluate the situation. That way, you will be able to provide useful information that will aid the diagnostic process. 

Here are some of the things and factors you should consider while evaluating the problem:

  • Is the dog always warm between the shoulders 
  • If not, when is it warm, and when is it not warm 
  • Is the warmth intensity always the same 
  • If not, when is the warmth at its peak
  • Is there something unique about it
  • When did the issue start 
  • Is the dog showing additional signs and symptoms 
  • What is the dog’s body temperature during episodes?

Answering these questions before calling the vet will prepare you for an educated consult with the veterinarian. The more info you can provide, the easier it will be for the vet to establish the issue once you go to the clinic for an in-person examination.  

Summing Up: Dog Warm Between the Shoulder Blades 

All in all, a dog that is warm between the shoulder blades requires veterinary attention. Some underlying causes are more serious than others, but at the end of the day, they all require proper management. 

If your dog is warm between the shoulders, analyze the issue for a day or two, gather useful information, and then call the vet to schedule an appointment. The sooner the vet sets a diagnosis, the sooner your dog will be back to its normal self. 


  • Brad

    Hi I'm Brad, the founder of Having been a vet of 6 years I work alongside our team to provide valuable insight into your dog's health. I have a frenchie myself named Senzu who is my pride and joy!

Leave a Comment