8 Ball In The Wind

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Salmon Poisoning In Dogs


It is that time of year again, the fish are running, and I spread the word about the dangers of Salmon Poisoning to your dogs.  I wish I knew a few years ago what I know now...I probably wouldn't have lost my Bertha Butt like I did.  Believe me, it is a horrible way for a dog to die.

Salmon Poisoning In Dogs

Salmon poisoning in dogs is from the ingestion of certain kinds of raw fish that contain parasites that are toxic to dogs.  If you suspect that your dog might have come in contact with these parasites, contact your veterinarian immediately since thus condition can cause death.

Salmon poisoning can be fatal.  It occurs when a dog takes into its mouth (not necessarily even consuming or swallowing anything) certain types of raw fish such as uncooked salmon or trout.  Salmon and other types of fish that swim upstream to breed can be infected with a parasite called Nanophyetus calmincola.  The parasite is harmless but many are infect with an organism called Neorickettsia helminthoeca that is the cause of the poisoning.  If you suspect that your dog was wandering near a stream or lake with wild fish, or their remains, or if the ate garbage that may contain fish, tell your veterinarian.
The disease is most common west of the Cascade mountain range of the Pacific Northwest.  Treatment is effective using a combination of a dewormer and antibiotics.
Generally clinical signs appear within six days of a dog contacting an infected fish, with death occurring within 14 days.  Left untreated, there is a 90% mortality rate in dogs.
Symptoms are severe and include:

*lack of appetite
*swollen lymph nodes
*bloody diarrhea

Your veterinarian will diagnose salmon poisoning by taking a stool sample or they can use a needle to extract liquid from a lymph node.  If the parasite’s eggs are detected or even suspected, given the risk of this illness, treatment will start.
Treatment includes an antibiotic and a dewormer to help with the parasite.  If your dog is dehydrated then intravenous fluid will be needed.  Once treatment has started there should be an improvement within 2 days.
REMEMBER, YOUR DOG DOES NOT NEED TO EAT THE FISH!!  Simply getting the slime from the fish into their saliva can be enough to cause infection.  If you suspect your dog has been in or near water with wild fish, bathe them, and watch them closely for symptoms.  REMEMBER, THERE IS A 90% MORTALITY RATE if left untreated.  Even if your dog is lucky enough to be among the 10% survivors, it is likely to have severe kidney damage and other serious health issues for the rest of its life.


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