Canine Salmon Poisoning | Salmon Poisoning in Dogs

Canine Salmon Poisoning | Salmon Poisoning in Dogs

Salmon poisoning in dogs
is caused by Neorickettsia helminthoeca. Dogs are infected when they eat fish (primarily salmon) infected with a fluke (Nanophyetus salmincola) that carries the rickettsia. The rickettsia spreads to the intestines and most lymph nodes, causing inflammation. The disease is principally found in the Pacific northwestern Unites States because the snail intermediate host for N. salmincola lives there.

Dogs, not cats, are affected. The severity of signs varies and may include fever, anorexia, vomiting, generalized lymphadenopathy and diarrhea. The diarrhea is typically small bowel but may become bloody. Inappropriate therapy may result to death.

Presumptive diagnosis is usually based on the dog's habitat plus a history of recent consumption of raw fish or exposure to streams or lakes. Finding Nanophyetus spp. ova in the stool or rickettsia in fine-needles aspirates of enlarged lymph nodes is confirmatory.

Salmon poisoning treatment for dogs consists of symptomatic control of dehydration, vomiting, and diarrhea and elimination of the rickettsia and fluke. Tetracycline, oxy tetracycline, doxycyline, or chloramphenicol eliminates the rickettsia. The fluke is killed with praziquantel.

The prognosis depends on the clinical severity at the time of diagnosis. Most dogs respond favorably to tetracyclines and supportive therapy. The key to success is awareness of the disease. Untreated salmon poisoning in dogs has a poor prognosis.

We would love to hear your pet's story. Please add a comment.