Symptoms of Salmon Poisoning Disease in Dogs

Source: PetWave, Updated on July 16, 2015
Salmon Poisoning

How Salmon Poisoning Disease Affects Dogs

How salmon poisoning affects dogs can vary quite a bit. Most dogs initially get feverish to some degree, but then their fever tends to go away. Their temperature may even drop to below normal. When dogs are severely affected, they usually develop gastrointestinal symptoms, including abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea, within one or two weeks after eating raw infected fish. The signs can be virtually indistinguishable from the signs of distemper or parvoviral infection, especially in young animals.

Symptoms of Salmon Poisoning Disease

Dogs with salmon poisoning disease typically become obviously sick within about 5 to 7 days after they eat infected raw fish. This disease can be fatal, especially if it is not caught and treated early enough in its course. Owners of dogs with salmon poisoning may notice one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Diarrhea (often profuse; may be dark with digested blood or bright red with fresh blood)
  • Vomiting (usually persistent)
  • Enlarged lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy; lymphadenomegaly; usually pronounced)
  • Nasal discharge (abnormal discharge from the nostrils)
  • Ocular discharge (abnormal discharge from the eyes)
  • Swollen eyelids (edema)
  • Fever (often high and severe)
  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Loss of appetite (inappetence; anorexia; often absolute)
  • Weight loss (often profound)
  • Elevated heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Poor pulse quality (usually only detected by a veterinarian during a physical examination)
  • Anemia (abnormally low levels of circulating red blood cells; usually only detected by a veterinarian during a physical examination)
  • Collapse
  • Death (unfortunately common in untreated animals)

Dogs at Increased Risk

Salmon poisoning can affect dogs of any age, breed or mixed breed. There is no gender predisposition to this disease. Dogs that have access to raw fish in the Pacific northwestern United States and western coastal Canada, especially if they are exposed to brackish streams, lakes or beaches, have an increased risk of contracting this disease. Hunting dogs and dogs that are allowed to roam freely in the Pacific Northwest have a heightened chance of coming into contact with infected fish. Most cases occur during late summer through the first part of winter, when dogs have the greatest access to dead and dying fish as they spawn up through northwestern rivers and creeks.

Disorders Similar to Salmon Poisoning (Nanophyteus Salmincola)

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