The goals of treating salmon poisoning disease are to stabilize the dog and resolve the shock, symptoms and systemic illness that typically accompany this disease. It is also critical to eliminate the infective parasite from the dog’s system.
Dogs that are acutely ill from salmon poisoning probably will be admitted to a veterinary hospital. They often need to be given intravenous fluids, electrolytes and medications to control their nausea, vomiting and diarrhea and to restore them to normal hydration levels. Some of the drugs used to treat infection with Neorickettsia helminthoeca are oxytetracycline, doxycycline, tetracycline, ampicillin, chloramphenicol and praziquantel. There are others. These medications have been used alone and sometimes together, depending upon how severe the infection is in a particular dog. Supportive care, including a warm, clean environment and good nutritional support, is also essential. Sometimes, blood transfusions may be necessary, especially if an infected dog becomes severely anemic.
Without aggressive treatment, dogs that eat fresh raw fish infected with Neorickettsia helminthoeca usually die within one or two weeks. With early diagnosis and treatment, the prognosis can be fair to quite good. Unfortunately, many cases go undiagnosed, especially in hunting dogs or dogs that are allowed to roam freely in contaminated areas.