State/National/WorldFish Rap

CDFW Urges Vigilance Against Salmon Poisoning Disease in Dogs

Amidst the scenic waters of California, a silent threat looms for our beloved canine companions: Salmon Poisoning Disease. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has issued a stern warning to dog owners across the state, urging them to take proactive measures to safeguard their furry friends from this potentially fatal condition.


Salmon Poisoning Disease is a grave concern, striking dogs after they ingest certain types of raw or cold smoked fish contaminated with Neorickettsia helminthoeca, a bacteria-like organism. This pathogen is transmitted by the parasitic flatworm, Nanophyetes salmincola, commonly found in the waters of northern California. While the native range of the fluke predominantly spans the state’s north, dogs throughout California remain susceptible to its harmful effects.


In light of this danger, dog owners are being urged to exercise caution and prevent their pets from coming into contact with salmon, steelhead, trout and other freshwater fish carcasses. The parasite responsible for Salmon Poisoning Disease cannot survive in cooked fish, poses no threat to humans and does not impact any pets aside from dogs.


Recognizing the urgency of early detection, CDFW underscores the importance of vigilant monitoring for symptoms, which mimic those of distemper. Signs to watch for include a spike in body temperature, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, listlessness and rapid weight loss. Should these symptoms manifest, prompt veterinary attention is paramount, as timely treatment can be lifesaving.


Tragically, without intervention, the prognosis for affected dogs is dire. Untreated cases typically result in death within two weeks of fish consumption, with a 90% mortality rate among symptomatic dogs. However, with swift medical intervention, Salmon Poisoning Disease is treatable.


Compounding the challenge is the variable risk posed by fish sourced from Californian streams. While all such fish carry the potential for infection, CDFW cautions that trout stocked in certain waters within the North Central Region are more likely to harbor the flukes responsible for Salmon Poisoning Disease.


To empower dog owners with vital information, the CDFW provides weekly updates on fish stocking activities via its Fish Planting Schedule web page. By remaining vigilant and informed, Californians can mitigate the threat posed by Salmon Poisoning Disease and ensure the well-being of their beloved pets.

Share This:


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *