Friday, November 11, 2016

Veterinary Highlights: New Spin on Salmon Poisoning

Salmon poisoning is often a fatal disease caused by ingestion of raw fish infected with Neorickettsia helminthoeca parasite. 

The poisoning, however, doesn't come from the parasite itself but from the bacteria which infects it. 

It used to be accepted that if a dog was infected, treated with antibiotics and recovered, they'd become immune to future poisoning. It was also believed that problem was mostly a concern in the Pacific Northwest.

Now, things might have gotten more complicated.

Researchers at Oregon State University have identified another bacterium, SF agent, found in Stellanchasmus falcatus fluke, that can cause symptoms similar to "salmon poisoning". This bacterium can be found anywhere in the world. It also throws the idea of acquired immunity out the window.

Without treatment, 90 percent of dogs can die in a week to 10 days.

Source article:
Discovery of new bacteria complicates problem with salmon poisoning in dogs


  1. I have never heard the acquired immunity theory- and I had two dogs treated for salmon poisoning! It's scary stuff. Thanks for sharing the latest!

    1. At this point, finding out there is more than one "bug" out there it wouldn't matter anyway. Glad your dogs made it through.

    2. My dogs were treated simply because I thought they may have taken a few bites of a beached salmon. They were symptoms free but with salmon poisoning, by the time symptoms show up, so can death. We were very lucky that my vet is awesome and I knew what happened was not safe. With this new bug, the days of running free even on a beach I have checked over for washed up anything might be over. :(

    3. We don't have any beaches so I can't really relate but I figure that with a solid "leave it" you might be ok? Also, I think that with some sneaky training it might be possible to teach them to leave it even when nobody is around. A condition response of sorts. I'm using something similar teaching Cookie that it's okay to chew up some things such as sticks and the thing to do is to spit out the pieces. She seems to know to do that even when nobody is watching. Conditioned response might be the key.