Salmon has a popular reputation as a delicious and healthy fish. In fact, it’s considered one of the healthiest fishes for human and pet consumption – but can it be offered raw to our furry friends? Can dogs eat raw salmon?
Can dogs eat raw salmon?
No, dogs cannot eat raw salmon. Especially if the salmon comes from the Pacific Northwest! Salmon poisoning can occur when dogs eat raw or uncooked salmon, due to a parasitic flatworm called Nanophyetus salmincola. If this parasite is infected with a bacteria called Neorickettsia helminthoeca, salmon poisoning in dogs can easily occur.
For humans and cats there is no development of the poisoning signs – only mild gastrointestinal issues can occur. For dogs, however, this can be fatal.
Salmon poisoning is more common in Washington, Oregon, northern California, and southern Vancouver Island.
What are the signs of toxicity?
Signs of salmon poisoning take some time to appear. They are typically seen within a week after eating infected raw or undercooked salmon, trout, steelhead, or Pacific Giant Salamanders, and include:
- Lack of appetite
- Discharge from eyes and nose
- Increased respiratory and heart rate
- Tremors and seizures
If no treatment is provided, most dogs unfortunately die in two weeks. As you can tell, it’s a very serious matter, indeed.
What to do if my dog ate raw salmon?
If your dog ingested raw salmon and exhibits any of the described symptoms, you need to take them to the vet immediately. Early diagnosis and treatment are the key to a full recovery.
As always, the best treatment is prevention, so do not allow your pup to eat raw fish from the pacific northwest. Also, make sure to keep them under control while on any fishing trips.
Additionally, prevent your dog from interacting with any trash cans or garbage which may contain raw fish. Remember, salmon disease poisoning is fatal without treatment, so eating raw salmon is out of question!
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