Salmon poisoning a threat for dogs in spawning season

KING 5 Environmental Reporter Alison Morrow reports.

It's spawning time for salmon, which is an exciting time for salmon spotting, not just for kids but for dogs.

Take for instance 7-year old Isaac Butterfield's dog, Lucy.

"She likes to just look at weird stuff," he said.

Butterfield was one of many kids at Carkeek Park on Friday checking out all the salmon returning to spawn. But they are dangerous for dogs, if eaten. Dogs can get salmon poisoning and potentially die.

"Salmon poisoning is a bacteria that comes from a worm. The worm is what they get from the salmon, and that worm has to be infected with this bacteria," said Dr. Brandy Cameron.

Cameron says salmon poisoning is a real threat to dogs in the Pacific Northwest, and not uncommon at her clinic, Veterinary Specialty Center in Lynnwood. In fact, her own dog Willa once ate a dead salmon on a hike once. Cameron treated her dog immediately, but some dogs can die within 14 days of infection.

"It can be found even months later in carcasses, which makes it even harder to prevent," she said. "The first thing they get is a fever which usually leads to them not eating. Then they get vomiting, diarrhea. Classically their diarrhea is bloody."

Cooked salmon is safe but raw is risky.

© 2017 KING-TV


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