TACOMA, Wash. — Two dogs in Pierce County were infected by salmon poisoning, and the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County (HSTPC) is urging pet owners to be aware.
Rogue, a 6-month-old, and Brick, a 15-week-old, were dropped off "severely ill" at the HSTPC in Tacoma on March 12, according to the HSTPC, which said both dogs were experiencing diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, lack of appetite and extreme weakness. Veterinary assessments and testing confirmed both dogs were suffering from Neorickettsia helminthoeca, a bacteria that causes salmon poisoning disease.
Salmon poisoning is about 90% fatal to dogs and unique to the Pacific Northwest, the HSTPC said.
“The mortality rate of this disease is often really high,” HSTPC associate shelter veterinarian Dr. Katherine Spaulding said. “If left untreated, dogs usually succumb to the disease within seven to ten days.”
The HSTPC said Rogue and Brick have received 24/7 care with antibiotics, anti-parasitic medications, fluids and constant monitoring, and are "slowly showing signs that they are feeling better. But their healing journeys have just begun."
Neorickettsia helminthoeca comes from bacteria that lives "within a parasite whose hosts are raw salmon and other fish," the HSTPC said. Dogs become ill if they consume the raw fish, the HSTPC added.
The HSTPC is asking for donations on its website and Facebook to help cover the medical care for the dogs.
The HSTPC provided the following tips to keeping your pets safe as outdoor weather begins to return: