Salmon Poisoning and Your Dog

Salmon Poisoning

And Your Dog

A Precautionary Measure

         (I wrote this several years ago, but it applies to every season here at Fishhawk Lake.)

Around November and December each year, the Fishhawk Lake  folks always get antsy about discovering the salmon spawning in our nearby creeks.  It’s an exciting time for all of us to share how many we’ve spotted and where and who saw one first.

Salmon Spawning Annually at Fishhawk Lake

However, for our four-legged family members, this can spell disaster.  Since I personally experienced this near fatal catastrophy, I felt it only fitting to share valuable information on symptoms and outcomes of this disease.

Salmon poisoning disease (SPD) is not an actual poisoning, but rather an acute and highly fatal rickettsial disease of domestic and wild dogs.  The disease is normally transmitted to dogs upon ingestion of raw fish and is indigenous to rivers in the Pacific Northwest region from northwestern California to southwestern Washington.

Salmon Habitat Project at Fishhawk Lake

It can prove to be fatal in 90% of cases if not caught early.  Typical incubation period is approximately  5 to 7 days.  Some of the clinical signs are: inactivity, depression, sudden onset of fever, diarrhea, vomiting and possible rapid weigh loss.    Serious nasal and ocular discharges are sometimes seen.  They may also have swollen lymph nodes. It can be misdiagnosed, so PLEASE mention this as a possibility if you have been anywhere near salmon territory.  Bottom line: your dog is not acting normally.  We noticed right off that our Golden Retriever, Jenna, wasn’t eating and was lethargic; wasn’t interested in anything, including her brand new Christmas toys—we knew something was up right away!

The first trip to the vet’s office I mentioned potential salmon poisoning, but she wasn’t exhibiting some of the signs, so she got an oral gastric intestinal medication (for her tummy).  Two days later, we were back again, this time with our regular vet and we determined that in fact she actually did have SPD.  Jenna got an IV injection and the vet assured us that within about 24 hours we would see improvements and she would almost be back to her old self.  In her case, she had an adverse reaction to the injection, which showed up immediately around her eyes with puffiness and head shaking.  Thank goodness this started while we were still there and they gave her something to counteract it.

Probably because of all the meds in her system, it took her a couple of days to be 100%, but we are thankful that she’s back to her playful self.

Jenna Kissing My Mom!

Another interesting addendum to this: after your dog experiences this once, it almost acts like a vaccine and they will have a lifelong immunity to the SPD agent.  If you notice some of the above-mentioned symptoms, speak with your vet, but we will have a supply of tetracycline (which is commonly found at most pharmacies) just for this purpose, as was suggested by our vet.

Here is a link you can click on to read more from a Veterinarian website:

Gayle Rich-Boxman Broker,Vernonia Realty Specializing in Fishhawk Lake Recreation Club “Your Gateway to the Lake!” Direct: (503)755-2905 My website: My blog:

About fishhawklakerealtor

I've been the local realtor/neighbor for 14 years who lives full time in the Fishhawk Lake area, a private lake community in the middle of the coastal range in a very small town in Oregon . It's heaven out here and my husband and I have lived here full time for about 12 years and over 15 altogether as weekenders before that. This area is my niche, my specialty, my passion. Doing this is truly a dream come true. Let me help you make it yours. Call me, your local expert: 503-755-2905 REALTOR® John L Scott Market Center Also check out my blog on ActiveRain: Or to check out my listings go to my website:
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s