Officials Warn Of 'Poisoning Disease' Affecting Dogs In California

By iHeartRadio

April 18, 2024

Photo: Vera Vita/Moment/Getty Images

A potentially deadly bacterial disease called salmon poisoning disease (SPD) has been reported in four dogs in Southern California, prompting an animal health advisory from the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control, per KTLA.

Despite its name, SPD is not a poisoning. It's caused by a bacteria found in a parasite that lives in wild fish, particularly trout caught in local lakes. Dogs can become seriously ill from SPD, with symptoms including lethargy, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and in some cases, death.

The four dogs who tested positive for SPD were treated at an emergency veterinary center in Pasadena between June 2023 and March 2024. All four dogs have since recovered, but they did require hospitalization.

"Thankfully, all four dogs responded well to treatment and made full recoveries," said Sarah Garrity, a veterinarian at Thrive Pet Healthcare in Pasadena.

Two of the dogs that tested positive live in Los Angeles County, and the other two live in the Inland Empire, KTLA reports. Three of the dogs were exposed to raw trout from lakes in San Bernardino County while the fourth was exposed in Los Angeles County.

Officials say dogs usually become sick around five days after exposure to the bacteria and add that treatment with an antibiotic is crucial in ensuring their health. Dog owners are urged not to feed their pets raw trout from sport fishing or allow them to drink water that was used to clean fish. If a dog has been exposed, owners should monitor their pet for up to two weeks and watch for potential symptoms.

Any trout should be thoroughly cooked before it's eaten, and anyone who handles raw fish should always wash their hands afterward. For more information about SPD, visit the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control's website.

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