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  • Idaho Outdoor News

    Salmon Poisoning Disease
    Location: Idaho

    By Jim Lukens, Idaho Fish and Game

    Fall steelhead fishing opportunity will soon be interrupted with the onset of river icing.

    However, anglers will resume fishing with spring thaw. Many anglers enjoy their outings with their canine best friends. I'm sure the dogs enjoy the outings as much as their masters, however, precautions must be taken to prevent serious illness or even death in dogs.

    The threat is Salmon Poisoning Disease, or SPD, caused by a type of bacteria harbored by a parasitic flatworm called a fluke. The flukes live within the tissue of salmon, steelhead or trout. When dogs eat raw fish, they contract the disease. Properly cooked fish prevents the disease.

    Onset of symptoms is usually rapid and can occur within five to seven days following ingestion. Symptoms last seven to 10 days and can be fatal in most untreated dogs. Symptoms include loss of appetite, depression, swollen lymph nodes, fever, vomiting and diarrhea. Symptoms often resemble those of parvo or distemper but diagnosis can be confirmed by documentation of raw fish ingestion, detection of fluke eggs in the dog's stool or a needle biopsy of the lymph node.

    Local veterinarians have experience treating dogs with SPD, and infected dogs respond well to treatment with appropriate antibiotics, fluid therapy and dewormers. What can dog owners do to prevent their dogs from contracting SPD?

    · When eating fish for dinner, wrap up remains and discard them in a garbage can with a tight fitting lid.

    · When going on a fishing trip, either leave dogs at home or keep a close eye on them.

    · Keep dogs on a leash when at the beach or river.

    · Do not allow dogs to eat raw fish at any time.

    Humans that eat raw or under processed infected fish can contract “fish flu” from the host fluke but are unaffected by the bacterial agent that affects canids. Such cases are rare and symptoms include diarrhea or mild abdominal discomfort.

    So, on the next fishing excursion, either leave Fido at home or keep close track of him.

    Jim Lukens is the regional supervisor for the Salmon Region.

    Fish and Game Ends Investigation of Dead Wolves

    The Idaho Fish and Game has concluded its investigation into the deaths of six juvenile wolves on national forest land north of Fairfield.

    Fish and Game conservation officers found the partially decomposed wolves on Friday, August 21. Necropsies have been performed. But the cause of death remains undetermined.

    The necropsy analysis done by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wildlife forensic laboratory in Ashland, Ore., did not find evidence of poison. The wolves were not shot or otherwise physically injured.

    Tissue samples tested positive for canine parvo virus, but the results were inconclusive. Other clinical signs of canine parvoviral enteritis, such as vomiting and diarrhea, were not found.

    Parvo virus is highly contagious and can persist in a contaminated area for five months or more. The infection is often fatal in canids, including wolves. Pups between six weeks and six months are more susceptible than adults.

    At the time of their death, the wolves had otherwise been in good nutritional condition and showed no evidence of physical injury or struggle. They were found in a remote area within 400 yards of each other in various stages of decomposition, and all six died within a few days of each other.

    An adult female with a radio collar was located in the area and observed on September 3. She appeared to be in good physical condition.

    The criminal investigation is closed.

    News Source: Idaho F&G - Dec. 08, 2009

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