Trupanion Informs Dog Owners of a Rare Case of Salmon Poisoning - The Trupanion Blog
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Trupanion Informs Dog Owners of a Rare Case of Salmon Poisoning

Golden Retriever at the Vet
Salmon poisoning is a fatal condition in dogs.

( June 27, 2011 — Trupanion, the nation’s fastest-growing pet insurance provider, recently received a claim from a policyholder for suspected salmon poisoning. While this condition is rare, it can be fatal, so it is important for pet owners to be aware of the danger so they can avoid it in their own pets.

Salmon and some other fish can be infected with a parasite that while typically harmless to pets, can be dangerous to dogs if the parasite itself is infected with an organism called Neorickettsia helminthoeca. Cats and other animals are not affected by salmon poisoning, but the condition can be fatal in dogs. The condition is diagnosed via a traditional fecal sample or a needle sample of a swollen lymph node.

Cade, a Golden Retriever insured by Trupanion, was diagnosed with suspected salmon poisoning when he became ill after a recent camping trip with his owner, Sheila Prado. Cade had eaten a portion of a dead fish he found on the shoreline near the camp site.

The cost of treating the infection totaled $2,643.29. After the policyholder’s chosen deductible was subtracted, as well as the exam fees and routine care included in the bill (which Trupanion does not cover), Cade’s owner was reimbursed $2,028.77, or 90 percent of the covered costs.

“We are so glad we had Trupanion insurance,” said Prado. “We would have been stretched to pay those vet bills and [Trupanion] allowed us to do the diagnostic tests necessary with peace of mind.”

Symptoms of salmon poisoning include:

  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Dehydration
  • Enlarged Lymph Nodes
  • Refusal to Eat

Trupanion cautions dog owners from sharing any form of raw fish with their pet. However, if the pet does ingest raw fish, or has been foraging in trash cans or around areas that may contain raw fish, pet owners should visit their veterinarian immediately if any of the symptoms listed above occur. If left untreated, death usually occurs within fourteen days of ingestion.

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