Dog owners: Beware of salmon poisoning

LET HIM romp by the river, but watch what he eats.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea.
LET HIM romp by the river, but watch what he eats.

The active fall chinook run has brought many spawning salmon to the sandy shores of the sandbar and the Hood River, which writhe and die upon the shoals after completing their reproductive duties.

Those dead salmon pose as potential delicacies to many dogs that go out for a romp on the sandbar with their owners, but a bite of fish carcass for Fido could also spell his untimely demise if dog owners are not careful.

Tucker Road Animal Hospital has seen a few cases of salmon poisoning in dogs in as many weeks according to the veterinary clinic’s receptionist, Lindsay Borg. Veterinarian Brian Chambers says the “poisoning” isn’t a toxin in the fish, but is caused by the parasite of a parasite that lives within salmon. Specifically, the bacteria Neorickettsia helminthoeca is the culprit, which resides in another parasite present in salmon: Nanophyetus salmincola, a trematode, or flatworm.

Dogs that ingest the salmon may seem fine at first, but Chambers explained the symptoms take anywhere from two days to a week to manifest, and include diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, and fever. If left unattended, the disease can kill the dog.

Treatment includes de-worming, antibiotics, and/or IV fluids if the case is particularly serious. Chambers indicated that like with many other diseases, early detection and treatment are crucial to ensure a speedy recovery.

“You don’t want to wait, even if they act a little, tiny bit sick,” he said.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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