Southern California Dog Owners Warned About Parasitic Fluke

San Diego dog training company alerts pet owners on veterinary hospital reported cases for a parasitic fluke infection after dogs ingest raw fish.

Considering spring is the time of year when people begin to visit their local lakes in Southern California for recreational fun, those who bring their dogs along, particularly for a fishing trip, have learned about a salmon poisoning potential. Recently, some Southern California veterinary hospitals reported cases for a parasitic fluke infection when dogs have ingested the raw fish.  

Lakes stocked with fish inventory from the Pacific Northwest may carry fluke, unlike fish that are native to Southern California. 

“From what we have learned, there is this microscopic rickettsial agent inside the fluke that travels in the bloodstream which is what makes a dog sick,” a spokesperson from a San Diego dog training company, Performance K9 Training said. “An incubation period takes about a week, but symptoms can occur sooner than this.”

Symptoms of fluke include one or more of the following:

•    Fatigue

•    Loss of appetite

•    Dehydration

•    Vomiting

•    Diarrhea

And more

A common way to detect fluke is finding the microscopic eggs in a stool sample. Pet owners should bring their dogs to their veterinarian if these symptoms are noticed, above all, if someone’s dog was recently at a lake.  

Early intervention can make all the difference in the world in treating this parasitic infection. In many cases, rehydration and antibiotics are all that is needed. Mild cases of fluke may take about a week for a dog to return to normal, while more severe cases may take a couple of weeks. 

Pet patients having more severe symptoms may require them to stay at the hospital for a few nights to ensure proper rehydration, regular medication dosages, and ongoing monitoring. 

“We also learned that if one fish has fluke at a lake, more than likely, the other fish are infected,” the spokesperson said. “We are happy that veterinary hospitals, like California Veterinary Specialists (CVS), have made these cases public so we as pet owners can take the necessary precautions we need for our pets.”

The veterinary announcement Performance K9 Training is referring to is a fluke parasitic medical case CVS encountered at its Ontario hospital. It provided specifics about a recent case as well as what pet parents can do when visiting a local lake with their dog.