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Fish for Diet

RyanS

All Access Member
Joined
May 12, 2022
Messages
5
Are there some fish that you should or should not feed to your dogs? Or some that are better than others? I have some snapper (wild caught) that I bought and was thinking of feeding to my dogs.
 

Dr. Jeff

Administrator
Moderator
Veterinarian
Joined
Feb 23, 2017
Messages
3,920
Great question Ryan!

Snapper is fine to use. In general, I ask clients to stick with small fish to reduce toxic load. But most fish are fine in moderation.

@Dr. Jean and @GinnyW may have further thoughts about feeding fish.
 

Dr. Jean

Veterinarian
Joined
Aug 19, 2020
Messages
180
My one caution about fish for dogs is to never feed Pacific salmon raw. I'm not a fan of raw fish ever due to parasites, but Pacific salmon in particular carry a parasite that itself is parasitized by Neorickettsia helminthoeca. This little bug-in-a-bug causes "salmon poisoning" (actually a bacterial infection), which can be fatal if not treated early.
 

GinnyW

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Joined
Mar 3, 2021
Messages
304
If I had to feed fish, I'd freeze it all, pretty much. The salmon poisoning described is supposedly killed by a couple of sub-zero weeks, and is in any fish that migrates into fresh water. The bacterium lives in a liver fluke. But honestly, I don't chance it.
One fish I like is big fat sardines - my coop gets these, and dogs either love them or couldn't care less. Great Omega profile, good protein, easy to handle frozen...

My first dog ate a whole raw Dungeness crab once, to the delight of an audience that gathered on the pier...
 

Dr. Jean

Veterinarian
Joined
Aug 19, 2020
Messages
180
Freezing does not kill or even inconvenience bacteria. It would probably kill the fluke, but the bacteria will remain viable.
 

GinnyW

All Access Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2021
Messages
304
And here's some science about the disease:


Dr. Jean is correct, of course - the bacteria apparently need to be killed with ABX and Droncit. I have heard of many cases in native dogs of the Northwest. It is said, though, that any fish north of the Copper River will not harbor the bugs, since the intermediate host snail cannot live in colder temps.
 

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