Dog Suffers Salmon Poisoning

Madison suffers from life-threatening poisoning after eating raw fish.

Vet Bill: $15,374

Salmon Poisoning Claim


Salmon poisoning disease is an often fatal condition that results from a dog eating raw anadromous fish (fish that swim upstream to breed). For the pet to become ill, the fish must contain a relatively harmless parasite that is, in turn, infected with Neorickettsia helminthoeca, the microorganism that causes salmon poisoning. Unfortunately, this perfect storm of conditions came together when Madison's pet parent, Cristina K., fed him some raw fish she bought at the grocery store.

Cristina shares Madison's story:

"I recently experienced one of the worst events in my life; my dog, Madison, nearly died of salmon poisoning. If you are a pet parent, please read this. It might save your dog’s life, and if my Maddy’s experience can save others, it will make at least some of the hardship we went through worth it.

Some people may find my opening statement extreme, but I love him that much. Maddy is that special; he is stupid cute, lovable, silly and indescribably awesome, even at 10 years old. For a decade we have run together, cuddled together, traveled across the country three times (little man loves a road-trip), and otherwise been in each other’s lives 100%. The bond is deep.

So here is what happened: I POISONED HIM. I fed him raw trout I bought at the grocery store and he contracted salmon poisoning. I didn’t know that this disease existed in farmed fish. Two local vets didn’t catch it and after four agonizing days of lack of appetite, vomiting, and finally bloody diarrhea, we took him to UC Davis. With their heroic efforts and Madison’s toughness, he made it through 20 days on the edge with the worst case their highly-experienced staff had EVER seen.

Just to give you an idea of the extent of his illness, at one point his platelets were at 4,000 (they should have been 250,000 or higher), blood was pooling in his eyes, and his gums were bleeding. His proteins were so low that, in the words of one veterinarian, “those numbers are not consistent with sustaining life.” But we didn’t give up, the team at UC Davis didn’t give up, and most importantly, Madison didn’t give up.

The toughest moments were when his lead doctor, the incredible Dr. Hulsebosch, asked me how far I wanted to go. When that question came not once but twice, I knew that I wanted to support Madison’s fight, and that Embrace was there to give me the financial capability to do it. Having Embrace meant that I could say, “We’re going until Madison is done. As long as he’s fighting, we’re fighting.” And finally, on day 20, I was able to tell the countless people – from the check-out girl at the grocery store, to my mom – who asked me daily how he was doing, “Looks like he’s going to live.” And he did.

When Madison got sick, so did our whole family, humans and all. For some reason, our other dog, Morgan, fought it off better; after a course of doxycycline and a de-wormer, he was fine. My husband and I felt poorly for a month with giardia-like symptoms. Now, roughly a month later, we are all doing well. Madison is stronger every day and starting to get back to his critical duty in our pack: making us laugh. Thank you Embrace!"

Madison's Claim Refund

Claim Details Amount
Actual Vet Bill $15,374.56
Covered Charges $15,229.78
Annual Deductible -$200.00
20% Co-pay -$3,005.95
Total Embrace Reimbursement $12,023.83
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