With the warmer temperatures these last few weeks we have noticed an increase in Salmonella cases on our dairy/dairy calf farms. Here are a few basics to get a better understanding of Salmonella as a whole:
On dairy farms, the source of Salmonella bacteria is commonly the feces of an infected cow. Cows can become infected and continue to shed bacteria without symptoms, making it difficult to identify which cows have Salmonella. There is an increase in shedding during stressful events, particularly calving. This allows for the perfect opportunity for Salmonella to our infect calves. The most common transmission routes of Salmonella are:
- Fecal oral transmission
- Saliva and nasal secretions
- Milk and colostrum
Once a Salmonella outbreak has begun, many factors lead to the continuance of the outbreak. These factors include: persistence in the environment, continual risk factors and stressors (hot weather), “carrier” cows who continue to shed, and reinfection of susceptible animals.
It is important to keep in mind additional sources of continual transmission of Salmonella:
- Medical equipment- esophageal feeders, stomach tubes, etc.
- Calf nipples
- Exam gloves/Boots
- Other farm equipment
Control and treatment: work with your veterinarian to develop a control and treatment plan for Salmonella on your farm today- We would be glad to help in any way we can!