Salmonella

There are a wide variety of Salmonella types that affect cattle and can cause severe disease resulting in abortions, dysentery and even death.

Cows can display a wide range of clinical symptoms and asymptomatic infections and a 'carrier' status also, exist.  All Salmonella infections can cause zoonotic infections in humans.

The two most common cattle associated salmonellae are S. typhimurium and S. dublin. These can also cause enteritis and septicaemia of varying severity. S. dublin is a common cause of bovine abortions. Screening purchased animals is probably of limited value in safeguarding the health of your herd. Culture of faeces and possibly other samples would, however, be recommended should any recently purchased animals become ill, show signs of diarrhoea or dysentery, or abort.

How is the disease spread and transmitted?

Salmonella thrives in the presence of manure. The bacteria will survive in moist shady spaces for very long periods. The source of the infection is sometimes hard to establish and often results from contaminated feed, water or other animals.

Direct animal-to-animal spread can take place from consumption of a small amount of contaminated manure.

Infection with salmonella bacteria alone does not always cause disease. Contributing factors to trigger an outbreak usually include poor cleanliness or stress, other concurrent diseases or temperate variations in housing conditions.

What are the clinical signs?

  • A thin condition.
  • Elevated temperatures.
  • Diarrhoea

Treatments and control of the disease

  • Regular removal of manure around feeding and water areas.
  • Make sure your facilities are clean.
  • Avoid the use of hospital pens for housing newly purchased animals.