Salmonella can cause significant losses in your dairy herd — fever and diarrhea are common, but this bacteria can also cause abortions, respiratory disease, reduced production of milk, and even death. It can be difficult to control, because infected animals don’t always show symptoms.
The bacteria usually spreads through fecal-oral contamination. Here are steps to control the problem:
- Ensure your barn is clean, use disinfectants, and isolate sick animals immediately. The bacteria can travel on machinery, waterers, boots, and more.
- Find the source. If you know salmonella is a problem in your barn, cultures can help localize the infection. You will probably need expert help to do this.
- Control other animals that can spread the disease. Rodents, flies, and even feral cats can contribute to the problem.
- Vaccinate. Unfortunately, vaccinations cannot stop the spread, but will decrease the severity by helping animals develop immunity.
For more information on controlling salmonella, download this informative flyer from Hubbard Feeds.