About Dairy Wellness

Caution: Salmonella is sneaky
Posted by Gary Neubauer

The clinical signs of Salmonella are easy to identify — weight loss, weakness, fever, diarrhea and dehydration. While they’re easy to identify, they are only the tip of the iceberg. The majority of Salmonella infections in herds often go undetected for long periods of time in the form of subclinical salmonellosis. These cases show no visible clinical signs of disease, so they are difficult to identify yet reduce a herd’s productivity. What’s worse, Salmonella pathogens can spread from animal to animal throughout an operation for months without detection.

USDA data tells us that nearly half of all dairies are infected with Salmonella, and in herds over 500 cows, that number jumps to 61 percent.1 Most of those infections are subclinical, resulting in decreased milk production and cattle that are more susceptible to other diseases, especially right after calving.

Take these steps as part of a Salmonella control plan:

  • Maintain clean facilities. Evaluate your fresh cow, transition and calving pens. Apply fresh bedding on a consistent schedule and remove all manure on a regular basis from the facilities.
  • Sanitation is key. Feeding equipment and loaders should not be used for manure handling. Help reduce the spread of bacteria by using chlorhexidine (NOLVASAN® Solution) to clean calf-feeding utilities and oral treatment equipment on a regular basis.
  •  Enforce biosecurity measures. Insist that all visitors, including your veterinarian, wear clean boots and clothing. Wash boots regularly with orthophenylphenol (NOLVASAN® Solution) and launder work clothes daily. Ideally, work attire should be left at the dairy.  

Work with your veterinarian to assess your risk and develop a Salmonella control program. Discuss the role that vaccination with SRP® SALMONELLA can play. Reducing your herd’s risk of Salmonella Newport is important for the future of your dairy, as well as safety of our food supply. Don’t wait until you’ve seen a clinical outbreak of the disease; start working on a program today.

For more information on ways to reduce your risk of Salmonella visit


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