Help protect vulnerable fresh cows from Salmonella
Fresh dairy cows are at a higher risk of salmonellosis immediately after freshening as their immune system is compromised from the stress of calving. Controlling Salmonella in fresh cows can help to prevent infection of the rest of the herd. Prevention strategies start with a fresh cow monitoring program to detect fevers and other early clinical signs of illness. Other keys of helping prevent Salmonella in cattle include:8,9
- Manage feed bunks — Keep fresh feed available at all times and clean bunks to remove any rancid feed. Salmonella numbers can double every 20 minutes in warmer temperatures.
- Keep rodents out — Limit exposure of feedstuffs to rodents, birds, cats and other potential Salmonella carriers.
- Separate fresh cows — Fresh cows have a compromised immune system after calving and should not be kept in the same pen with hospital cows.
- Sanitize equipment — All fresh pen equipment, including balling guns and rectal thermometers, should be disinfected between animals.
- Clean water — Watering troughs should be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis because Salmonella can be transmitted via saliva in water.
- Vaccination — Work with your veterinarian to develop a vaccination strategy to control Salmonella.
Calves are highly susceptible to Salmonella
Calves are among the most susceptible animals to Salmonella and are at high risk of clinical disease because of their underdeveloped and naive immune system. These steps can help reduce the risk of Salmonella in calves.5
- Thoroughly sanitize all calf equipment, including bottles, nipples, esophageal feeders, balling guns and syringes, after every use.
- Handle sick calves last to avoid transmitting the bacteria via equipment or workers' hands and clothing.
- Feed at least 4 quarts of high-quality colostrum within two hours after birth. Do not pool colostrum because Salmonella and other infectious agents can be transferred from one cow to multiple calves.
- Move calves to a clean, individual hutch in the first day of life so each sick animal is isolated from physical contact and the air space of healthy calves.
- Restrict calves' exposure to older animals in the herd, including their manure.
Vaccination is a critical part of a Salmonella Newport control program
Keys to helping prevent Salmonella in cattle are sanitation and helping prevent the spread of the bacteria. Another critical part of helping prevent Salmonella Newport in cattle is vaccination with Salmonella Newport Bacterial Extract vaccine* with SRP® technology.
The Salmonella Newport Bacterial Extract vaccine is an effective management tool to help control disease caused by Salmonella Newport. This vaccine helps control disease and fecal shedding of Salmonella Newport, helping reduce disease incidence and, potentially, improved herd performance.3 The SRP technology in the Salmonella Newport Bacterial Extract vaccine helps block the iron-gathering mechanism, leading to the death of the bacteria.3
Research shows that the prevalence of Salmonella in cattle was far less in herds vaccinated with the Salmonella Newport Bacterial Extract vaccine.11 Vaccination of cattle can also offer improved herd performance in a number of ways.
- Milk production of cattle subclinically infected with Salmonella can be improved through greater control of salmonellosis in vaccinated herds.10
- Somatic cell count can also be reduced in affected herds by vaccination with the Salmonella Newport Bacterial Extract vaccine.3
Whole-herd vaccination utilizing Salmonella Newport Bacterial Extract vaccine with SRP technology will allow producers to create whole-herd immunity, helping to protect all cattle on the operation against Salmonella Newport.
Develop treatment strategy with a veterinarian
When salmonellosis is confirmed, affected cattle ideally should be isolated or separated from unaffected animals. Affected cattle should be hydrated and monitored frequently. Movement of animals, people, equipment, feed and water, as well as removal of manure and bedding, should be strictly controlled to help prevent spread of Salmonella bacteria and contamination of clean areas.
The herd veterinarian should be consulted to develop the specific treatment strategy appropriate for the operation and the specific strain of Salmonella in cattle. Predicting which antibiotics will be effective is difficult with salmonellosis, making it critical that the herd veterinarian be involved with selecting and prescribing use of pharmaceuticals.
1 National Animal Health Monitoring System. Salmonella and Campylobacter on U.S. dairy operations, 1996-2007. APHIS Info Sheet, July 2009, #N562.0709.
2 National Animal Health Monitoring System. Salmonella in United States feedlots. (Feedlot ‘99) APHIS Info Sheet, October 2001, #N346.1001.
3 Hermesch DR, Thomson DU, Loneragan GH, Renter DR, White BJ. Effects of a commercially available vaccine against Salmonella enterica serotype Newport on milk production, somatic cell count, and shedding of Salmonella organisms in female dairy cattle with no clinical signs of salmonellosis. AJVR 2008;69(9):1229-1234.
4 Cummings KJ, Warnick LD, Alexander KA, et al. The duration of fecal Salmonella shedding following clinical disease among dairy cattle in the northeastern USA. Preventive Vet Med 2009; 92:134-139.
5 Mohler VL, Izzo MM, House JK. Salmonella in calves. Vet Clin Food Anim 2009; 25:37-54.
6 Clark S, Thacker L. (2004). Salmonella newport - an emerging disease in dairy cattle. Purdue Newsletters 2004; http://www.addl.purdue.edu/newsletters/2004/summer/salmnewp.htm, accessed June 2011.
7 Cummings KJ, Warnick LD, Alexander KA, et al. The incidence of salmonellosis among dairy herds in the northeastern United States. J Dairy Sci 2009; 92:3766-3774.
8 Brad Smith personal communications
9 Bertoldo J. Salmonella – A very successful opportunist. Cornell University AgFocus 2006; http://www.nwnyteam.org/AgFocus2006/Jan/AgFoc0106Salmonella.htm, accessed June 2011.
10 Data on file, Epitopix, LLC. Study Report No. N-0005-136-142, Pfizer Inc..
11 Loneragan, GH, et al. Salmonella in Cull Dairy Cattle of the Texas High Plains. 89th Annual Meeting of the Conference of Research Workers in Animal Diseases, Dec. 7-9, 2008, Chicago, Ill.
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