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Different types of Salmonella infections

November 18, 2013
POSTED BY: Gary Neubauer | DVM | Senior Manager | Dairy Technical Services | Zoetis

Salmonella is a devastating disease for the dairy industry. Not only can it cause death to cattle, but Salmonella can go undetected and spread throughout your dairy without your knowledge. That’s the difference between the two types of Salmonella infections — clinical and subclinical.

Clinical infections often are described as “the tip of the iceberg” because the symptoms are visible. With a clinical Salmonella infection, you can see severe illness with:

  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Rapid decline in milk production
  • Death

Subclinical infections are different, although they are the more common type of infection. They often are referred to as “the base of the iceberg,” because the symptoms are not as recognizable but can be just as costly. Subclinical cases have less- obvious signs:

  • Reduced milk yield
  • Poor reproductive performance
  • Abortion
  • Weight loss
  • Poor feed efficiency

Understanding the difference in Salmonella infections is the first step to seeing if you have a hidden problem. The next step is to visit with your veterinarian to discuss a Salmonella prevention plan. Visit for more information about the disease.


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