What to do if you suspect you have a case of Salmonellosis in your flock?
We have had a few confirmed cases of Salmonella hindmarsh in sheep in the district this last month.
Salmonellosis in sheep usually causes sudden severe illness. You may find suddenly dead sheep, or less severely affected sheep may die after a 12 – 24 hour illness in which they may be down, very flat and reluctant to move. They may have nasty diarrhoea – khaki coloured, very mucousy possibly with blood in. The cases we have had this month have presented with these typical symptoms. These cases were then confirmed by post mortem examination, with samples being sent to the lab where Salmonella was cultured.
It is recognised that outbreaks can be associated with stress factors (yarding, heavy stocking rates, feed changes) and there seems to be an increased incidence of outbreaks December to June linked to grazing and management practices at this time of year.
Wash your hands!! Do not forget that infected animals are a source of infection to humans also. Keep kids and oldies away! Wear disposable gloves.
Contact the clinic and speak to one of our vets – it is likely we would advise confirming your suspicion with a post mortem examination. There is a vaccine available (Salvexin+b) that can reduce losses during an outbreak, but this really depends on the individual farm. We can also discuss treatment options for any sick but still alive sheep.
Do not send any in contact stock to slaughter – Section 120 of the Meat Regulations Act (1969) states: it is an offence to send or to permit to be sent to slaughter any stock which has been in contact during the previous 4 weeks with stock affected with clinical salmonellosis, unless or until the inspector (usually the MAF meat work veterinarian) has been notified in writing.