All Salmonella species are zoonotic, which means they can be transmitted from animal to man (and vice versa). It is not only important for the calves, but also human health, to maintain strict biosecurity while working with any calves suspect of being infected with Salmonella. Infected animals can shed the bacteria in all of their bodily fluids (feces, urine, saliva, milk).
Given we often do stumble upon a zebra, it is important to keep open communication with your herd veterinarian, especially when dealing with animals that are unresponsive to conventional treatments. It is important to recognize these new and emerging pathogens on a dairy in a timely manner to prevent further spread and develop a treatment and management plan.
Mark J. Thomas is a veterinarian and partner in Countryside Veterinary Clinic, LLP in Lowville, N.Y.