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Hajek, Franziska; Reus, Anne; Gruber, Simone; Plattner, Stefan; Kammer, Martin; Baumgartner, Christian; Smink, Moniek; Döpfer, Dörte; Hachenberg, Sabrina; Mansfeld, Rolf (2020): Nutzung der Haptoglobinkonzentration im Blutserum als Indikator im Tiergesundheitsmonitoring bei Milchkühen. In: Tieraerztliche Praxis Ausgabe Grosstiere Nutztiere, Vol. 48, No. 04: pp. 228-238
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Objective: To investigate the association between haptoglobin concentration in the blood and the occurrence of ketosis, selected clinical parameters as well as lameness in dairy cows. Material and methods: The data was collected on 39 dairy farms in Bavaria over a period of 8 months. In 712 Simmental and Brown Swiss cows, clinical examinations as well as milk and blood samplings were performed between 10 and 30 days after calving. In these blood samples, the concentrations of non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA), beta-hydroxybutyric acid (BHBA) and haptoglobin (Hp) were determined. Analysis of the milk included milk constituents (fat, protein, urea, lactose and acetone), BHBA, NEFA and the somatic cell count (SCC). Results: Significant correlations were found between increased Hp-concentration on the one hand and increased NEFA levels in blood and milk (p <0.001), increased somatic cell count (p <0.001), lameness (p< 0.001), as well as reduced lactose content (p <0.001) and protein content in the milk (p = 0.001) on the other hand. Animals sampled during the warmer summer months showed significantly higher serum Hp-concentrations (p <0,001). Heifers exhibited significantly higher Hp-values than multiparous individuals (p <0.001). By dividing the examined cows into 4 clusters, a Hp-threshold value could be determined at 0.18 mg/ml. Combined with a SCC threshold of 40 500 cells/ml milk, the majority of animals with subclinical and clinical abnormalities could be identified. Conclusion and clinical relevance Measurement of the Hp-concentration in blood is a pertinent approach in animal health monitoring during the postpartum period. In combination with evaluations of milk amount and contents, deviations from the physiological status may be recognized and affected individuals treated early on. Haptoglobin may be used to assess the health status of the individual animal as well as an indicator of herd health in the context of animal health monitoring.