Submitted to: American Journal of Veterinary Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/25/1995
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Diagnostic tests of blood proteins are required as a tool for monitoring the general health of a population of cattle, or for predicting disease outbreaks. We measured such blood proteins in a population of feedlot cattle, over a period of two months, and found that such measurements as a diagnostic tool is limited. However, such measurements may provide a method of determining the true health status of animals. Such screening tests to indicate the general health of groups of feedlot cattle would be a valuable tool for feedlot veterinarians.
Technical Abstract: We observed relationships between serum haptoglobin levels and subsequent clinical respiratory disease and pulmonary lesions present at slaughter in a population of feedlot cattle. The magnitude of the associations suggest that the usefulness of cross-sectional sampling of haptoglobin levels as diagnostic tool for feedlot respiratory disease is limited. Haptoglobin levels may provide a method of determining the true health status of animals, whether clinical or subclinical. However, this study could only estimate health status based on treatment rates and pulmonary lesions. Serum haptoglobin may be more useful in determining severity of disease, or in predicting response to therapy once a case has been identified clinically.