Relationships of Rumination with Haptoglobin and Ketone Levels in Dairy Cattle

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The ability to diagnose and treat dairy cows before they are clinically sick is a crucial aspect of management within the dairy industry. With a growing focus around nutrition and the importance of rumination, there is greater improvement being made in dairy cow health. Rumination is a crucial aspect of cow health, as it can provide a lot of valuable information regarding a cow’s health and welfare status. Haptoglobin, an acute-phase protein, is a useful indicator of monitoring inflammation in cows, especially during the early postpartum period. High concentrations of haptoglobin in the blood are indicative of systemic inflammation, which can be caused by a number of diseases and disorders. Elevated circulating concentrations of ketones, most commonly measured as beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), are prevalent during the transition period in cows, as they are in a negative energy balance and mobilizing fat reserves. High BHB concentrations in the blood are indicative of greater risk for health disorders as well as decreased production and reproduction. Ketones and haptoglobin can be measured in numerous ways, but taking blood samples are a good way to test for the concentration of both in a cow’s body. In this study, blood samples were taken to analyze the concentration of Hp and BHB in 800 cows whose rumination data was collected from rumination collars. It was found that cows with relatively low Hp concentrations had higher rumination times compared to those who had higher Hp concentrations. There was no significant difference in rumination times between cows with low BHB concentrations and those with high BHB concentrations. Being able to detect diseases early is crucial for keeping cows healthy in the dairy industry, as well as beneficial for milk production and cow health. Improved rumination should be evaluated as a method of managing haptoglobin and ketone concentrations in the blood of dairy cows as a way of preventing and treating early incidences of disease.

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Overton, Thomas

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dissertation or thesis

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