The serum concentration of certain acute phase proteins significantly increases during various pathological conditions in cattle. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of claw disorders etiology on the concentrations of two major acute phase proteins in dairy cattle: haptoglobin (Hp) and serum amyloid protein A (SAA). Fifty dairy cows with claw pathology were included. Fourteen clinically healthy heifers served as controls. The animals were subdivided in 5 groups according to the pathological findings on their claws: 1. Heel horn erosion (HE), 2. Acute laminitis (AL), 3. Sole ulcer (SU), 4. Digital dermatitis (DD) and 5. White line separation (WLS). Hp and SAA concentrations were measured in serum samples using commercial ELISA kits. Higher concentrations of both Hp and SAA were found in the AL and SU groups (p<0.01) compared to the HE, DD and WLS and control groups. Dairy cows in the DD group had higher (p<0.05) Hp and SAA concentrations than the HE and WLS groups and the controls. The serum values between the HE, WLS and the control group did not differ significantly. The presented results indicate that the claw diseases are associated with a systemic acute phase response. Hp and SAA could be used as valuable biomarkers for early detection of claw diseases in dairy cows.
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