As part of a study of the development of hoof horn haemorrhages in first-lactation heifers, measurements were made of acute phase reactants to investigate the link between the acute phase response and the development of the haemorrhages. Over a period of two years, blood samples were taken from two separate groups of heifers, weekly in the three weeks before they calved and then twice weekly until eight weeks after calving. Plasma total protein, albumin, fibrinogen, haptoglobin, seromucoid and serum iron and caeruloplasmin were measured and the relationships between the peak concentration (or activity) or the area under the curve of each acute phase reactant and the peak scores for sole or white line haemorrhages were assessed by linear regression. The results suggested that the development of the hoof horn haemorrhages observed in the study was not accompanied by an acute phase response, and the haemorrhages were therefore not primarily caused by endotoxicosis. The diets and husbandry systems used were typical of dairy farms in the UK and the results therefore suggest that a significant proportion of hoof horn haemorrhages observed in UK dairy cows may not be caused by endotoxicosis.
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