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  • Author or Editor: Clinton R. Krehbiel x
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Objective—To evaluate serum haptoglobin concentration at feedlot arrival and subsequent performance and morbidity and mortality rates of calves that developed bovine respiratory disease.

Animals—360 heifer calves and 416 steer and bull calves.

Procedures—Serum samples were obtained from cattle at the time of arrival to a feedlot (day −1) and analyzed for haptoglobin concentration. In experiment 1, calves were classified into groups with a low (< 1.0 μg/mL), medium (1.0 to 3.0 μg/mL), or high (> 3.0 μg/mL) serum haptoglobin concentration and allotted into pens on the basis of group. In experiment 2, calves were classified as having or not having detectable serum haptoglobin concentrations.

Results—In experiment 1, average daily gain from days 1 to 7 decreased as haptoglobin concentration increased. Dry-matter intake (DMI) from days 1 to 21 decreased with increasing haptoglobin concentration, and DMI typically decreased from days 1 to 63. Total bovine respiratory disease morbidity rate typically increased with increasing haptoglobin concentration. At harvest, no differences in carcass characteristics were observed on the basis of haptoglobin concentration. In experiment 2, cattle with measureable serum haptoglobin concentrations at arrival weighed less throughout the experiment, gained less from days 1 to 7, and had lower DMI from days 1 to 42. Overall morbidity rate was not different between groups, but cattle with detectable serum haptoglobin concentrations had higher odds of being treated 3 times.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Serum haptoglobin concentration in cattle at the time of feedlot arrival was not associated with overall performance but may have limited merit for making decisions regarding targeted prophylactic treatment.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research