Background: There has been increased interest in measuring the serum concentration of acute phase reactants such as serum amyloid A [SAA] and haptoglobin [haptoglobin] in periparturient cattle in order to provide a method for detecting the presence of inflammation or bacterial infection.
Objectives: To determine whether [SAA] and [haptoglobin] are increased in cows with displaced abomasum as compared with healthy dairy cows.
Animals: Fifty-four adult dairy cows in early lactation that had left displaced abomasum (LDA, n = 34), right displaced abomasum or abomasal volvulus (RDA/AV, n = 11), or were healthy on physical examination (control, n = 9).
Materials and Methods: Inflammatory diseases or bacterial infections such as mastitis, metritis, or pneumonia were not clinically apparent in any animal. Jugular venous blood was obtained from all cows and analyzed. Liver samples were obtained by biopsy in cattle with abomasal displacement.
Results: [SAA] and [haptoglobin] concentrations were increased in cows with LDA or RDA/AV as compared with healthy controls. Cows with displaced abomasum had mild to moderate hepatic lipidosis, based on liver fat percentages of 9.3 ± 5.3% (mean ± SD, LDA) and 10.8 ± 7.7% (RDA/AV). [SAA] and [haptoglobin] were most strongly associated with liver fat percentage, rs=+0.55 (P < .0001) and rs=+0.42 (P= .0041), respectively.
Conclusions and Clinical Importance: An increase in [SAA] or [haptoglobin] in postparturient dairy cows with LDA or RDA/AV is not specific for inflammation or bacterial infection. An increase in [SAA] or [haptoglobin] may indicate the presence of hepatic lipidosis in cattle with abomasal displacement.