Fibrinogen is our friend! Especially when we are trying to identify inflammatory or infectious disorders. Keep reading to see how this protein could give important information about what’s occurring with your horse’s immune system.
Fibrinogen is a protein produced by the liver that is released into the bloodstream in response to inflammation. As such, it’s termed an “acute phase reactive protein”. Information can be gained about the degree and duration of the inflammation/infection based on fibrinogen levels in the blood.
Fibrinogen is usually ran at outside labs at the same time as a CBC (see last week’s post) so that white blood cell values can also be assessed. This gives us a more complete picture of how a horse’s immune system is responding.
Another acute phase reactive protein we measure in horses is serum amyloid A (SAA). Like fibrinogen, blood levels increase when there is systemic inflammation or infection. Unlike fibrinogen, SAA can be measured on-farm in under 15 minutes!